Approximately two thirds of people around the world think the global recession has put them at greater risk of identity theft and fraud, according to research from IT vendor Unisys.
The Unisys Security Index surveyed more than 8500 people in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
According to the poll, 84% of Spanish consumers believe the financial crisis will increase their risk of ID theft and fraud schemes, with 74% of people in the US and 72% in the UK sharing this concern.
The survey saw a 10 point increase in Internet security fears worldwide, which included near equal rises in concerns about online banking and shopping as well as computer viruses and spam.
Tim Kelleher general manager, managed security services, Unisys, says: "Not only do the vast majority of people believe that the current global financial crisis directly increases their personal risk of being an ID theft or fraud victim, but general concerns about online transactions, computer viruses, and meeting financial obligations all saw significant increases among consumers worldwide."
In the UK, 88% are concerned about people obtaining and using their credit or debit card or bank account, with the same percentage worried about people gaining access to, or misusing their personal information.
Neil Fisher, VP, global security solutions, Unisys, says: "The current economic climate is forcing many companies to cut costs but a real or perceived drop in spending on security can have a major impact on consumer confidence. Robust security procedures to protect against online fraud and ID theft are crucial to ensuring customer confidence, particularly with regards to online shopping and banking."