As the world becomes increasingly digitized and more personal information gets stored online, Americans have become more informed about cyber security risks. As concluded through various studies conducted by the PEW Research Center, Americans as a whole have become more skeptical of institutions holding their information and how secure it is. However, as security measures have increased over time, Americans have also had a harder time maneuvering through the complexities of modern cyber security.
In order to conduct the study, the PEW Research Center constructed an online survey and took results from a sample size of 1,055 adult Internet users living in the U.S. The survey includes 13 questions dealing with various aspects of cyber security, asking participants to either pick a correct question out of a field or identify pictures. If a participant feels they don’t know the correct answer they’re able to select “Not sure” in lieu of choosing an answer. The questions get progressively more complex and deal with more modern cyber security concepts. A substantial majority of Americans were able to correctly answer the first two questions, with 75 able to identify the most secure password (from a list of four options) and 73 percent knowing public Wi-Fi (even if password protected) is not always safe for sensitive activities.
While the percentage of participants who answered incorrectly fluctuated by answer, the “Not sure” option became increasingly popular. For instance, 73 percent of participants were unsure if a VPN minimizes the risk of using insecure Wi-Fi networks and 49 percent were unaware that a browser’s “private browsing” mode does not prevent ISPs from monitoring online activity. Despite difficulties identifying complex cyber security concepts, American consumers have become more skeptical and cynical of cyber security, with 49 percent of Americans feeling their personal information is less secure than it was five years ago. A recent history of security breaches has lead to this mentality, with 64 percent of Americans having personally experienced a major data breach. Six of the largest data breaches in history have occurred within the past decade.
Consumers provide some of their personal information when purchasing from e-commerce businesses including their home address and credit/debit card information, which has led to increasing levels of skepticism among American consumers. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration estimates nearly a fourth of U.S. consumers will completely avoid purchasing from an e-commerce business if they feel their personal information might be at risk.
Dirxion online catalogs offer businesses a versatile tool for their e-commerce branches. Online catalog users are protected by SSL/HTTPS for the CNAME or dedicated URL that a publication is hosted on. Doing so helps alleviate the risk of consumers questioning the credibility or safety of the site, providing a more comfortable shopping experience.