Bold New Perspectives on Consumer Trust: The Digital Society Landscape in 2023

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Utimaco, a global leader in IT security solutions, proudly celebrates its four-decade journey of pioneering in delivering reliable cybersecurity and compliance solutions and services to clients worldwide. Recently, the company published an enlightening whitepaper, ‘Circles of Trust 2023: A Comprehensive Study on Consumer Trust in the Digital Society.’ This document offers profound insights into the shifting dynamics of consumer trust in the rapidly digitalizing world.

Evolution of Internet and Digital Trust

Gone are the days when the internet was a luxury enjoyed on hefty, stationary personal computers. In today’s age, the digital realm permeates every aspect of our lives. Digital touchpoints are not confined to the smartphones held by 66% of the global population, but rather extend to roads, vehicles, traffic systems, and numerous domestic appliances. As a result, trust in digital security extends far beyond financial institutions, ensuring the safety of one’s wealth and data – it’s about having faith that even your smart lightbulbs aren’t susceptible to privacy breaches.

In response to this burgeoning issue, Utimaco launched its inaugural ‘Circles of Trust’ survey series in 2022, focusing on the UK, Spain, and Germany. It delved into significant areas ranging from automotive cybersecurity to public and health sector digital services. The intention was to discern consumers’ perspectives on the digital services integral to their everyday lives.

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The research unraveled a paradox inherent to digital life: consumers were highly enthusiastic about digital offerings, including connected vehicles and digital health services. Yet, they demonstrated equal apprehension about potential security risks associated with these digital services.

Extended Geographic Scope in 2023

In this year’s study, Utimaco further enriched its understanding of trust in the digital sphere by expanding the geographical scope to the US, Mexico, and Singapore. The latest consumer research concentrated on sectors like banking, the Internet of Things (IoT), and smart cities, leading to several intriguing global observations:

  • Merely 19% of participants were unworried about their data’s security.
  • 36% of respondents experienced data loss, identity theft, or digital fraud.
  • 41% of respondents believed a connected world would simplify their daily lives.

The highest levels of digital fraud were reported in the US, covering banking and payments, IoT, and Smart Cities. Furthermore, while only a limited number of respondents (29%) could define “Internet of Things”, when asked about their use of “smart devices”, a sizable 40% responded positively. This underlines the significance of defining digital technology in a relatable manner for consumers.

Concerningly, 41% of US participants admitted falling victim to data loss, identity theft, or hacks concerning smart home devices. This underlines the pressing need to raise awareness about the definition and security of IoT devices.

Increased Trust in Banking and Financial Institutions

The US showed positive signs of trust in banking and financial institutions. An impressive 70% of respondents professed some degree or full trust in their main financial institutions, including banks and credit card providers, to protect their money and data from digital theft.

Utimaco sees the ‘Circles of Trust’ research series as an essential tool for gauging digital trust worldwide and an invaluable resource for any international organization. With their pioneering efforts, the company continues enlightening the global digital landscape and paving the way for a more secure and trusting digital future.

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