42% of global consumers use a free FinTech application, but half don’t know if the app sells their data, ESET survey reveals

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BRATISLAVA – January 29, 2021 – ESET, a global leader in cybersecurity, reveals that 42% of global consumers use a free FinTech application or platform. Of those, half (50%) 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 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 consumers who do not know if their data is being sold, only 31% of people say they read the terms and conditions of a FinTech application before downloading it, and only 29% read the privacy policy. These results shed light on the actions consumers around the world 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 (48%) of all consumers do not use a VPN, and 42% of consumers log in to their financial applications on public Wi-Fi. Even among the 1 in 5 consumers worldwide who rate themselves as advanced in tech proficiency, 31% do not use a password manager. Interestingly, of the 22% of respondents who can be classified as “FinTech adopters” (those who use four or more FinTech applications), 93% do have security software installed on at least some of their devices. At the same time, for “FinTech non-adopters” (those who use one to three apps), this percentage goes down to 85%. 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, Ignacio Sbampato, chief business officer at ESET, said, “Protecting consumers’ sensitive and financial data has never been more important. Financial technology has a role to play on the journey to personal and societal economic recovery, and it is vital that FinTech solutions and their users are adequately protected. Our findings about consumers and their attitudes to data security reveal that many people may be vulnerable to cyber risks, and it is our mission to ensure that technology users’ most valuable information is protected with cutting-edge security software.”

To learn more about ESET and its global financial technology research, please visit our newsroom.