Findings from a new survey indicate eight in 10 U.S. consumers are worried that artificial intelligence technology will be used for identity theft crimes, according to Nationwide.
Generative AI has introduced new risks and concerns that were not on people’s radars even a year ago, the insurer said. And since 2022 had the second-highest number of data compromises in the U.S. in a single year with at least 422 million individuals impacted, there is reason for concern.
According to a group of consumers surveyed during the latest Agency Forward poll conducted by Nationwide, six in 10 consumers are concerned about potential cyberattacks.
Concerns center on a perceived increase in recent cyberattacks (55 percent), use of AI technology (54 percent), and proficiency of today’s hackers (51 percent), the survey found.
Only a third (34 percent) of consumers feel prepared to prevent a cyberattack, with just 41 percent exhibiting confidence in their ability to recover from a cyberattack.
Nearly half (45 percent) would hire or outsource someone to lead the recovery process if they were to fall victim to an attack; according to the insurer, this is up +5 points from 2022 findings.
Respondents reported being most familiar with the following types of cyber attacks: 46 percent- phishing, 45 percent – malware, 44 percent – cyber bullying.
Those surveyed said they were the least knowledgeable about: 54% percent – digital unemployment fraud, 53 percent – DoS (denial of service) attacks, 51 percent – deepfakes, 48 percent – digital tax fraud.
Of those survey, 10 percent reported having been a victim of an attack, down -10 points from 2022 findings.
The most common attacks reported were: 40 percent – password attacks, 34 percent – malware, 30 percent – data breaches.
Only 53 percent knew what to do when they identified the attack and half (54 percent) reported an impact on their personal finances.
After an attack, respondents reported taking the following measures: 58 percent – changed passwords, 40 percent – updated cybersecurity software and 31 percent – purchased ID theft protection.
Most consumers who monitor their personal information or accounts do so themselves rather than using an external service, the survey found. The accounts most likely to be self-monitored: 47 percent – financial accounts, 42 percent – emails, 39 percent – social security—all up, according to Nationwide, from 2022 findings (+13 points, +10 points, +8 points respectively).
While interest in cyber insurance is increasing, lack of knowledge is holding consumers back. Just 15 percent of consumers report currently owning cyber insurance, down 1 point from the insurer’s 2022 findings.
Of those that do not currently have a cyber insurance policy in place: 40 percent – lack of knowledge, 36 percent – lack of awareness of availability, 29 percent – perceived costs.
Many consumers say the increased reliance on technology (47 percent), development of AI technology (47 percent), news about cyberattacks (47 percent), increased use of digital payments (46 percent) has made them more likely to purchase cyber insurance or expand their current coverage, Nationwide found.
Of the consumers interested in cyber insurance: 75 percent are interested in identity recovery, which covers the costs of recovering from an identity theft as well as a full-service ID theft restoration services, 74 percent are interested in payment accounts and financial accounts monitoring and activity alerts, and 72 percent are interested in computer attack protection that removes malware and reprograms computers and tables, Wi-Fi routers or other internet access points.