How do Americans Perform on Cybersecurity Safety?


Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report shows that the average person thinks their credit card info is more vulnerable online than it is in their wallet. Cybercrime is one of the 21st centuries most insidious developments. But it helps to be informed. Norton’s report found that 62% of consumers found online crime to be their credit safety’s biggest threat, with 47% reporting being personally affected by cybercrime. In the U.S.:

  • 7 of 10 Americans say public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom.
  • More than half of consumers think that cloud storage of credit card and banking information is more dangerous than not wearing a seatbelt.
  • More than 50% of parents believe online bullying is a bigger threat than physical bullying at school.

“Consumer confidence was rocked in 2014 by an unprecedented number of mega breaches that exposed the identities of millions of people who were simply making routine purchases from well-known retailers,” said Fran Rosch, executive vice president, Norton by Symantec. “Our findings demonstrate the headlines rattled people’s trust in mobile and online activity, but the threat of cybercrime hasn’t led to widespread adoption of simple protection measures people should take to safeguard their devices and information online.”

It may surprise you to learn that Baby Boomers are the nation’s safest demographic, when it comes to cybersecurity, far better than Millennials. 36% of Millennials share online passwords, along with a lot of other risky habits.

Consumers Frustrated With Cybercrime

In the 17 nations surveyed, the average person lost 21 hours to cybercrime remediation each year, costing each person about $358. Almost half of these people reported being very angry at some point in the previous year due to cybercrime. Further, in the US:

  • Almost 9 of 10 respondents said they’d feel spoliated if their personal financial information was compromised.
  • 7 of 10 consumers would rather break dinner plans with a best friend than cancel a debit or credit card due to cybercrime.
  • 63% would rather have a bad date than deal with customer service after a security breach.

Overconfident, But Underprepared

Despite awareness of the problem, consumers still practice unsafe online security practices, though almost everyone gives themselves an “A” when polled. In reality, most people don’t even use safe passwords, a fundamental of online safety. In the US:

  • Of those using passwords, less than half always use a secure password – a combination of at least eight letters, numbers and symbols. Worryingly, over one in three do not have a password on their smartphone or desktop.
  • People are sharing passwords to online sensitive accounts with friends and family. Of those sharing passwords, more than one in three share the password to their banking account, and on average they are sharing passwords for two accounts, with the most common passwords shared being email (50 percent), TV/media (45 percent) and social media (40 percent).
  • Ironically, two in three believe it is riskier to share their email password with a friend than lend them their car, yet half of those sharing passwords do just that.

To learn more about the real impact of cybercrime and how consumers can protect their digital information, go here for more information.

About the Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report

The Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report is an online survey of 17,125 device users ages 18+ across 17 countries, commissioned by Norton by Symantec and produced by research firm Edelman Berland. The margin of error for the total sample is +/-0.75%. The U.S. sample reflects input from 1,008 U.S. device users ages 18+. The margin of error is +/- 3.09% for the total U.S. sample. Data was collected Aug. 25-Sept. 18, 2015 by Edelman Berland.

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) is the global leader in cybersecurity. Operating one of the world’s largest cyber intelligence networks, we see more threats, and protect more customers from the next generation of attacks. We help companies, governments and individuals secure their most important data wherever it lives.

Featured image credit: ShutterStock

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