Tech-confused consumers ‘risk digital security’

Written by Peter Walker

More than seven out of 10 people say they feel devices such as smartphones and tablets have become far too complicated over the past five years, with users admitting they neglect basic IT security as a result.

Lifeline IT surveyed 1,000 consumers, finding that three quarters failed to regularly back-up their laptop or computer because it is too complicated. Only four out of 10 feel confident their entire digital life is securely backed-up and a further 64 per cent say they do not trust cloud storage.

Just a third of respondents are vigilant about password security, with half admitting to keeping passwords on post-it notes or in their phone because it is easier.

While 52 per cent think high-tech identification methods such as face recognition or thumbprint verification are the safest ways to access a smartphone or tablet, people continue to neglect basic security. A quarter are still using simple passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘1234’, which negates the advantages of biometric security.

The network support company also found that it is the younger generation who are most concerned with the speed of change, with 78 per cent of those aged 25-34 saying they feel IT has become more complicated, compared to only 65 per cent of those aged 45-54 and 74 per cent of those aged 55-64.

Lifeline IT founder and director Daniel Mitchell said the research shows that many people feel completely left behind by the rapid changes in technology.

“What’s worrying about these findings is it that people are neglecting IT basics such as data back-up and security because they feel it’s all just become too complicated,” he stated. “The ramifications of this could not only be incredibly disruptive but, ultimately, very costly to an individual – losing all your digital personal information or being a victim of cybercrime can be expensive to put right.”