Computer Business Review

One in four Americans suffered security breaches last year

Tineka Smith

10:41, October 2 2012

According to a new study 90% of Americans do not feel safe online.

Data security

The report released by McAfee and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) revealed that 59% of Americans say that their job is dependent on a safe and secure internet.

However, 90% do not feel completely safe from hackers, viruses and malware while online.

"The threat to the safety of Americans online is growing every day and as the survey shows the fear of Americans has also grown to 90 percent," said Gary Davis, vice president of global consumer marketing at McAfee. "It is our responsibility to make sure that consumers are aware of these growing threats so they can be best prepared to defend themselves against these hidden criminals."

Last year 26% of Americans were notified by a business or online service provider that their personal information had been lost or compromised due to a data breach.

The survey of 1,000 adult Internet users found a disparity between online safety perceptions and actual practices involving smartphone security and password protection.

"The Internet is a shared resource for so many of our daily activities which is why protecting it is a shared responsibility," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "Everyone should take security measures, understand the consequences of their actions and behaviours and enjoy the benefits of the Internet."

A recent study by McAfee revealed that nearly 20% of Americans browse the internet unprotected while another 12% have zero protection security and 7% have their security software installed but disabled.

"The need for consumers to stay educated is necessary now more than ever with nine in ten Americans using their computers for banking, stock trading or reviewing personal information," said McAfee in a blog post.

The new study comes in the wake of several companies who have suffered data breaches in the past few months, including LinkedIn and Dropbox.

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