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Who Can You Trust with Your Information? Recent Poll Says Not Many Institutions

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No technology trend has been more ubiquitous lately than online security (or the lack thereof). With major corporations, social media sites, old cell phones, and even Internet browsers getting hacked left and right, Facebook announcing ramped-up plans to sell user information, and the separation between private and public life continuing to erode, can the public be blamed for losing trust in businesses and their ability to properly handle the data we hold sacrosanct?

A Gallup poll conducted in June delivered revealing results that nearly all of us can relate to (particularly the part about how, “In an increasingly insecure world, consumers need all the data security friends they can get”):

• 37% of the public reported that their trust in the companies they regularly do business with had “decreased a little” or “a lot” over the past year. Only 10% said that trust had increased.

• 47% said they had “some trust” in companies’ ability to keep their information secure. 22% said they had “little trust,” 21% said they had “a lot of trust,” and 8% said they had “no trust at all.”

• 39% said they had “a lot of trust” in banks and credit card companies. Second on that list was health insurance companies (26%), followed by cell phone carriers (19%), email providers (16%), state governments (14%), retail stores (14%), and the federal government (12%). Online retailers (6%) and social networking websites (2%) brought up the rear.

• Subjectively, the survey determined that, although levels of trust are low, the opportunity for companies to establish and build trust was great. “As consumer trust as a whole declines and threats to the security of personal information become increasingly common, Gallup’s research on customer engagement underscores the importance of confidence in building an emotional tie with customers.”

• Although Gallup used banks as a prime example, any business owner will confirm their thoughts on client trust: “Gain[ing] that emotional bond with consumers [doesn’t happen] overnight. Developing an emotionally engaged relationship with a customer is no doubt hard work, but it is not without reward. Trust breeds engagement, and [companies] can capitalize on this opportunity by showing that their protection of personal information isn’t just about legal ramifications [but about] customers’ well-being as a whole.”

• Furthermore, Gallup’s research shows that consumers want to feel connected to companies they do business with: “[Businesses] need to assure customers that they are on their side, looking out for the security of [their] sensitive information, and keeping their best interests top of mind. In an increasingly insecure world, consumers need all the data security friends they can get.”

Are you concerned about keeping your personal information and business data safe? Are you looking for the human intelligence behind that data security? Perhaps a business partner that you can connect with on a personal level? That’s what CMIT Solutions is all about. Since 1996, we’ve specialized in a combination of personalized local service and proactive IT solutions that secure your data, defend your network, and build the trust required to let you concentrate on growing your business (while we take care of your technology). Contact us today so that we can help you succeed.

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