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Survey: U.S. Citizens More Worried About ID Theft Than Privacy

Despite NSA scare, U.S. voters are five times more concerned about hacking than tracking, CCIA study says

Despite recent controversy over surveillance by the NSA, U.S. voters are still much more worried about identity theft than online tracking of their activities, a new study says.

According to a poll of 1,000 U.S. voters conducted by Benenson Strategy Group on behalf of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the vast majority of users are more worried about security than privacy.

"Overall, 75% are worried about their personal information being stolen by hackers and 54% are worried about their browsing history being tracked for targeted advertising," the study says.

"However, when voters are forced to choose which one is more important to them, their focus is almost unanimously (87%) directed on the need to protect their personal information from those who would use the info to harm them," the study continues. "Even those worried about tracking (the 54%) are more worried about hacking by an overwhelming majority (84% to 8%)."

Most voters are aware of online risks, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent say they or someone they know has experienced an email account breach, and 62% report receiving a suspicious email from someone who likely had experienced an account hack. Half of the voters polled say they or someone they know has experienced a breach of their financial accounts online.

Most voters are also taking steps to protect themselves, according to the study. Seventy-three percent have chosen to not allow a service to remember their credit card information, 65% have chosen to set their browser to disable cookies, 53% have chosen to block an app from accessing their location information.

Some 68% of respondents have adjusted the privacy settings for their online accounts, the CCIA study says. More than three quarters (76%) of survey respondents indicated they have used a different password for each service they use, and 57% have signed up for a two-step sign-in process. Eighty-three percent have required a password to unlock their devices at some point.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
12/28/2013 | 5:54:12 PM
re: Survey: U.S. Citizens More Worried About ID Theft Than Privacy
Hacking and identity theft are on the same level of evilness. The government cannot be trusted any more than folks who tinker around in POS systems to get credit card information. The damage done might manifest itself in different ways, but in either case it is to the detriment of the individual. And who knows how well the federal agencies safeguard their data. So first the tracking then the hacking. a data dump from a few NSA servers with personal information will be worth quite a bit on the black market.
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