Despite data breaches, report says consumers aren’t doing much to protect themselves: Cyber Fraud Online
In the wake of Target’s massive data breach during the 2013 holiday shopping season, nearly 80 percent of consumers did nothing to better protect their privacy or to guard their financial accounts from fraud, according to a survey released Wednesday by Denver-based idRadar.
Ten percent said they checked their credit reports, and four percent said they stopped shopping at the retailer “for a while.”
The report also found that less than 10 percent of respondents adopt new passwords monthly and 58 percent said they would only change their passwords when forced to by a website or vendor.
The survey was conducted in May by idRadar among a national random sample of 313 consumers.
“There is a national data breach epidemic, and consumers shockingly show very few signs of concern,” said Tom Feige, CEO of idRadar, in a statement. “Most are taking no measures to protect themselves.”
The majority of respondents admitted they had not heard about the much publicized “Heartbleed” Internet security flaw. Researchers warned in April that Heartbleed could affect as much as two-thirds of Internet traffic.
“People are not paying enough attention to this critical problem, and their lack of knowledge on the entire subject is frankly very alarming,” said Feige.
IdRadar provides security-related services for individuals and businesses.
A separate survey of 1,200 U.S. adults by CSID in 2012 found that 20 percent of consumers changed their passwords once a month, while 44 percent did so once a year or less. The report also found that 61 percent of respondents use the same password on multiple sites.
“The inherent problem with data security is human fallibility,” the report stated. “Even with the most advanced security systems in place, if there is a human component to that system, there will be vulnerabilities. People create weak passwords, reuse these passwords across multiple sites, share information on social networks and inadvertently click on phishing links that download malware or viruses.”
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