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The majority of UK consumers would back government imposed fines on companies that lose their personal data, a survey has shown.

86 per cent of consumers polled by the Institute of Customer Service believe the government should review data protection laws. Furthermore, 77 per cent think that they should be more proactive in protecting data from cyber attacks.

Those surveyed felt that responsibility also lay with companies to safeguard their customer data, with 62 per cent feeling businesses could do more to protect personal data.

This poll comes after a stream of security infringements over the past few years and has highlighted the lack of trust between consumers and companies with regard to cyber security.

Only 13 per cent were confident that their private information was safe in the hands of organisations they had shared it with, and only 15 per cent believed companies would do everything in their power to prevent this information from being lost or stolen.

A recent example of a breach in security was the cyber attack on TalkTalk in October 2015, which left 155,000 people vulnerable after their personal data was stolen.

Due to instances like this, 28 per cent of those polled went as far as to say that they would avoid companies that had experienced a breach.

In response to these findings the Institute of Customer Service has issued a number of recommendations to tackle data breach procedure.

This includes imposing increasing fines on companies the longer they put off reporting a breach.

It also suggested a government lead awareness campaigns detailing the risks of scams, as well as provision of further funds to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data protection authority.

“Businesses need to accept responsibility, rather than offer excuses, if customer data is exposed in a cyber security breach” Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service said

“A customer’s experience is determined not just by performance when things go well, but the promise of performance when things go wrong.

“That’s why the organisations best able to deliver a strong, reassuring and detailed outline of their cyber strategy will set themselves apart from their competitors and go a long way to securing the long-term loyalty of customers,” she said.

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