Only a Third of Americans Confident That a Hacked Device Wouldn’t  Expose Family, Friends and Colleague to Harm

Many Americans Think Hackers Could Do More Damage Than Burglars; 88 Percent Say Cybersecurity a National Priority

WASHINGTON, February 13, 2018 – As billions of products connect to the Internet each year,
Americans are increasingly concerned about security and privacy, including the prospect that a
hacking of their own device could expose family, friends and colleagues to risk, a new research
survey released today by the Security Innovation Center reveals.

Almost two-in-three American consumers said that the explosive growth of Internet-connected
products makes them more concerned about their privacy and security, the survey of 1,015
Americans found. And only 1 in 3 Americans expressed confidence that people they know
would not be affected if one of their devices was hacked. These concerns have placed a focus
on security when getting Internet-enabled products fixed: 84 percent value the security of their
data over convenience/speed of service.

“From smartphones in our hands to fire alarms in our homes to pacemakers in our bodies to
sensors on roads and in cars, we are connected to each other like never before,” said Josh
Zecher, executive director of the Security Innovation Center. “This interconnectivity will enable
opportunities to solve society’s most vexing problems. However, it also brings challenges that
can only be overcome by ensuring that privacy and security are the foundational elements of all
technology-related policies.”

With nearly 30 percent of American consumers owning six or more products that connect to
the Internet daily (smartphones, computer tables, smart TVs, thermostats, home appliances,
home assistant, security systems, etc.) and 60 percent expecting to buy more over the next five
years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived. Perhaps that is why many Americans report that
a hack would do more damage than a burglary to their house.

More than 700 million IoT products have been deployed in the U.S and Americans have high
expectations for how they get repaired.

More than 80 percent expect repair professionals to both provide a warranty for their repairs
and demonstrate that they are trained or certified to fix their specific product. Further, 75
percent value warranty protections over convenience and 70 percent feel most comfortable
having their products fixed by a manufacturer or authorized repair shop. Yet, only 18 percent
can determine if an electronics repair shop is protecting their security and privacy.

As we can connect to billions of products, they can connect to us. One compromised product not
only affects the owner of the product, but anyone whose information may be on it. And as we
connect more “things” those risks could increase exponentially from loss of data to loss of life.

Additional results of the Security Innovation Center survey include:

  • 59 percent fear that one of their Internet-connected products could be used by a hacker as
    part of a cyber attack.
  • 79 percent hold themselves or a software/app provider most responsible if their devices are
    hacked.
  • Nearly 50 percent have information on their Internet-connected devices that would be
    harmful to friends, family or business associates.
  • 73 percent believe they have a personal responsibility to keep data of friends, family
    members and business associates from hackers.
  • Only 35 percent would purchase a used Internet-connected product with concerns about
    security and privacy as the number one reason for not buying a used Internet-connected
    product.

About the Survey
The interactive survey of 1,015 U.S. consumers was conducted by Zogby Analytics from Jan. 23-
25 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

About the Security Innovation Center
The Security Innovation Center is dedicated to fostering a policy environment that enhances
consumer security and privacy protections in today’s connected world.

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