13 Stats that should concern you about Cyber Security awareness.

May 29, 2017

The Pew Research Center, located in Washington D.C., is an organization that studies many issues facing Americans to provide information that informs us on topics such as politics, policy, Internet, science, technology, religion, and more. Recently they released a report titled: “What the public knows about cyber security.”

This report is based on the findings from a survey of more than 1,000 Internet users and found many Americans are uncertain about some key issues relating to cybersecurity. While the majority of online adults can identify a strong password, and know the use of public Wi-Fi is risky, many struggle with more technical cybersecurity concepts.

The Pew survey consisted of 13 questions which tested knowledge about a number of cybersecurity issues and terms. Cybersecurity can be complicated and is a large subject, but these questions cover many of the general concepts about cybersecurity. Even given the basic nature of these questions, the average respondent only answer five of the 13 questions correctly. Twenty-percent answered more than eight of the questions correctly and only one-percent answered all 13 questions correctly.

Here is how the survey respondents performed:

* 75% could identify the most secure password from a list of four options

* 73% knew that public Wi-Fi Is not always secure

* 54% know how to identify a “phishing” attack

* 52% know that turning of the GPS on your smartphone does not prevent location tracking

* 49% know Americans are legally able to obtain a free credit report once per year

* 48% know ransomware is used by criminals to encrypt data and hold it hostage for ransom

* 46% know that email is not encrypted by default

* 45% know Wi-Fi traffic is not encrypted by default on all wireless routers

* 39% understand that using “private browsing” mode does not prevent ISPs from monitoring online activity

* 33% know https:// in a URL means the data entered into the website will be encrypted

* 16% know a botnet is a group of networked computers used for criminal purposes

* 13% understand that a VPN will minimize the risk of using insecure Wi-Fi

* 10% could identify an example of multi-factor authentication

According to www.internetlivestats.com, a group of international analysts who make data about all many topics available, there are nearly 297 million Internet users in the United States. If this survey is truly indicative of our knowledge of cybersecurity in the United States, nearly 230 million Internet users would have failed this quiz (scored less than 62% correct).

How well do you know cybersecurity? Honestly asses your knowledge of the above topics. Could you identify the most secure password from a list of options? Do you believe turning GPS off on your smartphone disables the ability to track it? How many of these items would you have questions about?

If you’re not comfortable with you level of knowledge as it relates to this quiz, give our experts a call. Not only will we answer your questions for you, but we will make sure your cybersecurity systems are top notch.

Rusty Jones

ACS Staff Writer