High-Income Investors Very Concerned About Identity Theft
Data breaches are always in the news, and high net worth (HNW) investors are as worried about them as the rest of us. According to Morgan Stanley’s Investor Pulse Poll, 72% of high net worth investors are worried about identity theft, ranking it higher on their list of concerns than terrorism (65%) or a major illness in their household (56%).
The study, which surveyed investors with more than $100,000 in investable assets between the ages of 25 and 75, also found more than half of HNW investors believe identity theft will be a larger concern within the next three years. Only 18% believe identity theft worries are overblown.
This may be because so many respondents have already been targeted by a cyber attack. 56% have had a computer infected with a virus, and 40% have had their credit and/or debit card numbers stolen. Of the 11% who have been the victim of identity theft, only 15% are “very” confident they would know what to do if faced with the situation again.
58% also said they imagine dealing with identity theft would be “very” stressful to deal with.
69% of the respondents said they are taking steps to protect themselves, including using a credit monitoring service (28%), personal identity theft monitoring services (24%) and online password managers (11%). Even with these precautions, 81% of high net worth investors said they have difficulty knowing how to protect themselves because technology changes so quickly.
Oldest HNW investors are most at-risk. Of those 50 to 75, 61% believe they may unknowingly be the victim of identity theft (versus 46% of those between ages 25 to 49). 84% of those over 50 believe changing technology makes it difficult to know how to protect oneself (versus 74% of those in the 25 to 49 age range).
Even though 91% of the respondents have been affected by data security issues, 6 in 10 still trust major institutions, with financial institutions leading the way (83%), followed by doctors and hospitals (71%) and employers (61%).