Public gets more savvy about data security

An ICO survey has found people are taking more care with their personal information, suggesting the recent spate of high-profile data breaches has had an impact

People in the UK are becoming much savvier with their personal information, suggesting the recent spate of high-profile data breaches has had an impact.

An Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) survey has found eight out of 10 people are now taking more care with their personal information.

Of those surveyed, 88 percent said they check their bank balance more regularly, while 85 percent avoid giving out personal details whenever they can.

Three-quarters of respondents said they are more worried about the safety of their personal information than before, with 53 percent no longer confident in the ability of banks, local authorities or government departments to handle personal information securely.

But seven out of 10 people said they feel powerless about how their information is used by organisations.

Deputy information commissioner, David Smith, said as more personal information is gathered, the risk of information being inaccurate, out-of date or ending up in the wrong hands is increasing.

But, he added, if people ask the right questions, organisations will respond to public demand and take data protection more seriously. If they don't, Smith warned, companies risk losing business or facing action from the ICO.

The ICO advises concerned consumers to refer to the Data Protection Act which, among other things, states organisations should always say what they plan to do with information and always keep it up to date.