79 Per Cent of Public Dont Trust Data on Social Media

The latest YouGov survey shows a lack of trust in social media organisations when it comes to keeping private data safe.

Social media sites have ranked the lowest in public opinion when it comes to safeguarding personal data.

A new survey from YouGov showed 79 per cent of respondents were either 'not very' or 'not at all' confident in social media sites keeping their data secure.

The research also showed just 14 per cent were either 'very' or 'fairly confident' in the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn protecting personal data.

Also failing to win over the British public were mobile phone providers who managed just 26 per cent backing under 'very' or fairly' confident.

Steve Durbin, global vice president of the Information Security Forum, told IT PRO this wasn't necessarily a bad reflection on social media sites themselves though.

"I think it would be very easy to interpret this as a statement on the security readiness or integrity of the sites themselves and I think that this would not necessarily represent the facts," he said.

"I would see the [percentages] acting as a reassurance that many people now understand the risks associated with disclosing personal information in this way and are therefore cautious about what they disclose."

Not all sectors fared so badly though. Medical organisations and financial institutions led the results by a mile, with the former achieving 63 per cent support and the latter reaching 53 per cent.

But when data goes astray from a health body, it always hits the headlines.

"Sadly we put our trust in the individual who we have trusted with our ailments (and quite often generations before us) for many years and they have no control over where our data is stored or where it ends up," Mark James, technical manager of ESET UK, told IT PRO.

"This data is often passed to third parties for analysis or safe keeping. Clear guidelines and procedures need to be in place to track and monitor exactly where the data is held and who is able to view this information at any given time."

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