Here’s your opening: Users actually try to protect themselves online

It can sometimes seem like users are oblivious to online security threats. But a new survey shows that most are aware of the danger – and take some crucial steps to trying to protect themselves. 

That’s an opening IT could use to spread its own security message.

According to a survey of 1,000 participants by the Computer and Communications Industry Association, an advocacy group:

  • 75% of users worried about having their personal information stolen online, and
  • 80% worried the information they share online will be hacked to cause harm or steal from them.

They’re trying to stay secure online

It’s hardly surprising that users would be worried about stolen personal information. But the survey also showed most users take some steps they believe will keep them safe:

These are all encouraging steps toward security. And IT would be wise to emphasize these outcomes with its own policies. Remind users that your security procedures will also protect their personal information. You may even want to offer training sessions on staying safe at work and in their personal computing.

Privacy isn’t a priority

Lest you think it’s all good news, the survey also showed users have a long way to go in some areas. Nearly half (44%) said they had no problem with their web history being tracked for ads.

(On the plus side, 65% did report reading privacy policies online … although you may want to be a little skeptical of that reporting.)

And 31% said they have never adjusted their privacy settings on social networking accounts. The reasons?

  • only 22% indicated they didn’t know how to do so, and
  • the remaining 78% actively chose not to.

That leaves users susceptible to a variety of social engineering and other attacks. Remind users that privacy and security go hand-in-hand. And you’ll want your social networking policies to be strong and up-to-date.