Only a quarter of British consumers trust the Government to guard after their personal details securely.

As more details emerge of the loss of personal records held by HM Revenue and Customs, a survey, carried out on behalf of CA, has revealed that just 25 percent of the population believe that the authorities have a grip on the issue.

The good news for the government is that this is slightly up from last year, the bad news is that the survey was carried out well before the latest data loss.

Online retail organisations fare even worse: just 19 percent of consumers trust them to hold data safely, while ISPs are trusted least of all, with only eight percent of us thinking that they can be trusted to hold informations securely.

Most people thought that banks could be trusted to hold information securely – although in total just 60 percent of the population thought that banks could be trusted. More worryingly, a year ago, 70 percent of us trusted the bank, so trust is in decline.

More than two-thirds of British consumers generally think that all organisations should be more careful with personal data.

Simon Perry, vice president, Security Strategy at CA, commented: “This survey clearly shows that online Identity Theft remains a major concern for UK consumers. This is not surprising considering that more than 170,000 cases of Identity Theft have been reported in the past 18 months.

Consumers still need to be convinced that rigorous steps are being taken to ensure their data is protected and that security is at the top of the agenda. The onus is clearly on organisations offering online services to improve the way they manage their customers’ personal details or risk damage to their reputation and loss of business.

He added that breach notificiation laws needed to be amended. “In the USA, consumers are notified as soon as there has been a data breach relating to their personal details. This places an additional mandated obligation for organisations to not only do everything in their power to minimise online fraud, but also demonstrate transparency in their execution of their efforts. This requirement currently doesn’t exist in the UK.”

The survey, carried out by YouGov, asked 2,000 consumers their attitude to. The results indicated that the UK population is much more aware of the their vulnerability to identity fraud. And after today’s events, they’re even more aware.