|State of cybersecurity concerns: Study|
|Written by Anne Collier|
|October 02, 2012|
It's National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the US, and a group of companies, government entities, and nonprofit organizations kicked it off with some research. The survey from McAfee and the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance found that 90% of people surveyed responded "not completely" when asked how safe they feel from "viruses, malware and hackers while on the Internet." Their biggest concern is identity theft (41%), followed somewhat distantly by having their machines get infected with malware or a virus (16%), someone hacking into their financial information (13%), loss of privacy (5%), and so on. There were a few findings concerning kids and families….
* On the age-appropriateness of owning various devices, respondents thought it appropriate for children 10-16 to own a tablet (46%) or smartphone (53%).
I was interested to note that the survey made no reference to social engineering (or phishing, for that matter), since social engineering is a significant part of personal and family security breaches. I can see why, for maximum clarity and response, researchers wouldn't use the actual terms, which are new to people, but the survey doesn't even ask questions around the tricks phishers and other criminals use to get people to "click here" or "reply to this." The survey doesn't seem to acknowledge that, in participatory media and technology, users are not just passive potential victims. In the case of cybersecurity, they are sometimes tricked to participate in their own victimization. We need more research on how that happens!