Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources

Print

Release Date: 05/29/2014

Survey: 62 Percent of Online Consumers Do Nothing to Protect Their Internet Privacy

1 in 7 Notified of Personal Data Breach Last Year; Victims of E-mail Phishing Scams Up 22 percent from 2012

YONKERS, NY – Despite a rash of high-profile data breaches and cyber threats, an alarming 62 percent of U.S. online consumers have done nothing to protect their privacy on the Internet, according to a recent national Consumer Reports survey. Perhaps not surprisingly, the number of victims is on the rise. One in seven online consumers were notified that their personal data had been breached in 2013 – a 56 percent increase from 2012. And a projected 11.2 million people fell for e-mail phishing scams, up 22 percent from the previous year.

These days the threat of cyber attacks and malicious software is nearly omnipresent, whether Americans are on their home computer, storing files in the cloud, using the Wi-Fi network at the local coffee shop, or at the doctor’s office. A new report, published online today at ConsumerReports.org and in the July issue of Consumer Reports, exposes some of the ingenious methods cybercriminals have been using to prey on the unsuspecting, as well as ways consumers can recognize their points of vulnerability and strengthen their defenses.

“The most effective defense against an international onslaught of shadowy hackers is being a well-informed and vigilant individual,” said Glenn Derene, Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports. “It should be clear by now that consumers can’t rely solely on institutions to safeguard their valuable personal information online. Our report identifies some tools that can help people shut the door on cybercriminals.”

For online consumers the first step in protecting themselves is to know where they’re exposed. The CR report lists 9 areas of vulnerability – from hospitals to cloud services. Some widely used cloud services such as Dropbox and Evernote have a spotty security record. Dropbox has had several breaches over the past few years; and in 2013, a hack of Evernote exposed the user names and e-mail addresses of about 50 million users.

Information stored in the cloud is only as secure and accessible as the cloud provider makes it. Consumers who store private information on cloud-based service should encrypt it with a free encryption program. If a breach occurs, hackers won’t be able easily read that data.

The CR report also includes profiles of seven recent security disasters, a field guide to stronger passwords, as well as reviews of online security software.

Consumer Reports Internet Security Survey
The Consumer Reports National Research Center conducted a survey on Internet security in January 2014. The findings are nationally representative of U.S. adult Internet users. Participants were--3,110 adults with a home Internet connection who were part of an online panel convened by GfK, a leading research company.

From those respondents, we made national projections. The margin of error for the full sample was ± 1.8 at a 95 percent confidence level.

About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.