Cyber Myths Placing Consumers’ Personal Information At Risk
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE) More than half of Americans (53 percent) don’t know that their data and
personal information is not protected even if they enable privacy
settings on social media apps or websites, according to a survey
commissioned by Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) brand Norton LifeLock. In
fact, once information is shared online, it’s no longer private and,
it can fall into the wrong hands whether it’s compromised through a data
breach, email scam or even someone familiar.
This is just one of several cyber myths Norton LifeLock identified in
their recent online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll among more than
2,000 American adults. Regardless of age or gender, cyber myths coupled
with poor cyber safety habits are likely hindering people’s ability to
protect themselves from cyber crime.
Even Millennials and Gen-Z age groups, who are often seen as the most
tech savvy generations, are less likely to know how to protect their
digital and financial lives compared to older adults. More than one in
four 18-to-34-year-olds (27 percent) believe it’s safe to send personal
information through email if they have a strong password, compared to
only six percent of seniors (65+) and 11 percent of 54-to-64-year-olds.
Similarly, more than 4 in 10 of 18-34-year-olds (44 percent) believe or
are unsure if it’s usually okay to ignore browsers and security warnings
about questionable websites and proceed to the site, compared to only 17
percent of seniors.
“We find people have many misconceptions and unfounded beliefs about the
safety of their data online,” said Paige Hanson, Chief of Identity
Education, Symantec. “Cyber criminals are ruthless and determined to
take advantage of consumers’ digital and financial well-being, so we
hope to educate and help consumers protect themselves by sharing common
myths and clarifying the facts about real online dangers.”
To help educate consumers and bring the story to life, Norton LifeLock
enlisted myth busting expert, author and producer Kari Byron to take
part in a five-part educational video series, helping close the cyber
literacy gap and foster cyber safe behavior.
“I’m deeply passionate about digging into closely held beliefs and
uncovering truths, which is why I’m excited to help Norton LifeLock with
this fun, easy to understand video series,” said Byron. “You don’t know
what you’ve got until it’s gone and that includes your data, your
privacy, or even your identity.”
What Are the Cyber Security Myths Dispelled by Norton LifeLock?:
Smart Phone HygieneCyber Myth: One in 8 Americans (13 percent) believe hackers
cannot gain access to data and personal information on a locked mobile
phone. Cyber Fact: Locking your phone is important, but not enough.
Without touching your phone, hackers can gain access to your data and
personal information in the cloud where it’s stored. They can also
trick you into installing a malicious app that enables them to steal
account information and even look at your email and texts. To help
keep your phone protected, use a complex password, install security
software, only use trusted Wi-Fi, and be careful about who you let use
Private BrowsingCyber Myth : About 1 in 5 Americans (19 percent) believe
that turning on private browsing hides their online activity from
their internet service provider. Cyber Fact: Private browsing may only hide certain activities,
such as browsing history on the device itself, and it does not conceal
online activity from your internet service provider, the websites you
visit or your employer. To help hide your online activity, try a
virtual private network service (VPN). Using a VPN will encrypt the
data you send and receive while using public Wi-Fi so you can pay
bills, check email and privately surf the web.
Credit Freezes and Identity TheftCyber Myth: More than half of Americans (54 percent) don’t know
that freezing their credit after a data breach doesn’t prevent their
identity from being stolen. Additionally, 52 percent believe or are
unsure whether their bank or financial institution will handle all
consequences that result from identity theft, including stolen funds
reimbursement, credit repair, and reinstating ability to take out
loans. Cyber Fact: Your identity can be stolen even if you freeze your
credit. A credit freeze will only prevent thieves from opening new
accounts in your name where a credit report is required. It doesn’t
protect existing financial accounts or prevent them from filing fake
tax returns in your name. While a credit freeze is a good idea if your
data is breached, identity theft protection services could help you
see potential threats that a credit freeze can’t catch.
The Dark WebCyber Myth: More than half of Americans (52 percent) believe
it’s impossible or are unsure if they can find out if their personal
information is on the dark web. Cyber Fact: Your personal information can be bought and sold on
the dark web names, Social Security numbers, birthdays typically
for less than $1.50 per record 1 . An identity theft
protection service can patrol the dark web and notify you if it finds
your information on the sites it searches 2 .
RansomwareCyber Myth: More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) don’t
know that paying off a ransomware attack will not ensure they regain
access to their files. Cyber Fact: If a hacker targets you and you pay the ransom, you
may not get your files back, and, if they can make you pay once, you
could be targeted again. With the average ransom costing $522, that’s
an expensive way to learn the truth. To help protect yourself, back up
your data regularly, invest in security software, and keep your
software and operating system up to date.
Check out the video series with Kari Byron here .
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris
Poll on behalf of Norton LifeLock from July 31 August 2, 2018 among
2,012 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on
a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling
error can be calculated.
Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world’s leading cyber security
company, helps organizations, governments and people secure their most
important data wherever it lives. Organizations across the world look to
Symantec for strategic, integrated solutions to defend against
sophisticated attacks across endpoints, cloud and infrastructure.Likewise, a global community of more than 50 mi