Over 80 Percent of Americans Are More Worried About Privacy, Security Than a Year Ago

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More than 80 percent of Americans are more concerned about their online privacy and security today than they were a year ago, a recent AnchorFree survey [PDF] of more than 2,000 Americans found.

Following the recent passage of a bill allowing ISPs to collect users’ personal data without their permission, the survey found that over 95 percent of respondents are concerned about companies collecting and selling their personal information without their consent, and more than 50 percent are looking for new ways to safeguard their personal data.

The survey also found that while 70 percent of respondents are doing more today to protect their online privacy than they were a year ago, just one in four believe they’re ultimately responsible for ensuring safe and secure Internet access.

“Our survey finds that the majority of consumers are concerned in the aftermath of the Federal Communications Commission’s rollback of Internet privacy protetions,” AnchorFree founder and CEO David Gorodyansky said in a statement.

“As more connected devices emerge and threats to Internet freedom persist, it’s imperative for Americans to learn about online privacy protection options and take personal responsibility for safeguarding their health, wealth and family,” Gorodyansky added. “They otherwise risk the misuse of this data by hackers and third party companies.”

Protecting Online Lives

A separate TeleSign survey [PDF] of 1,300 U.S. adults found that 31 percent of consumers said their online life is worth $100,000 or more — and 55 percent said businesses are primarily responsible for account security.

“Companies make plenty of money with the time and money we invest in them and they should do the same to protect our accounts and personal identity,” one survey respondent said.

The survey, conducted by Lawless Research, also found that 51 percent of consumers had online and mobile accounts compromised in the previous year.

Among respondents who had an account compromised, 42 percent said the incident resulted in financial losses, and one third stopped doing business with the affected companies.

Still, just 61 percent of those whose accounts were compromised changed their passwords, and just 33 percent added or updated their security questions.

One quarter of all respondents use fewer than five passwords to protect all of their online accounts, and 71 percent of accounts are guarded by reused passwords.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said they want additional security for their accounts beyond passwords, and the number of consumers using two-factor authentication increased by 18 percent between 2015 and 2016.

Implementing Biometrics

An EyeVerify survey of 1,002 U.S. adults recently found that 79 percent of respondents want the ability to use more biometric authentication methods beyond the fingerprint to access mobile banking or payment apps, and 42 percent said they wouldn’t use a banking or payment app that doesn’t offer biometric authentication.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said biometrics makes logging into apps easier than typing in a password, and 78 percent said mobile apps with biometrics are more secure than apps without it.

“Most people use some form of biometrics every day, but they want more opportunities to use it to make their lives easier and more secure,” EyeVerify CEO and founder Toby Rush said in a statement.

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