87% of Millennials don’t fully trust employers to keep their data safe, 61% skeptical of Facebook

87% of Millennials don’t fully trust employers to keep their data safe, 61% skeptical of Facebook

Man reading mobile phoneDear Customer,

We recently learned that an unauthorized party accessed our servers giving them access to all of our consumer data. We immediately took appropriate steps to protect the data and launched a thorough ongoing evaluation of the breach. We have determined that no credit card data was compromised from the servers, nor did we ever have or store sensitive data like social security numbers.

As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change your password and monitor your credit cards for fraudulent activity.

Thank you for your continued support.

Company You Don’t Trust Anymore


It doesn’t matter how many accounts were compromised or if any significant data was taken; a breech breaks the trust contract you have with your clients and customers, even the ones who aren’t directly affected by the hack. It’s one of the fastest ways of tarnishing an otherwise sterling reputation and it’s happening more and more.

We can spend thousands on safeguards and firewalls, but as good as your security team is, there’s a hacker out there who can beat them. That’s what millennials believe. A recent study conducted by digital identity and credentials expert Intercede, suggests that Millennials (age 16 – 35) in both the US and the UK don’t believe that government and businesses can properly protect their personal data.

In the row that defines level of trust as “little” or “none”, 38% checked retailers, 22% marked the federal government and 19% lowered the boom on banks.

Intercede Trust ChartA full 61% said they had little or no trust in the security of data on a social media platform. Hear that, Facebook?

Here’s a really sad fact; only 13% of the 2,000 Millennials surveyed said they had “complete” trust in their employer. That hurts.

This lack of faith in the systems we live with doesn’t mean Millennials are apathetic about the problem. On the contrary, they’re not happy and they’re demanding change. 80% of respondents said they expect financial and medical information to be kept private – that’s to be expected. But 74% said it was “very important” or “vital” for their location data to be kept private. (That one is for all the geolocation advertisers and app builders). 58% want social media data kept under-wraps and 57% don’t want their purchasing history shared with just anyone.

To be clear, Millennials aren’t looking to go off the grid en masse. They simple want reassurances that their data is being shared only with the people they know and trust. If they give their permission for an online retailer to share their purchase history with an advertiser – fine. But if they haven’t explicitly given their permission then they don’t want to see “relevant” ads popping up while they surf the web.

The truly sad part is that 23% of Millennials said there’s no fighting it. They dutifully fill out all the online boxes because they know that companies and government agencies are going to scoop and use the data with or without permission.

And this is just the beginning. In an earlier survey, 54% of Millennials said that the failure of companies to adequately protect personal data would lead to complete public distrust of good and services. That would lead to a decline in data sharing and could eventually impact a companies ability to function online.

How do we fix it? Intercede’s CEO Rich Parris says,

“The humble password should be consigned to the dusty digital archives where it belongs. To restore trust, smart companies need to look to stronger authentication techniques to ensure the future of digital commerce and information exchange and their own competitive edge.”

To that we’ll add. . . and protect their company’s reputation.

It’s hard to imagine that there’s an option other than the old password but I know it would make my life a lot easier if there was.

Passwords must be 7 characters including an upper case, lower case, number, special symbol and two emojis. It can not contain any part of a word in any known language and you must never have used this combination on any other website app or in your dreams in this lifetime or any other. Oh, and you have to change it every 30 days so start working on your next masterpiece right now.

It’s no wonder 30% of Millennials said they’d welcome a digital ID chip implant. Beats password recovery systems, lockouts and required calls to customer service by a mile.

Protecting your reputation means protecting your customer’s data. How secure are you?