Cyber security important to economic stability, but users still don’t feel safe survey finds

A new survey has found that while many people understand the importance of good vulnerability management, the vast majority still do not feel safe when using the internet.

Earlier this year, JZ Analytics, in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance and McAfee, polled 1,000 people from across the US as to how they perceived and behaved in regards to cyber security.

While 90 per cent of respondents said they agreed that a safe and secure internet was essential towards maintaining a strong national economy, the same percentage said that they do not believe that they are completely safe from viruses and malware when using the web.

The most common concern amongst American internet users is identity theft (41 per cent), while malware and virus infection (16 per cent) and someone hacking into personal financial information (13 per cent) were also cited as dangers.

One way in which an organisation might look to alleviate its own concerns regarding cyber security is by ensuring that it conducts regular security audit evaluations to determine how protected it is from the risk of cybercrime and digital information theft.

The survey also looked at the increasingly popular BYOD trend, and how that was affecting online security. Of the survey participants who were currently employed, 48 per cent said that they were allowed to use a personal tablet, smartphone or laptop as part of their line of work.

Interestingly, only 42 per cent of employed respondents said that their employer currently utilised a formal policy, training, or security requirement that they had to follow when using a personal device on a work network.

This is despite the fact that nine per cent of respondents believed that their smartphone was .

Only 31 per cent said that they had installed some form of security software or application on their smartphone to protect it from the risk of being infected with viruses or malware.

The good news is that most participants understood the importance of good password security, with the majority saying that they had changed a password for a major online account without being prompted to at some point over the last year.

However those numbers might not be as good in Australia, where a survey conducted by PayPal last month found that while 47 per cent of people surveyed claim to use ten or more online accounts, 67 per cent admit that use five or less passwords between them.

That survey found that 49 per cent of Australians only choose to change their passwords when they are prompted to, while 62 per cent claim that they do not update their passwords regularly.

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