More than three-quarters of US consumers strongly agree that companies need to protect their information, a 16% increase over last year, according to a comprehensive study of online consumer behavior.
The research, conducted by IDology, also shows 71% of Americans say their decision to choose a financial institution would be positively affected if it uses better, more advanced identity verification methods. That's a dramatic 27% increase over last year, when only 56% of Americans reported the same.
The "Second Annual Consumer Digital Identity Study" is based on 1,499 responses collected by an online survey from Jan. 29 to Feb. 11. Survey respondents are representative of the 225 million people who make up the US online population of 18 years old and older.
Christina Luttrell, IDology's senior vice president of operations, adds that while consumers say companies need to protect their information, 68% strongly agree it's also their own responsibility to protect their own personal information.
Many consumer are taking action to protect themselves, she points out. Of those who were notified their data had been breached, 60% say they changed their account passwords, 38% had their card reissued, and 32% turned on two-factor authentication.
Consumers also expect more online, with 37% saying they have abandoned signing up for a new online account (via computer or mobile phone) because the process was too difficult or took too long. This was especially true among Gen Z respondents (51%) between the ages of 18 and 24.
"The younger folks want it fast, and they want it now," Luttrell says. "And they don't want to jump through hoops."
Interestingly, asked whether they would use some of the new tools to sign into an online account, the majority (58%) of consumers say they prefer to enter their information manually, according to the report. However, 42% say they would auto-fill the information with a password manager, and 34% would be willing to snap a picture of an identity document, such as a driver's license. Another 24% say they would be fine with a third-party pulling the added information from their mobile carriers, and 23% are OK with pulling identity information from their social media profiles.
Frank Dickson, a research vice president at IDC who focuses on identity management, adds that that old trade-off between security and ease of use has to change.
"The security industry has to make their products easy and secure," Dickson says. "Companies have to invest, and it certainly takes extra work on the part of the provider. It's a challenge, but it's the responsibility of the provider to put in the extra effort and do it right."
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