AVG commissioned Research Now, a leading global online sampling and online data collection company, to survey 3,774 consumers in 15 U.S. and Canadian cities to determine which urban populations are the savviest in defending themselves against online threats. The winner? Austin, Texas.
Here’s how the other North American metropolitan areas fared:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- Washington D.C.
- San Francisco
A total of 3,774 Americans and Canadians took part in the survey. All had spent at least some time on the web. But some were better at thwarting attempts at identity theft, stolen personal data, and fraudulent charges than others.
Here are some key findings:
- 65% of US consumers have not shared their passwords
- 70% of Canadians keep passwords to themselves
- 61% of Americans use a different password for every website visited; 49% do so in Canada
- Less than 25% of all North Americans use a monitoring service or tool to protect their online identity, but 41% realize the need to do so
- 51% of Americans back up their data; 54% of Canadians do the same
- 34% of Americans use only one credit/debit card to buy online; 46% Canadians do
- 38% of US and 28% of Canadian respondents check bank statements more than once a week for inaccuracies or problems
So what can you do to be among the most digitally savvy? In addition to installing a free, robust antivirus program on all your online devices, here are some simple steps to minimize the risk of fraudulent charges, identity theft and personal data loss:
- Use one credit card with a low spending limit for all online purchases; monitor it regularly
- Change passwords regularly, use variations for each online account, and never, ever share them with others
- Back up your data
- Protect your data on the go—the more personal information is shared via mobile devices, the more hackers will target these tools
- Be wary of phishing scams—i.e., never click on links in emails that appear to come from your bank
The survey was conducted as part of AVG’s launch of AVG Internet Security 2013. Download AVG 2013 for free and learn more about how AVG can help protect personal data and documents at www.avg.com.