Despite awareness of the need for cybersecurity, many consumers are not taking proactive steps to keep their personal information protected from identity theft.
McAfee's survey, New Security Priorities in An Increasingly Connected World, said that with the increased volume of attacks and breaches, 61% of consumers surveyed claimed that they are more worried about cybersecurity today than they were five years ago. Recent McAfee research reveals that 33% of consumers rank protecting their identity as their number one cybersecurity priority ahead of protecting privacy, connected devices, data, and connected home devices.
“2017 was a big year for cybercriminals taking advantage of security holes in corporate networks and downloading lots of personally identifiable information about consumers, and there’s no sign of these attacks slowing down,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist, McAfee. “It is now more important than ever for consumers to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to help safeguard their online identity and digital lives.”
Despite the growing risk of identity theft and fraud, McAfee said that only 37% of consumers have signed up for an identity theft protection solution. Additionally, 28% of consumers claim that they have no plans to sign up for a service that monitors and helps protect their identity and personal information.
McAfee research also indicates that the primary ways consumers rely on monitoring their identity include: checking online bank and credit card accounts for unauthorized charges (67%), checking social media for fraudulent posts (43%), and using credit monitoring services (37%). While these methods can be effective at monitoring, McAfee said that consumers need to understand that they are still vulnerable, and should take advantage of services that not only monitor but also protect against fraud, should it occur.