Both American men (69.3%) and women (78.5%) would want a company to pay a ransom if they were hacked and their data was compromised. However, this number dropped to just 40.8% when we asked whether people would pay a ransom if they were hacked personally, despite as many as 66.7% of respondents feeling they were likely to be hacked. Around 33% felt confident they wouldn’t be hacked on any personal devices or accounts.
When it comes to cyber safety measures that Americans have in place to protect themselves, the most common were ensuring all passwords were unique (62.4%), using anti-virus/firewall software (59.0%), and using multi-factor authentication (56.7%). Less common methods include changing passwords regularly (55.0%), using a password manager (30.3%) and regularly wiping their digital footprint (26.2%).
Across the generations, Gen Z was the age group least likely to change passwords frequently and use anti-virus software, whereas Baby Boomers were significantly more likely to rely on such software than any other age group.
When asked the last time they updated the passwords to sensitive accounts, most respondents (57.9%) said they had done so in the past month. Meanwhile, almost a quarter (22.5%) changed them in the past year, and 14.6% admitted they don’t remember the last time they refreshed their security measures.
Similarly, we asked if people use the same passwords across multiple accounts. A promising 90.6% claimed that most or all their passwords are unique, leaving just a small percentage of the population with questionable cybersecurity measures.
As for how passwords are kept, most store their passwords in a notebook (39.3%), with a further 28.6% not storing them anywhere at all. Interestingly, almost five times as many Gen Z respondents log passwords in their phone than those aged 58 and older.