The results of the May 2016 Investor Pulse poll reveal a growing trepidation over identity theft.
The survey, which polled high-net-worth investors aged 25 to 75, showed that 72% of respondents were concerned about identity theft, with 51% worried that it might happen to them and only 18% feeling that talk on the issue is overblown. This puts identity theft above terrorism and major illness as risk factors among respondents.
Many of the investors polled reported having been victims of cybercrime. More than half (56%) say that their computer was infected with a virus, and 40% had their credit or debit card number stolen. Other violations, such as theft of personal information and account hacking, were also reported.
A majority of respondents also expressed concerns that they or their loved ones might be unwitting victims of identity theft, with 58% imagining that it would be very stressful to deal with. Though 69% said they are taking all the necessary precautions to protect themselves, 81% have difficulty knowing how to do so with changes in technology coming so rapidly. The survey also revealed that fewer than 30% of the respondents actually subscribed to services that would help safeguard their identities, such as credit score monitoring services and online password managers.
Older investors, those at the 50-75 range, felt more vulnerable, with 61% feeling that they might unknowingly be victims of such violations and 84% believing that changing technology makes protecting oneself difficult.
Still, HNW investors trust major institutions such as employers, doctors and hospitals, and financial institutions with their personal information. Financial institutions have the highest trust score at 83%, followed by doctors and hospitals at 71%, and employers lagging at 61%. The survey therefore underscores the duty financial service providers have to ensure the security of their clients’ information.
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