American consumers are overconfident with regard to their cybersecurity knowledge, despite cybersecurity threats being as common and complex as ever. The Blumberg Capital 2017 State of Cybersecurity survey reveals that American consumers’ cybersecurity knowledge and concerns with reality are slightly disconnected, as around 60 percent of Americans believe they have never been a victim of cyber hacking or are unaware if they have.

The national survey asked American adults about their general knowledge of cybersecurity and about their perception of the biggest cybersecurity issues facing consumers, businesses and the United States government. The survey found that Americans believe their cybersecurity knowledge to be superior or equal to American leaders and those with specialized training. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed believe they know more about cybersecurity then their mothers, but the survey did not ask about appetite for risk. The majority of people don’t believe they’ve been hacked, although data shows otherwise, and 74 percent believe that a simple password change is ample protection. Additionally, the survey revealed:


  • About half of respondents don’t believe they have ever been a victim of a cyber-attack (48 percent), while a quarter thought it was possible they had been (24 percent).

  • Baby Boomers are more likely to believe they have never been a victim (54 percent), while Millennials are more suspicious that they may have been compromised (32 percent).

  • The most common actions taken in response to a cyber-attack were to change a password (74 percent) and to contact a bank (46 percent).

  • Forty-five percent of people said they would not know if they had been hacked or would only know if contacted by a vendor or legal authority. Only 13 percent expressed complete confidence in their own ability to recognize if they have been hacked.

  • Less than half (39 percent) of Americans are concerned about potential hacks of their laptop computers and 38 percent are concerned about potential hacks of their IoT devices such as smart appliances and smartphones.