The 2019 Unisys Security Index™ survey – the longest-running snapshot of consumer security concerns

DOWNLOAD: 2019 Unisys Security Index_United States


The 2019 Unisys Security Index™ survey – the longest-running snapshot of consumer security concerns conducted globally – shows security concern among U.S. consumers remaining at its second-highest level since the survey began in 2007. Concern reached its highest level in 2017 but dropped slightly the following year and then increased slightly this year by two percentage points. On a scale of zero to 300 1, with 300 representing the highest level of concern, the U.S. index is measured at 165, considered a serious level of concern and the highest among the seven developed2 countries surveyed.

In 2019, Americans are more concerned about Identity Theft and Bankcard Fraud than National Security. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. respondents (63%) are seriously concerned (extremely/very concerned) about the unauthorized access to or misuse of their personal information, and more than half (58%) are seriously concerned about other people obtaining and using their credit or debit card details. Personal Safety concerns also rose by 5 percentage points in 2019, with 42% of Americans now seriously concerned.

In addition, large majorities of Americans express some level of concern when attending large-scale events, such as sporting events or music festivals, where they are just as afraid of having their data accessed by hackers when they use public Wi-Fi as they are of physical criminal attacks.

The survey found that a high majority (83%) of Americans are concerned about a criminal attack causing physical harm at large-scale events— with half of respondents (50%) registering serious concern.
Asked about data safety at such events, 81% of respondents reported some level of concern about someone stealing their personal data when using public Wi-Fi at such events, with 52% seriously concerned. And 78% are concerned about someone stealing their credit card data when using public Wi-Fi at such events — with 52% seriously concerned.

More than one in five (22%) Americans say they have canceled plans or considered canceling plans to attend large-scale public events due to concerns about physical attacks and the safety of their data.

Because many have to travel by air to attend such events, the survey also asked U.S. respondents about their support for using biometric data to verify their identities at airports. The Unisys Security Index found a large majority approved of the use of biometrics for reasons related to security, reliability and convenience. The survey found that 81% of respondents are comfortable with using biometrics for air travel, with 42% citing safety and terrorism prevention as the reason. Those who do not support the use of biometrics for air travel most often cited lack of trust in government or airport authorities or concerns that the data would be lost or hacked as the reasons they do not support it.

The survey also showed that nearly three-quarters of Americans support the use of facial recognition in some situations. For example, more than half (51%) support facial recognition for airport security. Nearly a third (32%) support its use at voting stations.

DOWNLOAD: 2019 Unisys Security Index_United States