Top 5 takeaways from ESET’s Cybersecurity Barometer USA report

Next story

Cybersecurity involves protecting the digital technologies we depend on against criminals seeking to abuse those technologies for their own ends. Public support for efforts to reduce cybercrime is critical to ongoing efforts to preserve the benefits of digital technologies and ensure data privacy.

To gauge public opinion about cybercrime and cybersecurity, the safety of online activities, and the privacy of personal data shared with companies or government agencies, ESET recently conducted a survey.

The survey, which was designed to parallel similar studies in Europe, polled 2,500 U.S. adults using a standard CAWI methodology with random sampling based on age, gender, and place of residence. It was conducted for ESET in September of 2018 by MNFORCE using the Research Now SSI panel. The survey results were published here.

Here are the five top takeaways:

  1. Fewer than half of U.S. respondents believe law enforcement is doing enough to fight cybercrime. Only 45 percent of the survey sample said law enforcement agencies were doing enough to fight cybercrime. This low confidence level may also help explain why most Americans believe cybercrime will increase in the future.
  2. One in five are less likely to shop or bank online due to privacy and security concerns. In measuring public response to cybercrime, the survey found that the public is changing its behavior—sometimes in ways that don’t bode well for companies doing business online. 
  3. Identity theft tops U.S. cybercrime concerns. A whopping 86 percent of American respondents indicated that identity theft (somebody stealing your personal data and impersonating you), was their top cybercrime concern. The other highest-ranking responses were “being a victim of a bank card or online banking fraud” (82 percent), and “discovering malicious software (viruses, etc.) on your device” (80 percent).   
  4. Almost one in three U.S. respondents has experienced identity theft. The survey found 31% of American respondents saying they’d experienced identity theft, defined as “somebody stealing your personal data and impersonating you.” This is 45 percent higher than the equivalent figure in Canada—a significant finding, as identity theft can be unsettling and cause greater psychological impact than some other forms of cybercrime.
  5. Two-thirds of U.S. respondents expressed concern about the security of online payments. Fully 66 percent of U.S. respondents indicated they were concerned about online payment security.

 To learn more about the survey results, download the whitepaper.