Infographic: Are Americans Following Best Internet Safety Practices?

By Katie Santos, Siege Media

Most people take precautions to protect themselves on a daily basis. You might avoid walking alone at night or leaving valuables in your car. Locking your car and house has become a habit. But what about your internet safety? Americans secure themselves in their homes while leaving their online information vulnerable.

In a recent study by Panda Security, Americans answered questions regarding cybersecurity. The results are worrisome as people lack basic knowledge of internet safety. Out of 1,000 Americans who were surveyed, a sparse 11% use a VPN, only 19% update software immediately upon release, and just 30% recognize HTTPS sites as the safest to purchase from.

These are important aspects of digital security because they can prevent your vital information, such as credit card numbers, from getting hacked and stolen. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, allow you to use the internet anonymously. Updating software as soon as possible prevents hackers from being able to worm their way through software “holes” or vulnerabilities. Before entering any personal information into a website, check the URL to see if it’s an HTTP or HTTPS sites. HTTPS sites secure data so they are the safest to use.

As we depend more and more on the internet, we are increasingly at risk. In 2017, almost 17 million Americans were victims of identity fraud. What’s more, one-third of these identity theft complaints were related to credit card fraud. Nearly 8% of web requests lead to malware. This may seem like a small number, but when you take into account the number of web requests made every day, 1 in 13 are pretty high odds.

It’s evident that Americans are shockingly unaware of internet security best practices. Check out the infographic below for more results from the study. You can use this information to start protecting your online profile just as you would protect your home and belongings.

When Katie Santos isn’t writing at her desk, she loves to travel the world and read a good book at home.