Mississippi, Louisiana, California, Alaska, and Connecticut are the riskiest states in the U.S.A. based on consumer preparedness for cyberattacks, according to a new report from Webroot. The report examines the cyber hygiene habits of 10,000 Americans, 200 in each state, to determine what behaviors and practices they have in place to protect their information or identity from cybercriminals. While the five previously mentioned states scored the lowest on the cyber hygiene test, the average respondent’s grade wasn’t good either: 60% (or a “D”).
Despite the low scores on general cybersecurity knowledge and best practices, consumers reported a high (and false) sense of confidence about their cybersecurity behaviors. The majority (88%) of survey participants believe they are taking the appropriate steps to protect themselves from cybercriminals; however, the high fail rate suggests a major opportunity for improvement.
The 5 Riskiest States:
The 5 Least Risky (Safest) States:
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
Americans in every state are overconfident
- 88% feel they take the right steps to protect themselves from cyberattacks.
- Only 10% are A students in cyber hygiene, scoring 90% or higher.
- The highest scoring state, New Hampshire, only scored a 65%.
Americans have a surface level understanding of common cyber threats
- 79% of Americans have heard of malware, but only 28% could explain what it is.
- 70% of Americans have heard of phishing, but only 33% could explain what it is.
- 49% of Americans have heard of ransomware, but only 21% could explain what it is.
Less than half of Americans adopt cyber hygiene best practices
- 64% of participants don’t keep their social media accounts private.
- 63% of participants reuse passwords across multiple accounts.
- 62% of participants rely on a free antivirus software.
A small group (5%) of cyber hygiene “superstars” go above and beyond in every state
- These superstars take additional steps to protect themselves, including:
- Backing up data using multiple methods (online and offline)
- Investing in a reliable, modern-antivirus solution, and keeping it up to date
- Using a secure password manager