SANTA CLARA, CA: Even though 61% of consumers say they are more concerned about cybersecurity than they were five years ago, only 37% use an identity theft solution to protect themselves, a new survey has revealed.

In addition, almost a third (28%) have no plans to sign up for an ID theft protection solution, relying instead on checking online bank and credit card accounts for unauthorised charges (67%), checking social media for fraudulent posts (43%) and using credit monitoring services (37%).

These are some of the headline findings from cybersecurity firm McAfee, which polled 6,400 adults aged 18 to 55 across six countries – Australia, France, Germany, Singapore, the UK and the US.

The survey also revealed that a third (33%) of consumers rank protecting their identity as their number one cybersecurity priority ahead of protecting privacy, connected devices, data and connected home devices.

It also explored consumers’ concerns about the connected home, revealing that almost two-thirds (63%) worry most about ID theft if their home network were to be breached.

As a result, 66% limit those who can access the home network and 59% change the default password on devices straightaway, yet more than half (52%) say they are unsure about how to secure connected devices and apps.

And when it comes to the online safety of families, the survey found that almost a third of parents do not monitor their children’s online activity and device usage.

This might be because the same proportion (33%) admit to not knowing the risks well enough to explain the potential dangers to their children, although more positively, 79% say they have talked to their kids about online safety.

Commenting on the findings, Gary Davis, Chief Consumer Security Evangelist at McAfee, said: “2017 was a big year for cybercriminals taking advantage of security holes in corporate networks and downloading lots of personally identifiable information about consumers, and there’s no sign of these attacks slowing down.

“It is now more important than ever for consumers to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to help safeguard their online identity and digital lives.”

Sourced from McAfee; additional content by WARC staff