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63% of UK consumers use a free FinTech application, but 63% of those don’t know if the app sells their data, ESET survey reveals

63% of UK consumers use a free FinTech application, but 63% of those don’t know if the app sells their data, ESET survey reveals | Fintech Finance

ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, reveals that 63% of UK consumers use a free FinTech application or platform. Of those, the same amount (63%) do not know if the app they use sells their data, which is 13% higher than the global average. ESET has explored the topic of data security in the consumer segment of its global financial technology (FinTech) research, surveying over 10,000 consumers across the UK, US, Australia, Japan and Brazil.

Consumers were asked a series of questions on the topics of financial technology and cybersecurity. The research reveals interesting findings about how consumers protect their sensitive information when using financial technology applications. Respondents were also asked to rate their tech proficiency as basic, intermediate or advanced, to provide further insight.

The research shows that, while the percentage of consumers in the UK who use a free FinTech app is higher than the global average (42%), the proportion of these consumers who do not know if their data is being sold is also above the worldwide average of 50%.

In addition to this, only 26% of people in the UK say they read the terms and conditions of a FinTech application before downloading it, and just 24% read the privacy policy. When seeking information about new financial services, fewer than one in ten first look at official sources such as their bank’s web page (9%), dedicated financial news sites (8%) or FinTech providers websites (3%), with consumers instead relying on search engines (22%). These results shed light on the actions consumers are taking – or not taking – to protect themselves and their finances, and show that many may be vulnerable to cyberthreats as a result.

Over half (60%) of UK consumers do not use a VPN, and 31% of consumers log in to their financial applications on public Wi-Fi. Even amongst the 18% of consumers worldwide who rate themselves as advanced in tech proficiency, 48% do not use a password manager.

Interestingly, of the 22% of respondents globally who can be classified as “FinTech adopters” (those who use four or more FinTech applications), 93% do have security software installed on at least some of their devices. At the same time, for “FinTech non-adopters” (those who use one to three apps), this percentage goes down to 85%. This could indicate that the consumers who are more interested in utilising FinTech applications are more conscious of taking cybersecurity precautions when it comes to their personal finances.

Commenting on the results, Jake Moore, Cybersecurity Specialist at ESET, said, “Our findings about consumers and their attitudes to data security reveal that many people in the UK are not taking the necessary steps to learn about the apps they are using and their privacy implications. These consumers may be vulnerable to cyber risks, and it is our mission to ensure that technology users’ most valuable information is protected with cutting edge technology.”

Ignacio Sbampato, Chief Business Officer at ESET, commented, “Protecting consumers’ sensitive and financial data has never been more important. Financial technology has a role to play on the journey to personal and societal economic recovery, and it is vital that FinTech solutions and their users are adequately protected.”

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