Digital Citizens Alliance, a group focused on helping consumers understand online risks, interviewed 1,215 Americans about their online behavior and future expectations from government.
As 1 in 3 Americans has been a victim of online scam, identity fraud or data theft, internet users are more aware of the risks they are exposing themselves to online, fearing the wide web is not as secure as five years ago. Consequently, the internet needs tougher laws to fight online crime, argued 71 percent of Americans interviewed, while 10 percent reported their damage was worth over $1,000.
“We’ve reached a point where Americans are bracing for what comes next – a stolen credit card, a breach of sensitive information, or criminal scam,” said Tom Galvin, Executive Director of the Digital Citizens Alliance. “It’s a bad sign when Americans think the internet is becoming less safe, so it’s vital that governmental entities such as the Federal Trade Commission and others ensure that crime does not pay.”
Consumers are advised to pay close attention to the websites they visit and to the links they click on to make transactions. 69 percent of respondents found malware on their computers after accessing content theft websites and 1 in 5 never received the product they purchased online on suspicious retail websites. Overall, internet users don’t feel safe when browsing the web or when making transactions and thus expect the government to implement regulations to increase online security.
“Americans want their leaders – whether they work in government or at the tech companies that bring us technology – to step up and combat this epidemic of online crime and risk,” said Galvin. “Americans deserve to feel safe whether they are shopping in a mall or on Amazon. They shouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing their credit card information, whether it’s at a restaurant or on Etsy.”