How Americans Feel About Cybersecurity

In a new ReportLinker survey on cybersecurity, 55% of Americans say they feel their data is safe from hackers, even as two-thirds agree cyberattacks are more of a threat now than they were five years ago.

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation believes such attacks on IoT devices will continue. Yet, in ReportLinker’s survey, US respondents mentioned smart devices only 31% of the time as being most vulnerable to cyberattacks. Rather, respondents believe desktops/laptops(46% of mentions) and smartphones (42% of mentions) are more vulnerable.

According to the survey, one reason Americans may feel somewhat less threatened by hackers is their perception of who is at risk. More than a third of survey respondents – 36% – believe hackers mostly target the government, , while 46% of 45-54 year olds and 39% of those 65 and older believe corporations are the primary targets for hackers.

Even so, as Americans share more information across the internet, the risk of having personal data hacked increases. More people are using cloud storage and file-sharing services, even though one in four Americans say they don’t use these services at all. Google Drive and Apple iCloud are the most popular services, ReportLinker found.

With more information in the cloud, however, privacy becomes a greater concern. Americans do take steps to protect their personal information from hackers and cyberattacks, but perhaps not enough. More than half of US respondents (58%) say they use encryption or privacy tools, while the rest say they don’t bother.

And many seem to prefer simple solutions. Strong passwords and locked phones are the privacy tools mentioned most frequently by US respondents to ReportLinker’s survey. By contrast, better security tools appear to be favored less. Two-factor authentication garnered just 13% of mentions in the ReportLinker survey, followed by HTTPS-encrypted websites (12% of mentions) and encrypted apps (texting or calling), which were mentioned just 7% of the time.

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