Research Findings

These findings come from two national studies – a national survey on online behaviors and attitudes for the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) and a two-phase national survey on messaging surrounding online privacy for NCSA.

  • 93 percent believe their online actions can protect not only friends and family but also help to make the Web safer for everyone around the world.

  • 96 percent of Americans feel a personal responsibility to be safer and more secure online.

  • 61 percent believe that much of online safety and security falls under their personal control, and consistent with those feelings, 90 percent said they want to learn more about keeping safer on the Internet.

  • 48 percent feel their actions to stay safe and secure can have a positive impact on financial, economic, and national security of the country, indicating Americans are open to making the bridge between their own safety and the nation’s security.

  • Consumer Concerns
    Concern about identity theft rates slightly higher than fears of job and healthcare loss. 54 percent of Americans are extremely concerned about loss of personal or financial information. To place this is in context, 53 percent are concerned about losing their jobs, while 51 percent feared not being able to provide healthcare for their family.

  • Online Safety Awareness
    Nearly two-thirds of the American public have heard, read or seen something about online safety and security issues recently. However, most of what the news they remember is negative: identity theft, privacy loss, and increased frequency of attacks.

  • Barriers to Good Cyber Hygiene
    When asked why they don’t always do all the things they can or should do to stay safer online, Americans said they simply lacked the information or knowledge (28 percent) – a surprising finding that surpassed other hurdles often cited by the media. Only 12 percent said online safety was too expensive, while just 5 percent said they were too busy to take the extra step.