There is some evidence that supports these concerns: the study finds that complacency is high across businesses, most of which do not have clear policies and are not doing enough to combat identity fraud:
• Only 52% of companies have a policy in place to help protect people’s identities – a drop of 4% from 2010
• While 42% of British workers believe employee or customer identities could be obtained from company bins
• Worryingly, 57% of employees believe that personal information may not be safe in the hands of fellow employees and that they might abuse the information they hold
• This lack of confidence from employees in their companies suggests that the 54% of the UK public worried about personal information being stolen from a company are justified. Significantly, this number is up almost 10%, from 43% in 2010
But it’s not only at the office that there are risks. The growth in remote working is making employees more vulnerable to identity theft outside the office – Fellowes found that 67% of employees work from a non-office location from time to time. Disturbingly, 39% of these don’t shred at all, meaning that the office practices aren’t extending to all work and documents and confidential company information is being discarded intact.
This level of complacency could have a direct commercial impact: 47% of consumers report that they would not use an organisation again if they found out they had suffered a breach; 45% would look elsewhere, 44% would make sure it did not hold any information about them and 23% would never trust it again. Only 3% of those surveyed would carry on as normal.