Brits Lack Trust in Digital Age

Brits Lack Trust in Digital Age

Alarming levels of distrust emerging amidst UK’s mobile users and their social networks

London - Four in five UK internet users admit to feeling unsafe sharing their mobile phone number via the contact areas of social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. Nearly 80% of all respondents in a recent survey stated they would not publicise their own number in this manner. The findings reveal the reason behind this growing trend of cautiousness – is the innate lack of trust relating specifically to the people within an individual’s online social network.

Julian Saunders, CEO of said: “We know that people freely share their mobile numbers in the physical world. But, when it comes to doing so in the virtual world different factors come into play. It could be argued that the majority of people within our virtual communities are simply people we’ve either never met or perhaps just the once - and are not necessarily trusted acquaintances. This raises the question; would we have bothered to keep in touch if social networking hadn’t gone mainstream?”

The study investigated trust in relation to the valuable content on people’s mobile phones. It found that 10% of Brits openly confess to frequently checking their partner’s mobile phones - without them knowing or having permission to do so. The most checked items are; text messages (90%), call history (75%) voicemails (40%), photos and videos (35%). The findings also revealed that we’re becoming mobile snoopers – with nearly one in ten of us regularly sneaking a peek at a stranger’s mobile phone - when travelling on tubes, buses and trains.

Saunders concluded: “As consumers we need to better manage and protect the valuable content carried around both in our pockets and published on the web. These findings point toward a growing level of distrust and ‘sticky beak’ syndrome across the UK.

We generate lots of content by everyday use of our mobiles – photos, texts, messages etc – much of which finds its way onto social network profiles. As such, there is a defined need for a secure personal ‘space’ in which to store and manage it.”