Four in ten 18-24 year olds have shared their online banking passwords

As part of its ongoing drive to give people the information they need to protect themselves against scams, Santander has today launched a new campaign specifically for the Under 25s – a generation who often inadvertently share the sort of information that makes them easy prey for fraudsters.

To engage with this tech-driven age group, the bank has commissioned an ‘invisible’ cinema which can only be seen through special glasses, underlining the need to keep personal details and passwords secret and ‘for your eyes alone’.

Research carried out by Santander to understand the behaviours of 18 – 24 year olds, revealed that they commonly share even the most sensitive of data. Around 86 per cent of this generation do their banking online and of these, over four in ten have shared their online passwords.

Meanwhile, 85 per cent have shared details on social media that could help build a personal profile exploitable by scammers, such as addresses, contact details, birthdays, family members, work and university details and less obvious information such as pet names which are often used as ‘memorable questions’ as part of security on websites. Several social media sites have the option for users to increase their privacy and security settings, but only half of 18-24 year-olds check and update these regularly.

Over two thirds (68 per cent) have made themselves even more vulnerable by using unsecured WiFi networks, such as those available in public spaces like coffee shops, to access sites that require passwords, carry personal data or are used to make financial transactions.

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Strategy at Santander said“Generation Z has grown up online. However it's evident that one of the pitfalls of their online lifestyles is a culture of over sharing and being careless with sensitive information – and this is leaving them highly vulnerable to scams and fraud.

“Our invisible cinema events are an innovative and entertaining way of raising awareness among this age group of the importance of keeping online banking details, passwords and personal information completely secret and for their eyes alone.”

This lack of discretion with sensitive information is leaving under 25s vulnerable to scammers who use increasingly sophisticated “social engineering”techniques to trick people into revealing banking details or transferring money to a fraudsters account.

Santander's research showed that four in ten (39 per cent) of those questioned would provide personal and security detail to somebody phoning up claiming to be from their bank4 – and six per cent would allow someone remote access to their bank account.

It is perhaps of little surprise, therefore, to discover that over half (52 per cent) of under 25s believe they have been approached by scammers on social media, while seven in ten (71 per cent) have been approached via email. Around one in five (20 per cent) has fallen victim to a scam.

Officially launching the campaign is Love Island finalist Wes Nelson who will appear in a trailer at the cinema events with some important advice.

Wes says“Scammers are so savvy these days and it's scary to see what information they can get hold of and use to trick you with. If you ‘get a text’ make sure its genuine, and don't become a member of this DBS club (Don't Be Silly) by sharing your personal and security information – you don't know what kind of trouble it could get you in to!

“I think it's really important to raise awareness about scams with people my age. Being financially independent is quite new to us and learning how to protect our money is really important.”

The ‘For Your Eyes Alone’ invisible cinema screen will be touring universities across the UK over the next few months to educate under 25s about over sharing online. Santander is also working in partnership with Barnardo's to ensure that each event is open to a wider range of young people in the area.

Barnardo's Chief Executive, Javed Khan said“Barnardo's supports some of the most vulnerable young people, including care leavers, to learn how to keep their financial information safe, alongside other valuable life skills.

“We really welcome Santander's Invisible Cinema events, which will help young people we support and many others to understand the importance of keeping passwords secret and avoiding fraud.”

The first experiences will take place at Westminster, Exeter, UCL and Sheffield Hallam universities.

- Ends -
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Notes to Editors 

  1. Research undertaken by OnePoll on behalf of Santander UK in September 2018. The sample was 2,000 British adults aged 18–24 years.
     
  2. About The Cinema
    To make the ‘invisible cinema’ Santander teamed up with technology specialists to remove the polarisation filters from dozens of high-definition LCD screens on a video wall. This means the screens appear completely blank to the naked eye. The polarisation filters were then added as the lenses for viewing glasses. Audience members simply wear the polarised glasses and the contents of the cinema screen magically appear.

    The cinema will tour a number of Universities across the UK over the next few months and will show the scam themed film, Now You See Me. Ahead of the main film, viewers will also see a specially filmed message from Love Island's Wes passing on his tips for avoiding scams. https://youtu.be/4-u0vOsfJlk 
     
  3. Social Engineering
    Lots of scams start with ‘social engineering’. This is where a criminal will use deception and psychological tricks to lure their victims into giving away security information or even making payments. Often this is done by using details gathered online about a person which they then use to start a conversation and convince someone that they are ‘official’.
     
  4. Banking and security details are, for the purposes of this release, classed as bank account number, sort code, answers to online security questions and online passwords.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2018, the bank has c24,200 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

About Us

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of June 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 140 million customers, 13,500 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3,752 million in the first half of 2018, an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.

About Barnardo's
Last year 301,100 children, young people, parents and carers were supported by Barnardo's through more than 1,000 services across the UK, such as young carers, care leavers, foster carers and adoptive parents, training and skills or parenting classes. 
We work to transform the lives of the UK's most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you.
Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved. Registered charity No. 216250 and SC037605

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