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As incidences of ID theft have more than doubled in the past five years, costing the UK economy over £1.7 billion a year, the recent National Identity Fraud Prevention Week offered a chance to remind people how important it is to stay vigilant.

Yet the onus falls heavily on financial institutions to protect their sensitive information. Recent research shows that almost one third of transactional websites do not encrypt their data, thus leaving their customers at risk. This frightening lack of security blows the opportunity for ID fraud and financial theft wide open.

All organisations that conduct financial transactions online should be using two-factor authentication and encryption technology to protect their customers and improve consumer confidence. This is a challenge that needs to be risen to 24/7, 365 days a year, not simply in the week when the world is watching.

Gary Clark, vice-president, EMEA, SafeNet UK.