Meta-owned platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, and video hosting service TikTok are the least trusted technology companies among Brits, reveals Forbes Advisor‘s latest report.
Forbes Advisor, the financial and business services comparison site, considered which companies and data practices people are most and least trustful of. The study found that Meta is the technology company that people from the UK trust the least. Forty-eight per cent believe that Meta is untrustworthy.
Meanwhile, PayPal enjoyed a positive reception from those surveyed. The payments platform saw 47 per cent claim they trust the company with their data.
A majority 63 per cent are unhappy with offering their personal data to the government, while 43 per cent do not want to share data with the NHS.
It appears that companies need time to build trust with potential customers, with Brits appearing to be least happy with sharing data with startups. Only four per cent were comfortable doing so. Unsurprisingly, bank details are specifically the personal information Brits are most concerned about being hacked. Seventy-seven per cent cited banking details as their greatest concern.
Forbes noted that nine of the ten most trusted companies were created before 2000. Of the companies that were trusted the least, the majority were founded less than 20 years ago.
Generational differences in trust
The Forbes study also appears to highlight a difference in levels of trust between different generations. Younger generations are generally more comfortable when sharing data with social media platforms. Seventeen per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds are happy to share data with the likes of Instagram and TikTok.
However, this percentage does not stay consistent across all ages. Only seven per cent of 35-54-year-olds are happy to do the same; while just three per cent of those aged 55 or more agreed.
This trend differs depending on the subject. Public sector organisations (such as the NHS) are more trusted by those older, than the youngest participants. Sixty-four per cent of 35 to 54-year-olds are comfortable sharing data this way.
Despite this, only 49 per cent of Gen Z and Millennials are happy to share data with public sector organisations.
How are Brits taking action against data risks?
The study also consulted the UK population on actions taken to keep their data safe. As 63 per cent believe that the government is not doing enough to protect our data online; 82 per cent have taken steps themselves.
The most common protection methods used include:
- Anti-virus software – 53 per cent
- Using unique passwords for different platforms – 51 per cent
- Turning off their location on their devices – 32 per cent
- Reading the terms and conditions of each website used – 20 per cent
- Using a VPN – 20 per cent
Minimising risk of data hacks
Laura Howard, deputy editor at Forbes Advisor, discussed the risks today and what consumers can do. Howard said: “Like or not, we all exist in an era where it’s nigh-on impossible to live without sharing your personal data – even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly ‘digital’.
“Making an online doctor’s appointment, paying a bill via your banking app, getting a discount on your shopping with a supermarket loyalty card, or checking the traffic before setting off on a journey – it all adds to the vast and continuous stream of data related to you and your behaviour as a consumer.
“But our knowledge and awareness around how to protect this data has perhaps not kept pace with the technology. Our recent Forbes Advisor survey found that a staggering nine in 10 people are worried about their data being hacked. As history has shown; these concerns are legitimate.
“However, there are some easy steps consumers can take to minimise this risk. These include adjusting privacy settings on social media accounts, using unique passwords across different platforms (and making them difficult to guess), and installing antivirus software on your laptop.
“As more and more of our daily lives are moved online, investing in a VPN is also a good idea. VPNs, which protect your internet connection and privacy online, are widely available, inexpensive, and can be easily downloaded from the provider’s website. However, our survey found that, despite widespread fears around data breaches, only 20 per cent of respondents had taken this step to protect their data.”