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Half of Brits sign terms and conditions without reading them first

Lack of awareness is causing Brits to willingly sign away their data, according to new research from Thales.

A third of Brits also admitted that they had given up following cyber security best practices because they feel like it is an impossible task to do.

“The problem isn’t necessarily an awareness issue, in fact there’s almost too much awareness of how to keep yourself safe that the public are feeling overwhelmed. This fatigue is causing cyber best practice to wane,” Chris Harris, EMEA Technical Director at Thales, said.

“However, companies need to take this into consideration and factor into how they communicate with customers around how to keep their data safe,” Harris said.

According to the survey, 57% of participants voiced suspicions that companies intentionally employ convoluted language within terms and conditions to obscure the extent to which individuals inadvertently relinquish their personal data.

As a result, 47% of respondents said they were signing the terms of service without thoroughly reading through the text.

“While industry-specific terms like ‘digital sovereignty’, ‘data compliance’, and ‘third-party cookies’ may be commonplace within the IT industry, they tend to alienate the broader consumer population,” Harris said.

Similarly, 56% of respondents admitted that they always accept cookies on websites because it’s easier, highlighting that user experience tends to trump security, according to Thales.

Despite multi-factor authentication considered to be one of the easiest ways to protect your personal identity online, only 44% of survey participants said they used it across all their accounts.

Over half of respondents said they struggled to grasp rapid advancements in technology. More than a fifth also said that they had no clue about the significance of where in the world their data is stored, while about the same amount said that it was not a concern for them.

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