NEW YORK – With every keystroke and search on the internet, the amount of information – and potential threats – we can have at our fingertips is endless. But even in 2022, what do we really know about cybersecurity? A recent survey of 2,000 American adults shows that while 70% feel knowledgeable about cybersecurity, the average person still comes across a suspicious online site or social media account 6.5 times a day.
The results show that only 39% know that suspicious sites can spread malware and viruses to their computer. More than half (54%) don’t know the difference between active and passive cybersecurity threats. Passive cybersecurity threats attack your devices without you even having to intervene.
Are you still safe?
Driven by OnePoll on behalf of AT&T, the survey also indicates that 69% of consumers believe they can identify suspicious websites at a glance – and share that they know these sites pose potential risks of identity theft (45%). Even with this in mind, consumers admit to intentionally visiting unverified sites – identifiable as websites with many pop-ups, or no “s” in the “http” to define “secure” – to broadcast major sporting events, such than the US Open and MLB games (38%). Others click to download a hard-to-find song or video game (37%), and even buy necessities at a big discount (36%).
When it comes to their password security, most people are reactive rather than proactive (34%), only taking action when alerted to a login from another device. Forty-two percent of respondents also admit to using the same password for multiple logins, and 31% even use their date of birth as a password.
“Whether browsing websites or apps, our results show that less than 40% of people consider common security risks, with less than a third keeping network intrusions in mind. (32%) and malicious mobile apps or software (31%),” says Josh. Goodell, vice president of broadband technology management at AT&T, in a statement. “One way people can help mitigate their cybersecurity risks at home is to use a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to encrypt their data and prevent potential hackers from tracking their online activity.”
Email attachments are a major cybersecurity threat
To add to the ever-changing risks brought about by cyberspace, respondents reported having an average of about eight connected devices in the home, such as smart TVs, thermostats and doorbells. Nearly half (47%) of users of these devices consider them a security risk.
Another common risk consumers face? Receive emails from unknown senders. Nearly half of respondents (48%) have received an email from someone they don’t know telling them to click something, and 47% have received an email or text message about winning a contest or raffle in which they did not participate.
Forty-five percent have even received a phone call from someone claiming to be from a government agency – a particularly troubling statistic, given that 36 percent are more willing to respond to a message from someone they don’t know. not if it appears to be from an official organization.
Security risks will always be part of the Internet experience. However, maintaining a proactive approach while leveraging the security technology we have will only help to mitigate these risks.
“Combining your own proactive security habits with an Internet service provider that offers security features such as identity monitoring, malicious site blocking, and virus scanning can help protect you against potential threats and to give you peace of mind for your overall connected experience,” adds Goodell. .