Consumers continue to report concern during online transactions and social media use but don’t always maintain safeguards to protect themselves, according to Prashant Pai, vice president of cyber offerings strategy at Verisk Analytics. In a recent interview with Claims Journal, he offered tips on protecting information while online and explained the insurer’s role in cyber education and protection.
A recent pulse survey conducted by Verisk Analytics on cybersecurity consumer concerns found that even as consumers conduct more transactions online, they are continually worried about their personal data being compromised.
“The constant stream of data breaches…that has happened over the past so many years and have been highlighted in the news have left a lot of the general public somewhat vulnerable,” said Pai.
Survey respondents felt that shopping online left them more exposed to having personal information compromised compared to shopping in stores, he said.
“This is something we need to think about and make sure that we make the digital world a safer place, and help the general public understand that a lot of the risk they take on may not be as bad as it seems to be,” Pai added.
Key findings from the survey include:
- 30 percent of people don’t feel safe posting anything online.
- 91.5 percent of people feel some level of concern about being hacked while only 31 percent feel prepared in the event of a cyberattack.
- 3 out of 5 people don’t feel they are prepared for a cyberattack.
- 3 out of 4 people don’t think they are responsible for costs incurred if their personal information is compromised.
- While 63 percent of people bank online, only 5 percent of respondents felt safe posting banking information online.
- Only 53 percent of people are aware of insurance coverage that covers cybercrime.
Pai said people can protect themselves online by using reasonable safeguards. For example, many people have basic passwords or use the same password for all their internet activities.
“If one of their passwords is broken, there is a high probability of basically all of their assets being left open,” Pai said.
Keeping passwords safe and using multifactor authentication – when identification is authenticated thorough a text or phone call in addition to a password – can help. In addition, he stressed caution when using unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots.
At home, internet users should adopt firewalls and security protections.
“We need to be aware, even in the digital world, you need to lock your doors and windows when you leave the house,” Pai said.
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