Even after being hacked, most Americans fail to properly protect their personal information online, finds a Pew Research Center study published Thursday.
Pew surveyed more than 1,000 American adults last year to determine their perception of cyber security and what measures they take to keep their online information safe. According to the study, most are failing to use best cyber security practices in their personal lives.
Though 64 percent of the people surveyed had been victim to a cyber attack, just 12 percent have ever used software to manage their passwords. Most (84 percent) still rely on memorizing passwords or writing them down as the main way of keeping their information safe. Pew also found that 41 percent of people have shared their password to at least one online account with another person.
Americans aren’t any better with protecting information on their smartphones, the study found. Roughly a quarter don’t have a screen lock and more than half have used potentially unsecure Wi-Fi networks, with one-in-five using public networks for sensitive transactions.
But people still trust themselves more than the government or businesses to keep their personal data safe. More than a fourth of Americans don’t trust the federal government at all to protect their information. This study was conducted in March to May of last year, before WikiLeaks leaked hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee.
The uptick in widely reported leaks has increased worries about cyber security. About half of Americans believe their data has become less safe over the last five years. The majority (70 percent) expects to see major cyber attacks in the next five years.
Despite these anxieties, people aren’t taking enough steps to protect their information online.