If you spend the majority of your life in the digital world, as millions of people around the world do each day, cyber security should always be one of your top priorities. You would never hand a stranger your credit card and the keys to your home, trusting that they aren’t going to rob you blind – yet that is essentially what so many people do when they fail to take the appropriate steps to protect themselves online. In an era where it is sadly all too common to wake up and find out about yet another massive data breach that has struck one of the biggest organizations on the planet, Americans, in particular, should be ashamed of themselves concerning their current cyber security efforts.
America and Cyber Security: The Situation
According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, most Americans aren’t just “lax” about cyber security – they’re alarmingly ambivalent. In a study that touched base with over 1000 adults in the country, it was revealed that even people who have experienced privacy breaches in the past cannot be bothered to protect themselves in the modern cyber world.
The study revealed that only 12% of those who responded use a password management program, for example, despite the fact that they’re incredibly easy to use and are mostly inexpensive. Instead of protecting themselves against hacking and phishing attempts with strong, randomized passwords, people are choosing to use the same old tired “easy to guess” passwords instead. To make matters worse, a lot of respondents said that they used either similar or identical password across multiple accounts – yet another invitation to hackers to come into your life and take anything that they can.
Another unfortunate finding had to do with the fact that most Americans fail to update apps or operating systems as soon as they become available – despite the fact that it’s easy to automate the process of doing so. Most app and OS updates don’t just include new features – they also fix significant security vulnerabilities as quickly as possible.
The most alarming insight revealed by the study is that this is even common among younger users. It’s easy to see that this is a problem that, if anything, is only going to get worse over time as young people age and carry these poor habits with them into the future. If anything, the only people you should be happy for are the hackers as they’re about to inherit an entire generation of individuals who seem to care very little about their online privacy and cyber security in general.
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