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NordVPN survey reveals: Nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid of financial cybercrimes

NordVPN has commissioned a cybersecurity fear survey to reveal which cybercrimes worry Americans the most. The results show that the theft of identity, bank credentials, and payment card information is considered the most severe threat. Read on to discover all of the findings.

NordVPN survey reveals: Nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid of financial cybercrimes

About the cyber fears survey

NordVPN commissioned a survey to find out what cybercrime people fear most. It was carried out by Cint, a global research technology provider, in 2023. It consists of 12 questions about cyber threats, including identity theft, financial fraud, IoT hacking, and cyberattacks on critical infrastructure. The survey helps us to understand how cyber fears affect different age groups, from the silent generation to Gen Z.

The research was conducted in eight countries, including the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

What are the key findings?

Most American internet users consider identity theft and financial cybercrimes the most dangerous. Other cybersecurity fears, however, depend heavily on generational differences. Let’s take a look at the survey results to better understand Americans’ cybersecurity fears.

USA cybersecurity fears

Americans are most afraid of financial fraud and identity theft

Americans’ biggest cybersecurity fears relate to the theft of their bank credentials or payment card information (63%). According to the NordVPN survey, nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid of the theft of their identity or Social Security number (62%). While financial fraud and identity theft are the main cybersecurity fears of Americans, other cybercrimes are strongly influenced by the age of internet users.

“Cybersecurity fears are heavily influenced by the different ways generations perceive and use technology, personal experiences, and historical context, among other factors. So a generational gap in the perception of dangers online is unavoidable,” says Marijus Briedis, CTO at NordVPN.

What are the generational differences?

Research reveals that the biggest differences are seen between the silent generation and Generation Z. While Gen Z is more concerned about the theft of their photos and videos (31%), this worries only a minority (6%) of the silent generation and almost 10% of baby boomers.

Similar tendencies occurred when respondents were asked about a hacker taking control of their webcams and CCTV cameras: Only a small percentage of the silent generation (9%) and baby boomers (10%) expressed concern. In comparison, almost a third of Generation Z (29%) internet users didn’t feel confident about the safety of their webcams and CCTVs.

The older generations’ cyber fears include a hacker infecting their devices with viruses or other malware (a little over 60%). On the other hand, just over a third of Gen Z (38%) and millennials (34%) mention these among the most frightening cybercrimes.

The survey also reveals some significant generational differences regarding the cybercrimes against critical infrastructure. While almost 40% of older generations expressed fear about cyberattacks on the water supply, energy grid, and other vital infrastructure, only 24% of Gen Z respondents share the same attitude.

Interestingly, the study revealed that younger individuals are more concerned about the safety of their health information. A quarter of Gen Z respondents (25%) mentioned health data theft among the most dangerous cyber threats, while only 11% of baby boomers see it as a severe online danger.

How to protect your data from cybercrimes

Keeping your data safe is not as difficult as it may seem. Implementing a thorough cybersecurity routine for your digital life can help you safeguard your personal information, identity, and the funds in your bank account. Tips to up your cybersecurity game include:

How can NordVPN help?

NordVPN can help you stay safer online, block trackers, and avoid ads. It is one of the world’s most advanced VPN service providers, used by millions of internet users worldwide. NordVPN offers double VPN encryption to hide your activity behind two servers instead of one. It also features a Dark Web Monitor that continuously scans the dark web and notifies you about exposed account data so you can take immediate action. Another distinct feature that NordVPN has to offer is Threat Protection, which detects malicious websites and malware during downloads. NordVPN is user friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, and has 6400 servers in 111 countries worldwide.

Methodology

This research was commissioned by NordVPN and carried out by Cint between July 7 and August 5, 2023. A total of 1,013 respondents 18 years old and older were surveyed. Researchers placed quotas on respondents’ gender, age, and place of residence to achieve a nationally representative sample among internet users.

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