New reporting suggests the state of online security in the United States reveals a significant gap
in cybersecurity knowledge and prevention and we as a nation are not taking appropriate steps in
protecting ourselves from a growing number of cyber threats.
Many consumers claim a lack of confidence with social media tracking and selling their personal
data yet a staggering number of online users have not adjusted their privacy settings on social
media, especially in light of the 2018 data breaches.
People claim their online data privacy is important to them and recent surveys show identity theft
tops the list followed by protecting their financial accounts and using their information to track
their physical location. Many consumers admit they do not shred important documents
containing sensitive information before discarding. Surprisingly, many people were not as
worried about the government accessing their personal information, but appear to be more
concerned with a virtual assistant always listening such as Siri.
Consumers can do well to protect themselves by regularly changing passwords, limiting the
information shared on social media profiles such as birthdays and phone numbers, cover laptop
and cell phone cameras when not in use, utilize some form of email encryption, anonymity
software, two-factor authentication and a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
In an interesting twist, it appears baby boomers are taking cyber security more seriously than
their younger technical savvy counterparts. Baby boomers are least likely to reuse passwords
across multiple accounts; leave sensitive documents unsecured; more likely to shred sensitive
information and more likely to monitor financial activity and credit reports.