Most Americans Fear Identity Theft, says Survey

68% of Americans fear identity theft, according to a survey from nCipher Security. Nearly one in five of the surveys respondents claimed they had been victims of cyberattacks, and 20% of the respondents say that they don’t trust anyone to protect their personal data. Accordingly, 34% of over 1,000 American adults surveyed said that they wanted control of their personal data, according to nCipher’s personal data survey. 

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Most Americans Fear Identity Theft, according to a study from nCipher Security

In the event of a hack or data breach, the majority of the survey’s respondents called for more accountability. While 38% thought that a company’s chief information security officers should be fired after a hack, 31% believed that only the chief technology officer should be fired. An additional 38% of respondents believed that a hack should be a federal offense resulting in fines or imprisonment to C-level executives.

Related: Americans Trust Banks the Most with their Data, Survey Says

Peter Galvin, nCipher Security’s Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, said that there are a few steps consumers can use to protect themselves online. The first is making sure that they have “good password hygiene,” creating a unique username and password for every account. Consumers should also be wary of phishing emails, messages through email or social media that provide a link or ask for personal information. Taking a closer look at links can confirm whether or not it is a legitimate company, for example, yaho0.com instead of yahoo.com.

Ultimately, the best defense in cybersecurity is a proactive one, and the right mix of hardware, software and internal education provides a firm foundation of protection. Encryption, digital signing and key generation are also increasingly important, as data that is fully encrypted is useless to hackers even if a data breach does occur,”

said Galvin.

Even cybersecurity professionals are concerned about cyber attacks, bot traffic in particular. A recent study from Neustar  found that 75% of cybersecurity professionals are concerned about leaked company information, despite the fact that they have solutions in place to combat bot traffic. As many large companies have had security breaches in the past year, these fears are not unfounded. Nest customers, for example, had their email addresses and passwords exposed to the web, a result of third-party companies, according to Nest.

Considering the plethora of cyberattacks, many American consumers want data protection under the law. U.S laws could resemble Europe, which protects its citizens’ data under the General Data Protection Regulation. “Adding laws that help protect consumers from criminal activities and give them control over the long term will provide more assurance and will make the Internet a better place,” said Galvin.

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza Vigderman

Aliza is a journalist living in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her career, her work has spanned many intersections within the tech industry. At SquareFoot, a New York-based real estate technology company, she wrote about the ways in which technology has changed the real estate industry, as well as the challenges that business owners face when they want to invest in property. At Degreed.com, an education technology website, Aliza created digital content for lifelong learners, exploring the ways in which technology has democratized education. Additionally, she has written articles for The Huffington Post as well as her own content on Medium, the online publishing platform. Aliza’s love of journalism and research stems from the excellent Journalism program at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, Aliza interned as a research assistant at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, a non-profit “news room without walls”. There, Aliza was paired with an investigative journalist and used academic databases to obtain data on everything from the suicide rates in Bhutan to local Boston court cases. Her last position was as an account executive at Yelp, educating business owners on the power of technology to increase revenue. Throughout, however, her heart remained with tech journalism, and she’s thrilled to be writing for Security Baron. When she’s not keeping afloat of the latest tech trends, Aliza likes to cook, read, and write. A former high school “Class Clown,” Aliza has completed two feature-length screenplays, a pilot, and countless comedic sketches. On her days off you can find her relaxing in Prospect Park, trying the latest flavors at Ample Hills Ice Cream, and spending time with friends and family.

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