Major Study Sheds Light On Online Privacy, Security Values, Behavior

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 24, 2013

“A new poll released today by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) found that Internet users are highly concerned about the theft of personal and financial information and believe strongly that the federal government should do more to protect them. This CCIA telephone survey of 1,000 voters was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group (D) and American Viewpoint (R) November 12 – 18, 2013.

The survey found that on average, voters are 5 times more worried about hacking than tracking. 80% say they are more worried the information they share will be hacked to cause harm or steal from them while just 16% are more worried that companies will use the information they share online to target advertising to them. Overall, 75% are worried about their personal information being stolen by hackers and 54% are worried about their browsing history being tracked for targeted advertising. However, when voters are forced to choose which one is more important to them their focus is almost unanimously (87%) directed on the need to protect their personal information from those who would use the info to harm them. Even those worried about tracking (the 54%) are more worried about hacking by an overwhelming majority (84% to 8%).

Voters are acutely aware of the threats to the security of their information and they strongly believe the federal government should go after hackers and thieves. 55% say they or someone they know had their email account breached and 62% report receiving a suspicious email from someone likely due to that person’s email being hacked. Importantly, 50% say they or someone they know had their financial accounts breached online. This acute awareness of threats to the security of their information has resulted in strong sentiment for the government to take action to protect online security. Another 74% say the federal government needs to do more to prevent and act against identity theft, including a 56% majority of voters who say they feel strongly about this.”

 

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