Most Internet users have fallen victim to malware

The current state of cyber-security has left US Internet users anxious about hacks and password theft. Despite constant victimization, the majority are not using two-factor authentication and are left without a widely accepted or deployed method of protection, according to Impermium.

When asked about the overall concern related to account compromise, 79 percent indicated at least some level of worry around email account compromise, 55 percent around social media compromise, and 71 percent around bank account compromise. Despite the recent hype, consumers remain reluctant to adopt two-factor authentication, with 16 percent of Americans saying they have not signed in with this process in the past because it was inconvenient.

Impermium uncovered that while a majority of Americans have never signed into a website using two-factor authentication (75 percent), 77 percent of those who have not yet been a victim of account compromise are at least somewhat unlikely to continue using a site if their account were compromised.

Additionally, while 65 percent of Americans have been victims of viruses, malware, and/or phishing attacks, only 25 percent have ever signed in with two-factor authentication as a preventive security measure.

75 percent of Americans have not used two-factor authentication in the past:

  • 27 percent decided against signing onto a website with two-factor authentication because they did not want to disclose their mobile number and/or because they found it inconvenient
  • 30 percent say that they have never needed to do this
  • 20 percent did not want to disclose their mobile phone number.

Respondents were split in terms of determining who is primarily to blame for account compromises:

  • 39 percent believe websites are to blame by not offering or maintaining sufficient security features
  • 37 percent believe the consumer is to blame due to weak passwords or falling for scams like phishing.

When asked which types of accounts they are most worried about getting hacked, Impermium learned email account compromise results in the most anxiety:

  • 79 percent are at least somewhat worried about having their email account compromised
  • percent are at least somewhat worried about having their online bank accounts compromised
  • 55 percent of consumers are at least somewhat worried about having their social media accounts compromised.

“Despite heightened awareness of cyber threats and a clear demand for account protection, Americans are still hesitant to adopt new prevention techniques,” said Mark Risher, CEO of Impermium. “Two-factor authentication has been held aloft as a “silver bullet,’ but a security system that isn’t turned on provides no security. Only with intelligent, risk-based authentication mechanisms can service providers effectively protect users from account hijacking. Consumers and websites need an intelligent solution that is secure yet simple.”

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