Just as property/casualty insurers are increasingly worried about cyber risks, it turns out consumers fears are growing rapidly right there with them, according to The Travelers Companies’ 2015 consumer risk survey.
About 57 percent of Americans now worry about cyber risks, up substantially from 36 percent in 2014. The jump makes it the third biggest consumer risk in 2015. Only financial concerns and risks (number 1) and personal privacy and identity theft risks (number 2) scored higher as a top worry.
“Cyber threats are joining the ranks of the conventional issues that individuals have worried about for decades,” Patrick Gee, senior vice president, claim, at Travelers, said in prepared remarks.
Gee added that the change may come from Americans feeling more vulnerable to cyber risks as they increasingly rely on technology during their daily routines. That may also shape consumers’ broader perception of risk, he said.
Broken down, consumers ranked a number of specific cyber risks high on the spectrum:
- 62 percent said they were worried about hacked bank/financial accounts.
- 60 percent are concerned about virus attacks.
- 59 percent said they’re worried about either offline or online identify theft.
- 58 percent expressed concern about whether their personal information was stolen in a retailer cyber attack.
- 60 percent of respondents said they fear having personal computers or mobile devices infected with a virus.
- 43 percent worry that medical records could be breached.
Travelers found that 1 in 4 consumers believe that they’ve experienced a data beach or cyber attack. But Americans under age 55 are more likely to worry “a great deal” about cyber risks than consumers older than 55, according to the results.
With all of that said, it turns out that cyber attack victims are the most proactive about mitigating cyber risks:
- 86 percent said they choose strong passwords and keep them private, compared to 78 percent of all adults.
- 84 percent said they limit the personal information they put on the Internet, compared to 76 percent overall.
- 75 percent keep their web browser updated with the latest security features, versus 69 percent of all the adult respondents.
- 74 percent said they install updated firewall/antivirus software, compared to 63 percent of total respondents.
- 50 percent frequently change online banking/financial passwords, but only 41 percent of the total respondents do.
Other survey results:
- 57 percent of Americans continue to believe the world is getting riskier.
- More women than men, along with consumers over age 40, see the world getting riskier.
- Financial security is the top concern for the third consecutive year, but many consumers said they remain worried about other risks, such as distracted driving and severe weather.
The third annual Travelers Consumer Risk Index is based on a survey of 1,000 adult Americans regarding their general perceptions of risk in daily life.
Source: The Travelers Companies