According to a survey, only 2% of Americans have basic tech knowledge

The majority of the Americans don’t have any solid information regarding Two-factor authentication (2FA), HTTPS or private browsing and when asked 10 basic questions related to tech only 2% out of 4200+ survey takers answered it all correctly.

In June a survey was conducted on 4,272 US adults by Pew Research Center and the results revealed that most Americans are unaware of tech-related info despite the country being the house of most of today’s web tech innovations.

In the survey, users were asked about online security, phishing, HTTPS, browser cookies, net neutrality, privacy policies, private browsing and if they were aware of the owner of Instagram or WhatsApp and the users were also asked to identify Jack Dorsey as the Twitter CEO by looking at a picture.

Majority of Americans failed to recognize examples of 2FA

The question on which the majority of Americans failed was on the detection of example related to two-factor authentication by looking at a set of images and 55% of users failed to respond with the correct answer and only 28% managed to answer it correctly.

Only three-in-ten adults answered it correctly when asked about the reason behind https:// on a site. When the researchers asked users related to private browsing only 24% managed to answer it correctly. According to the survey, Americans also have very low knowledge related to the business side of social media companies and only 15% of respondents were able to identify the CEO of Twitter in a photo and only 29% of users knew that Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp. The most ironic response was from the 45% of Americans who managed to answer correctly the concept of net neutrality despite it being the main and disputed point in US politics and law-making for the past decade.

According to the research by Pew Researchers, young adults were more aware of tech-related information as compared to older Americans and this also varied depending on the questions.


In recent years, the majority of website owners and users are being pushed in an effort to use and trust websites with HTTPS (padlocks) only but the study revealed that the majority of the users don’t even know what it is. Similarly, companies have been trying really hard to push users towards a more secure platform but the users still fail to recognize what a 2FA login process looks like despite the announcements by various big Tech companies like Google and Microsoft to enable simplest 2FA solutions to protect users against 99.9% of attacks.


Bottom Line

The report published by Pew Research shows that majority of the users are not much tech savvy despite the launch of new technologies every day, the process of promoting, explaining and then re-explaining multi-layer security for end-users should remain a priority for tech companies and also for cyber-security practitioners as well.

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