Are American’s Becoming Numb to Cyber Threats? A Recent Survey says Yes


SPRINGFIELD, Mo — American households are becoming less concerned about online privacy, according to the latest report from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), a branch of the United States Department of Commerce.

The report shows that 73% of American households still express concern about their online security and privacy, but that number is down 11% from 2015.

The survey also discovered a decrease in users who refrained from online use because of their concerns. 45% avoided online activity in 2015, with just 33% reporting the halt in 2017.

“All of us by now have experienced some sort of breach,” explained Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey.

“We have had our credit card data stolen, we checked our statement, we found a transaction that wasn’t ours. You call the company, they respond quickly, the world doesn’t end, and you walk away knowing that this is a hassle and a pain but you realize that this is just a reality of living in the digital age.”

But should it just be a ‘reality of living in the digital age’?

I’m glad you asked.

Dr. McMurtrey continued….. “for too many people, we have equated cyber security risk with data breaches and with privacy violations.”

“Sure that is a bad thing, but the government is doing a good job of making us all aware of the risk of cyber war. We are seeing an increase and uptick in that from Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.”

“They realize that waging war online is much cheaper and less expensive than it is with guns and missiles. They are certainly spending a lot of time and energy in that area.”

It was late last night that Facebook announced that it took down hundreds of pages and groups linked to Iran and Russia.

The social network says that the accounts were operating in an “inauthentic way” and that these accounts are linked to the same actors that tried to impact the 2016 election. 

The survey conducted by the NTIA was conducted 4 months prior to the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, so the results may be different today, but Dr. McMurtrey says the dwindling concern by individuals if not mirrored by businesses owners and corporations.

Dive Deeper

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently increased their job outlook for those wanting to enter the field of cyber security.

The agency expects employment to grow by 28% by 2026.

The website, Cyber Seek, estimates that there are 301,873 job openings right now in the United States, and that Missouri holds 4,788 of those.

Drury recently launched their Cyber Security Leadership program to help fill some of that gap. It’s a 4 course graduate program that can be combined with an MBA program. 

“People who don’t consider themselves technical and who don’t want to work in the field of information security, we have offerings there to just help them feel more confident,” said McMurtrey. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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