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BizReport : Internet : June 25, 2015

Young Americans fear hacking more than natural disasters and terrorism

In the run up to the much-anticipated new television series, Mr Robot, airing on USA Network, a survey of young people was conducted to ascertain their current views on social media use and online security. The results reveal a fear of hacking and social media yet a lack of personal online security.

by Helen Leggatt

If USA Network's survey, 'Nation Under A-Hack', is to be believed, the young and digitally-savvy Generation X and Y are all but ready to pull the plug on social media if major digital security breaches continue. Overall, a whopping 75% said they are somewhat likely (29%), likely (23%) or highly likely (23%) to deactivate their social media accounts and, if they had the opportunity to start all over again, 55% said they would not have started using social media at all.

In fact, when it comes to storing their data, the most digitally-minded generation of them all - Generation Y - are turning away from tech and believe that traditional physical filing systems such as storage boxes and paper files are more secure (on a scale of 0 to 10) than their online bank account (6.22), hard drive (6.20) or PC (6.03). And this put into practice with nearly twice as many U.S. youngsters store information in such physical storage (32%) than in cloud storage (19%).

USA Network's new television series, Mr Robot, is about a rogue hacking group that targets the world's wealthiest. Hacking was found to instill more fear in American youth than natural disasters, and more than violent crime, death and terrorism. In fact, 89% of Gen X and Y survey respondents agreed with the statement "Data breaches are the new oil spills; they are as destructive to the world and as costly to clean up".

And yet, despite 88% of Americans believing that "personal security and privacy no longer exist in the digital world", they are not doing enough to protect themselves. USA Networks' survey revealed that nearly half of Americans (43%) use the same, or similar, online passwords across multiple platforms.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Generation X, Generation Y, hacking, Mr Robot, research, security, social media, television

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