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Individuals unprepared for risk of cyber breach

Staff Writer |
A new study from Chubb finds that, despite the ever evolving and seemingly never ending frequency of cyber attacks, individuals are still largely unprepared and at risk should they or their family members be targeted.


The 2018 Chubb Cyber Risk Survey found that while most respondents (86%) reported being concerned about cyber incidents, most are either underestimating or completely unaware of the common cyber threats that are targeting their personal information across social media sites and through internet connected devices ranging from laptops, smartphones and voice assistants to smart refrigerators and thermostats.

For instance, just 12% said they were concerned about the risks associated with using public WiFi, despite being a common entry point for cyber criminals. Further, only 4% cited concern with smart home-connected devices, despite the fact that these devices can serve as gateways for criminals looking to access other personal information.

Many people have a misplaced sense of which type of personal data is most harmful if stolen. Respondents were overly concerned about certain data being compromised and demonstrated a general lack of concern when it came to data that is actually more valuable if breached.

For example, bank breaches and other financial accounts becoming compromised were the top concern (80%); however, most financial institutions will reimburse members for lost funds in the event of a breach. On the other hand, social security numbers (SSN) and medical records in the wrong hands are actually more valuable than bank information.

Yet, just 60% of respondents said they were concerned about a family member's SSN becoming compromised and only 30% reported being concerned about medical record breaches.

Further, many people aren't exactly sure what it is they're afraid of. For example, ransomware, the malware that restricts access to data until a ransom is paid, is one of the most prevalent threats in recent years. However, 50% of respondents could not define it, and nearly one-fifth (19%) had never heard of the term.


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