Americans don’t trust companies or institutions —
particularly the federal government and social media
sites — to protect their personal information.
not hard to understand why.
to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, some
two-thirds of Americans have fallen victim to at least
one kind of data theft or fraud. That includes 41
percent with fraudulent charges on their credit cards,
35 percent who received notice about a data breach, 16
percent who had their email accounts hacked, 13 percent
who had a social media account taken over and 14 percent
who had someone try to take out a loan or credit in
despite their concerns, many people continue to be
careless when it comes to their own online habits, Pew
example, 41 percent of adults say they’ve shared a
password to an online account with a friend or family
member, while 39 percent say they use the same or a very
similar password for many different accounts. And 25
percent admit to using easy-to-crack passwords so they
can remember them.
findings did not come as a surprise at the American
Bankers Association in Washington, D.C.
is a never ending effort," said Doug Johnson,
senior vice president of risk management for the
said it was the duty of financial institutions to help
customers protect their personal information.
also find it challenging to safely keep track of an
ever-growing list of passwords.
cybersecurity experts generally advise using password
management software as the safest way to store and keep
tabs on multiple accounts, just 12 percent of internet
users said they did so, Pew found. Password management
programs — such as Dashlane, LastPass, Sticky Password
and Password Boss — securely store and organize
passwords, and can generate strong, unique passwords for
each secure website that users visit.
also found that large numbers of people are using risky
ways to remember passwords — such as writing them on a
piece of paper, saving them in a note on a computer or
mobile device, or saving them in their web browser.
bankers association is in favor of people using password
it is becoming more and more difficult and inconvenient
to control and remember your passwords," Johnson
said. "They need to be protected in an encrypted
anyone using a smartphone, the association recommends
protecting it with technology that requires a
fingerprint or password for access. "In case you
lose it, no one can get into it," Johnson said.