68% of Australian consumers use a free FinTech application, but almost half don’t know if the app sells their data, ESET survey reveals

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ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, has revealed that 68% of Australian consumers use a free FinTech application or platform. Of those, almost half (45%) do not know if the app they use sells their data. ESET has explored the topic of data security in the consumer segment of its global financial technology (FinTech) research, surveying over 10,000 consumers across the UK, US, Australia, Japan and Brazil. 

Consumers were asked a series of questions on the topics of financial technology and cybersecurity. The research reveals interesting findings about how consumers protect their sensitive information when using financial technology applications. Respondents were also asked to rate their tech proficiency as basic, intermediate or advanced, to provide further insight. 

The research shows that, in addition to the large volume of Australian consumers who do not know if their data is being sold, only 52% of people say they read the terms and conditions of a FinTech application before downloading it, and only 51% read the privacy policy. These results shed light on the actions consumers are taking – or are not taking – to protect themselves and their finances, and that many may be vulnerable to cyberthreats as a result. 

Almost half (45%) of Australian consumers would login to their financial accounts even while they are using public Wi-Fi, and more than 75% do not use VPN when doing so. Even among the 1 in 4 Australian consumers who rate themselves as advanced in tech proficiency, 29% do not use a password manager. Cybersecurity behaviour is better among the 22% of respondents who can be classified as “FinTech adopters” (those who use four or more FinTech applications), with 93% having security software installed on at least some of their devices. For “FinTech non-adopters” (those who use one to three apps), this percentage drops down to 84%. This could indicate that the consumers who are more interested in utilizing FinTech applications are more conscious of taking cybersecurity precautions when it comes to their personal finances.

Commenting on the results, Kelly Johnson, ESET Australia Country Manager, said, “As people become more comfortable with using financial technology products there is clearly a level of complacency creeping in when it comes to ensuring they are using these products in a safe way and protecting their data. Our data shows that many consumers are leaving themselves vulnerable to security risks and it’s our goal to ensure users have the best tools available to protect their valuable data so that they can use these FinTech services with confidence.”

About ESET 
For more than 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure and consumers worldwide from increasingly sophisticated digital threats. From endpoint and mobile security to endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and multifactor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7, updating defenses in real time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company that enables the safe use of technology. This is backed by ESET’s R&D centers worldwide, working in support of our shared future. For more information, visit www.eset.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.