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Are Americans Concerned About Cyber Security?

Are Americans Concerned About Cyber Security?

For the latest installment of the SurveyMonkey Shakedown, our main monkey, Dave Goldberg headed over to Bloomberg West to discuss how Americans feel about the state of cyber security with Emily Chang. In light of January’s announcement from The New York Times regarding Chinese hackers infiltrating its computer systems and the recent cyber attack on the Associated Press’s Twitter account, we wanted to measure the American public’s awareness and concern levels about cyber security. Are they concerned about the current level of national security more than their own company’s or business’s cyber security? What scenarios are most worrisome?

We surveyed over 800 people using SurveyMonkey Audience, a great product used to target survey respondents for a specific demographic, to get their opinions on the issue.

Check out Dave’s segment here and our survey results below.

61% report feeling extremely or very concerned about the nation’s cyber security.

  • 40% are concerned most about national defense systems being infiltrated while only 32% worry about the government’s infrastructure being shut down.
  • Not many people are concerned about government secrets being stolen (7%).
  • 10% most concerned about major media being infiltrated to spread false information.
  • Age makes a difference! Those in the 18-20 year old age group are less concerned with only 20% saying they care.

There’s much less concern about corporate cyber security.

  • Only 27% of respondents are worried about their company’s level of cyber security.
  • Less than half (45%) say all of the personal computing devices they use for business have been checked for proper security by their companies.
  • 14% have not had any of these devices checked by their company for proper security features.
  • 28% said their company doesn’t even require this.

More than half of the American public is not at all familiar with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

  • Of those who said they were familiar with the Act feel that the level of cyber threats will stay the same regardless if the Act is passed or not.
  • A quarter of respondents actually believe that threats will increase significantly.
  • Nobody familiar with the Act feels that threats will decrease significantly.

What else are Americans not aware of regarding cyber attacks and cyber security?

  • 36% of people responded that they don’t know what Stuxnet and 45% had no clue about Iran’s attack on major U.S. banks in September 2012.
  • Almost half didn’t know about the AP Twitter hack (44%).
  • 68% said they were not aware about Chinese hackers’ attack on The New York Times.

Who do people believe is mostly responsible for preventing a cyber attack?

  • Well over half of respondents believe the government, businesses, technology companies and individuals are equally responsible for preventing cyber security threats at 54%.
  • For those had heard about Stuxnet, 46% hold the banks primarily responsible.
  • 43% of those familiar hold the Associated Press most responsible for the Twitter hack and 46% of people who knew about the hacks on The New York Times, they believe the paper should be primarily held accountable for the security breach.

What national security issue concerns Americans the most?

  • Over half at 53% ranked domestic terrorism as their #1 concern.
  • Next is cyber security at 21%, followed by missile defense at 17%.
  • 44% of Americans feel it’s “extremely” or “very acceptable” for the U.S. to wage cyber warfare against others.

To check out our full set of survey results, click here.

How do you feel about cyber security threats? Worried, not worried? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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