THE UK INFORMATION COMMISSIONER says people are becoming increasingly serious about protecting their personal data online.
At the 2012 Information Security conference in London today, UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham told The INQUIRER, "[The security industry] is kidding itself if it believes people aren't serious about protecting their personal data online."
The statement comes in light of the recent studies released by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which conducted a mystery shopping exercise. These studies, which illustrated how people are doing stupid things like giving away and selling hard drives with their personal data on them, found that people are becoming vulnerable to threats linked to data theft.
The ICO's survey also showed that, although people are likely to do silly things that expose their data, many are increasingly concerned about protecting their data online.
"Our latest track puts protecting people's personal information only a few notches lower in the list of the big concerns people have below preventing crime," Graham said.
"92 per cent are concerned or very concerned about preventing crime, where 89 per cent are concerned or very concerned in protecting people's personal information - and that's higher than concerns over unemployment, the NHS and Schools."
In regards to the companies who think this might not be the case, Graham said, "It's a wake-up call."
He added, "The types of companies that [understand people's concerns] will start respecting their customers. Companies who think 'well, we'll take our customers for suckers' will learn the hard way that that's never a good idea."
It might be that people simply need to make the connection between how they would ideally like to protect their personal information and actively doing something about it, that is, stop being stupid. µ