- Concerns over National Security in the U.K. have decreased despite international unrest and recent global terror attacks
- New research shows U.K. security concerns are some of the lowest of the 13 countries surveyed and have actually decreased since last year’s Security Index
- U.K. consumers did register new concerns on security relating to the summer events season and privacy of smart devices
LONDON, June 12, 2019 – Brits are maintaining their characteristic ‘stiff upper lip’ in the face of adversity, according to the latest findings from the 2019 Unisys Security Index™ survey. Globally, U.K. consumers registered the fourth-lowest level of concern of the 13 countries surveyed on a range of security issues, with a notable dip in British concerns over national security in relation to war or terrorism – lower in 2019 with 50% seriously concerned as compared to 55% in 2018.
“The 2019 Unisys Security Index shows a typical British resolve that, while security concerns remain high across the globe, U.K. citizens are registering lower levels of concern relating to security than many,” said Salvatore Sinno, global chief security architect, Unisys. “Political upheaval, the value of the pound and growing international tensions are front and centre in the news, yet the overall Unisys Security Index score has decreased in the U.K. Britons really are ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ as the old slogan suggests.”
The 2019 Unisys Security Index surveyed more than 13,000 consumers in 13 countries, including more than 1,000 in the U.K., in February and March 2019, with additional supplemental research in April 2019. Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) gauged attitudes on a wide range of security-related issues and created an index based on their feedback. The index is a calculated score from zero to 300 based on concern about eight specific issues within the categories of national, financial, internet and personal security.
On a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of concern, the U.K. index is now at 147 – down from 149 in 2018 – which is one of the lowest of the countries surveyed. The global average stands at 175, with The Philippines scoring highest with an index score of 234 and the Netherlands registering the lowest concern ratings with a score of just 115.
“While national security concerns have dropped and our overall index score has decreased in the U.K., there is one area where concerns are increasing – internet security,” said Sinno. “The public awareness of risks to privacy is growing. This year, more than half of U.K. citizens expressed concerns about the misuse of their personal information and 49% expressed serious concerns that intelligence services listen in on them through electronic devices, such as mobile phones or smart speakers. Interestingly, the same percentage of respondents (49%) want their smart speakers to have the functionality to call the emergency services if required. This shows people are divided on what represents an equitable exchange of value in terms of trading privacy for digital services.”
Sporting Events and Summer Festivals Come Into Focus
As the summer season starts in the U.K., the calendar of major sporting events, concerts and festivals get underway. The 2019 Unisys Security Index surveyed the public on a number of security issues relating to large-scale events. In the U.K., 45% expressed serious concerns that a criminal might attack and harm event attendees, and 39% recorded serious concern that criminals might target them on street near event venues. Serious concern was also recorded in relation to the theft of credit card (45%) or personal data (43%) via mobile devices and public WIFI services at events.
In addition, 51% of U.K. respondents say they have not changed plans to attend large-scale events due to security concerns, but some have taken extra precautions to secure their mobiles or wallets (28%); look out for threatening or suspicious behavior (18%); protect their data or location (12%); or check the latest security alerts from the authorities (11%). And 9% say such threats make no difference to their plans and they take no additional precautions.
Also, three in 10 (30%) of those surveyed in the U.K. reported they will ‘think twice’ about attending large scale events due to data or physical security issues, and 21% have changed their plans to attend certain events or certain locations.
“Whether it’s your physical security or the security of your data, you can take precautions around major events so you do not make it easy for criminals to take advantage,” commented Sinno, “Being security-savvy means making sure you use trusted technology or vendors to buy tickets or goods at events, keep yourself informed about travel plans and the venue you’re attending and let people know your whereabouts. Also remember to travel light – leave your valuables at home – keep your phone charged and remain vigilant. But remember to have a great time.”
For more results and information on the 2019 Unisys Security Index and to download all country reports and press releases, visit www.unisys.com/unisys-security-index.