More than half of Australians fear their identity could be stolen or misappropriated when they disclose their personal details over the phone, according to a study by voice technology provider VeCommerce.
The self styled “speech solutions” company questioned 216 Australians via an online survey titled the VeCommerce Identity Verification Study. It sought to gauge the attitudes of Australians toward divulging personal information, technology use, identity theft and security safeguards.
The survey showed that 75% of women were worried about fraud and identity theft, compared to 51% for men.
The study found 52% of respondents believed answering a personal information or a history question when confirming their identity over the phone meant their details were vulnerable to theft.
Men are more likely to be reassured by the extensive use of technology to protect their identity.
Also the latest “Internet Security Threat Report” from software developer Symantec shows that malicious web attackers are now targeting specific end-user computers, since large scale networks are better protected.
“Social networking sites are a favourite target, as a successful compromise gives attackers access to a large number of people who are likely to trust the site. These sites often expose confidential user information that can then be used in attempts to conduct identity theft or online fraud,” says the Symantec report.
Catriona Wallace, managing director of research firm CallCentres.net, believes businesses must be proactive in tackling these consumer concerns: “The most interesting result of this study was the degree to which Australian women are concerned with current identity verification processes,” she says. “It is imperative for organisations to improve how they verify the identity of customers in order for the Australian consumer, particularly women, to feel totally secure when doing business with them.”
Among preferred identification methods, the study found passwords, biometric voice recognitions and PINs the most popular.
“Overall, most people would prefer organisations use reasonably complex processes to ensure that their identities are at the lowest risk of being stolen,” said Paul Mage, managing director of VeCommerce.