We just found out your biggest fear of 2015: it’s terrifying

By Oliver Smith 23 November 2015
Dido Harding, CEO of TalkTalk which suffered a high-profile cyber attack this summer.

Our vulnerability online has quickly become the top concern of British consumers, and it’s totally justified.

Over the past year, in the wake of the terrifying cyber attacks on TalkTalk and Carphone Warehouse, cybercrime has become our number one fear.

Some 41% of Brits feel they are being targeted by criminals online, according to research from Deloitte, while at the same time our confidence in businesses to protect us is collapsing.

That might sound a bit paranoid, but it’s actually completely justified.

About 1 in 5 of us (21%) have had bank details stolen online and used to buy things against our wishes.

Deloitte’s director in the cyber risk services Simon Borwick said:

“The volume and value of data available online means that consumers are now more exposed than ever before.”

And, following this summer of cyberwarfare which saw several big businesses lose millions of people’s personal details to hackers, that exposure will surely only grow.

We discovered earlier this summer just how quickly and easily hackers can take control of our digital lives, especially when we all share so much information on social media.

Read more: Hackers seized control of my life in minutes & it was terrifying

“Oversharing on social media is rife and often individuals are unintentionally exposing information about themselves and their employers that can put them and the companies they work for at risk,” James Chappell, CTO and co-founder of Digital Shadows, which specialises in monitoring the spread of this information, told The Memo.

The blame game

When everything does go wrong and we find ourselves the victim of cybercrime, as millions of Brits will continue to be, Deloitte found that we’re quick to lay blame.

Forget exploiting overseas workers or damaging the environment, Deloitte’s research shows that 71% of people are most likely to abandon using a business or service if it fails to keep their personal data safe.

With no clear respite from hackers, and Britain’s biggest businesses at the mercy of 15-year-old cyber criminals, sadly all these figures only look to rise next year.