Around two in three Britons are concerned about the level of personal information being held about them by private companies, new research reveals.

According to a report by communications industry watchdog Ofcom, the number of people concerned about identity fraud and data loss has risen by 15 per cent within the last two years, partly due to a number of high-profile cases of data mishandling.

The study also found that 59 per cent of people are confident that they are able to judge whether or not a website can be trusted with sensitive information. Those below the age of 24 were the most likely to be complacent about data issues.

However, the study’s findings indicate that more people who use the internet are now happy to give their bank account details and other types of data out than in 2005.

Ofcom also said that many people are still failing to grasp the importance of online security measures and many households still have none of the necessary software in place.

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