Trust is key ingredient to digital services – more cybersecurity awareness needed

The Tieto Security Barometer surveyed consumers' views on information security, including the processing of personal data by businesses and authorities. The findings seem to indicate that there is work to be done to increase trust among consumers and citizens towards digital services; and that the current trust levels somewhat caused by a lack of awareness of cybersecurity matters.

In Sweden, 82% trust how public authorities handle their personal data. In Finland, the corresponding figure is 83%. Digging deeper, however, there seems to be work required in building trust. In Sweden, 22% of citizens regard authorities as very trustworthy to process their personal data. At the same time, trust in companies seems significantly lower; only 7% regard them as very trustworthy personal data processors. In Finland, 25% of Finns consider the authorities as highly reliable personal data controllers. Trust in companies is clearly weaker, only 5% of Finns consider companies as highly reliable personal data handlers.

Low awareness seems to go hand in hand with low trust. As a part of the barometer, citizens were asked about their knowledge of the availability of personal data. In Finland, this is unclear for most. Only 18% of Finns would know how to find out what information companies have recorded about him, and only 22% know how to do this with the authorities. In Sweden, a mere 29% of people know how to find out what information the authorities hold about them. 

As noted by Markus Melin, ignorance creates a feeling of insecurity and hence distrust. Digitalization continues and technology is developing so fast that there is no full and comprehensive solution to security and protection. Therefore, awareness is key: how to prevent data misuse, prepare for risks, and take action to improve cybersecurity. When the consumer, citizen and employee have the security skills, they can act in such a way that the society as a whole is adequately protected.

Read our blog post

Tieto Talks Security

How highly is Cybersecurity rated in your organization?

Few hesitate that digitalization and digital services create great opportunities and benefits for society, companies and citizens alike. But we also know that digitization introduces new challenges. One of these is security.
The World Economic Forum has listed the cyber threats as one of the three greatest existential threats for both business and society and never before has security regarding data and privacy in connection to personal data been more urgent.

Welcome to our first Tieto Talks with Cybersecurity on the agenda.

The Nordic young are not worried about their passwords – could be easy targets for hackers

Finnish and Swedish young people are not that careful with their online service passwords. Almost a quarter of Finnish youths and over half of Swedish youth never change their passwords, Tieto’s recent Security Barometer shows. This behaviour could turn them into sitting ducks for hackers. 

The Tieto Security Barometer in Finland and Sweden revealed consumers' views on security, including the use of online service passwords. 24% of Finns (aged 18-29) never change their password in their frequently used online services. In addition, 65% use the same password in more than one online service, and 18% use the same password at work and as a private individual. In Sweden, the numbers are clearly worse. 57% of 18-29-year-old Swedes never change their password, and 84% use the same password in more than one online service. 

The readings are worrying. Careless attitudes to passwords can expose to identity theft, which, according to Statistics Finland, is growing in Finland as well. Digitalisation requires digital citizenship skills from consumers and citizens alike, as well as strong data security and protection by service providers. 

4 practical tips for handling passwords in a secure manner 

1. Use only strong passwords. 

Do not use the same password for multiple services. Many services have a system that tells you when your password is complex and safe enough. 

2. Enable two-step verification.

Leaked online service passwords are purchased and sold on the black market. By using two-step verification methods, you raise a threshold to misuse your passwords. 

3. Use different passwords for each service.

Take advantage of password generators to help you create complex passwords. Do not use your own or family member's birth date or other numbers that are important to you as passwords. There are several applications available for managing passwords either separately or directly in the operating system. 

4. Distinguish civilian from work passwords.

Do not use the same passwords for work applications and private services you use. 

Fear of being hacked leads to avoiding online shopping

Even though a high proportion of Swedes shop online, the fear of being hacked is relatively widespread. 1 in 4 Swedes have avoided shopping online due to fear of  personal data leaks. The concern is greater among older people. For people over the age of 65, the proportion of avoiding online shopping is 28%, compared with 17% for people under 30.

Nearly a quarter of Finns, 23%, have avoided online shopping this year because they are afraid of theirpersonal information being leaked. Additionally, 49% of Finns are concerned about the leaking of their data to the unauthorized parties in connection with online purchasing. Despite this, e-commerce is seen as relatively safe; 69% of Finns feel safe when shopping online. However, this is a markedly lower level than in Sweden, where 87% of respondents feel safe when making online purchases.

Our tips for shopping online safely

1. Use your common sense

If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. For example, companies will not offer a 75% discount on the latest iPhone model.

2. Look for the lock

Find out that the site is secure by checking the security information about the site. A secure page is marked by the address starting with "https: //" and has a small padlock next to the address.

3. Think about where you are physically

Do not purchase using open wireless networks. On an open network, a savvy hacker can access your personal information, if not sent encrypted. Also avoid using public computers.

4. Do a check on the online store

Google the online store name and read before shopping. For example, if a store has high customer ratings, it is usually a good sign. Look for Safe E-commerce, a certification for online stores that sell goods and services online.

5. Beware fake sites

Check the link URL of the website. Some create fake sites with addresses similar to the official, such as by replacing letters or using other domains. Addresses with .se or .com are preferred.

Survey results

More than 2,000 people across Sweden and Finland were interviewed about their trust in the digital economy. The results presented here show an average among the countries. 

Do you trust municipalities or authorities to handle your personal data in a safe way?

Sweden

22

Very safe

Very safe

60

Pretty safe

Pretty safe

12

Not so safe

Not so safe

2

Not at all safe

Not at all safe

4

Do not know

Do not know

Do you trust municipalities or authorities to handle your personal data in a safe way?

Finland

25

Very safe

Very safe

58

Pretty safe

Pretty safe

12

Not so safe

Not so safe

3

Not at all safe

Not at all safe

2

Do not know

Do not know

Do you trust companies to handle your personal data in a safe way?

Sweden

7

Very safe

Very safe

53

Pretty safe

Pretty safe

33

Not so safe

Not so safe

4

Not at all safe

Not at all safe

3

Do not know

Do not know

Do you trust companies to handle your personal data in a safe way?

Finland

5

Very safe

Very safe

45

Pretty safe

39

Not so safe

8

Not at all safe

3

Do not know

How many different passwords do you have for your online services?

52

1-4, SWE

29

5-10, SWE

14

More than 10, SWE

4

Don´t know, SWE

42

1-4, FI

31

5-10, FI

18

More than 10, FI

9

Don´t know, FI

Do you use the same password for more than one online service

Yes, SWE

70
26

No, SWE

4

Don´t know, SWE

51

Yes, FI

43

No, FI

6

Don´t know, FI

In the last year, have you avoided shopping online out of fear of your personal information being hacked?

Swedish results to the left and Finnish results to the right.

23

Yes, SWE

Yes, SWE

23

Yes, FI

Yes, FI

70

No, SWE

No, SWE

71

No, FI

No, FI

7

Hesitant/ Don´t know, SWE

Hesitant/ Don´t know, SWE

6

Hesitant/ Don´t know, FI

Hesitant/ Don´t know, FI

How often do you change your passwords?

4

Every Month, SWE

15

Every 6 months, SWE

22

Every Year, SWE

46

Never, SWE

13

Don´t know, SWE

5

Every Month, FI

22

Every 6 months, FI

24

Every Year, FI

27

Never, FI

22

Don´t know, FI

Explore further

Security in Hybrid Cloud

Security in Hybrid Cloud

How to handle security in a hybrid cloud and multi-vendor ecosystem?Learn what is a hybrid cloud environment, what to consider when selecting cloud service providers and what are security requirements of hybrid cloud.

Why are businesses jumping on the hybrid cloud bandwagon?

the hybrid cloud bandwagon

IT departments used to have it easy. An organization’s hardware and software were strictly specified, and no deviations were allowed. This led to the infamous shadow IT, where people use their own software, devices, and unsanctioned methods to get the job done – often at the expense of security.

How to shop until you drop -safely? Tips for e-shopping for

How to shop until you drop -safely? Tips for e-shopping for Black Friday

With just a few weeks until Christmas, we are now entering the most intensive shopping period of the year. It also means that e-commerce businesses are gearing up for their most important sales period of the year, starting with Black Friday on November 23. Web shops are trimmed and the stocks are filled up to their limits to be able to compete for our hard earned money.

Media and press releases

Trust and security, 2019-02-13

Finnish Press Release 

Blog post

 

Beyond Passwords, 2018-12-18

Swedish Press Release 

Finnish Press Release

 

Online Shopping, 2018-11-21

Swedish Press Release

Finnish Press Release

Contact us

Tieto Security Services is your trusted cybersecurity partner. We strengthen trust in the digitalized world by providing technology independent cybersecurity services from consulting to outsourcing. Tieto Security Services helps you securely unleash your digitalization potential by building and operating an agile and transparent cybersecurity environment suited for your particular industry.

Any questions? Any comments? Don't hesitate to get in touch!

Markus Melin

Markus Melin

Head of Tieto Security Services, Tieto

markus.melin@tieto.com

LinkedIn

 

 

Oskar Ehrnström

Oskar Ehrnström

Security Expert, Tieto

oskar.ehrnstrom@tieto.com

LinkedIn

Tieto Security Barometer is based on results from a survey conducted by Kantar Sifo in Sweden and Kantar TNS in Finland, with a total of 2107 web interviews with the general public between the ages 18–79. In Sweden, a total of 1002 interviews were conducted between 22 and 29 October 2018. In Finland, 1105 interviews were conducted between 19 and 29 October 2018. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent.