Computer & Communications Industry Association

Personal data theft fears Internet users

December 26th, 2013

A poll conducted by Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) revealed that Internet users are highly concerned about personal and financial information theft and believe strongly that the federal government should do more to protect them.

Ed Black, CCIA President and CEO said “By wide margins this survey clearly shows that ID theft has touched the majority of consumers in some way, and that hacking is more worrisome to consumers than tracking, and that voters want the government to more aggressively go after cyber criminals. Safeguarding users online must become a higher priority for companies and also for the regulators and policymakers charged with protecting consumers.”

“While many surveys ask people whether they care about privacy in the abstract, we were interested in finding out both how they rate security and privacy in comparison and how that manifests in their behaviors online,” said Ross Schulman, CCIA Policy and Regulatory Counsel.

Ross further added “Are they taking steps to protect their security and privacy? What information do they share online and why do they share it? The answers may help policymakers focus on the online concerns that matter most to citizens and understand user trends in everything from social media to online shopping”.

According to the survey, 80 per cent voters say they are more worried the information they share will be hacked to cause harm or steal from them, voters are 5 times more worried about hacking than tracking while just 16 per cent are more worried that companies will use the information they share online to target advertising to them.

50 per cent say they or someone they know had their financial accounts breached online. 55 per cent say they or someone they know had their email account breached and 62 per cent report receiving a suspicious email from someone likely due to that person’s email being hacked.

Overall, 75 per cent are worried about their personal information being stolen by hackers and 54 per cent are worried about their browsing history being tracked for targeted advertising.

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