War and Terror Worry Britishers Most: Study

London: UK consumers reported a 40 percent increase in security-related concerns since 2014, according to the new Unisys Security Index that surveyed consumers in April 2017 in 13 countries around the world. The global study gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide-range of security-related issues.

UK respondents reported increasing concern in all four categories of the core survey: national, financial, internet and personal security. The biggest increases in concern were related to national and internet security – which rose 66 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Highlights from the UK results include:

  • Since 2014, concern has increased across all core Unisys Security Index survey categories of national (up 66 percent), internet (up 50 percent), financial (up 29 percent) and personal (up 23 percent) security;
  • The highest ranking security concerns relate to national security, war or terrorism, with 52 percent of respondents claiming they are extremely or very concerned about the terror threat in the UK;
  • Identity theft registered second behind concerns about terrorism as the issue with the highest levels of concern, with 50 percent of respondents saying they are extremely or very concerned about the safety of their personal data;
  • Bankcard fraud continues to rank as one of the top security concerns in the UK, with 48 percent of those surveyed extremely or very concerned. A lower percentage of respondents registered concerns about meeting financial obligations, with 37 percent citing serious worries over meeting significant payments such as mortgages or rent;
  • Overall concern around Internet security, which measures fears around viruses, hacking and online transactions, rose dramatically, up by 50 percent since 2014. Despite the significant increase, UK concerns relating to Internet security are 13 percent lower than the global average; and
  • In relation to demographic splits in the UK, concern is 22 points higher among women (155) than men (133); 14 points higher among 18-24 year olds (152) than 55-65 year olds (138); and 26 points higher among those with lower income (155), than with higher income (129).

Salvatore Sinno, chief security architect, Unisys, said: “Factors such as terror attacks, high profile cyber-attacks and the rising cost of living are all outside the public’s control and they are major contributing factors to the Unisys Security Index registering record levels of concern in the UK. Steps to advise and protect the public, such as the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre, are moves in the right direction, but we need joined up thinking across the public and private sectors to ensure the public are aware of risks, know how to avoid threats and act as securely as possible.”

The Unisys Security Index scale runs from 0 – 300, where 0 represents no concern and 300 represents extreme concern. Overall the UK’s Index score is at a record high of 144, up 41 points from 2014’s survey. The global study gauges the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security-related issues, with the core survey categories – Internet (150), Financial (147), Personal (141) and National (136) – all registering record highs in 2017. The global average Index score stands at 173[1] from the 13 countries surveyed, with the Philippines scoring highest (243) and the Netherlands lowest at 125.  

Unisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security.

The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories:

  • National security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category;
  • Bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category;
  • Viruses/hacking and online transactions in the Internet Security category;
  • And identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category.

The 2017 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted between April 6-18, 2017 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the U.S. and the UK. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and 0.9 percent at a global level.

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