Most Americans Continue to Have Privacy and Security Concerns, NTIA Survey Finds | National Telecommunications and Information Administration
Privacy and security online continue to be major issues for Americans, according to an NTIA survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Nearly three-quarters of Internet-using households had significant concerns about online privacy and security risks in 2017, while a third said these worries caused them to hold back from some online activities. About 20 percent said they had experienced an online security breach, identity theft, or a similar crime during the past year.
The US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications in Information Administration’s (NTIA) just issued new survey results yesterday finding that Most Americans Continue to Have Privacy and Security Concerns, NTIA Survey Finds.
Among key findings: nearly three-quarters of Internet-using households had significant concerns about online privacy and security risks in 2017; a third said these worries caused them to hold back from some online activities; and approx. 20 percent reported having experienced either online security breach, identity theft, or a similar crime during the past year. The 2017 survey showed a decline in households reporting concerns and avoiding certain online activities when compared with the NTIA 2015 survey which first asked these questions. In response, experts with OneSpan and NuData Security offer perspective.
Michael Magrath, Director, Global Regulations & Standards, OneSpan, Inc.
“The report states that the “decrease in reported privacy and security concerns was driven in large part by a reduction in the number of households specifically naming identify theft as a concern.” Given the widespread and large-scale breaches, and misuse of data, Americans have become accustomed to breach notification letters arriving in the mail with offers of free credit reporting. The risk of identity theft and being affected by breaches is the cost of doing business online in the minds of many. Many security experts agree that multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help protect our digital identities, but in 2018 many websites still do not support MFA, electing to authenticate users via usernames and static passwords.
“Times are changing as costs and usability should no longer be an obstacle as secure, risk-based technologies like behavioral biometrics work in the background while eliminating the reliance upon insecure passwords.
“Reported in June, the White House is considering European Union’s GDPR-like data protections which would benefit all online users’ privacy and security. Right now, they are just discussions and the U.S. is still years away, should such data protections become a reality.”
Robert Capps, Vice President of Business Development, NuData Security, a Mastercard company:
“This survey shows that Americans are less concerned about security online than two years ago. Does this mean there is less online risk? No. On the contrary; the cyber crime industry is growing stronger, fed by the billions of dollars they steal from companies and customers. The fact that end users are less worried about online security can be a reaction to the helplessness they feel against cyber crime. Due to the bad actors’ sophistication, it seems to be “bound to happen” and so some users decide to stop worrying and “hope for the best.” This attitude is not surprising considering the constant stream of breached credentials and the myriad ways cybercriminals can make use of them for fraud.
“The onus of security has to be on service providers, companies and corporations that understand the risks better than end users, and can develop strategies to protect them.
“It is for this reason that we increasingly see major brands implementing multi-layered security solutions that include passive biometrics and behavioral analytics. These technologies can better serve and protect legitimate customers while thwarting would-be thieves – by using behaviors that fraudsters can’t replicate for verification and continuous online authentication. These authentication solutions are helping companies and customers put fraud concerns lower on their priority list while strengthening customer relationship.”