Study Shows A Third Of US Netizens Have Been Subjected To Some Form Of Cybersecurity Threat In 2021

A study from NordVPN reveals that a third of all Americans encountered at least one form of cybersecurity threat across 2021.

I will assume that most of us are probably familiar with NordVPN, and almost all of us will share that knowledge from the source of countless YouTube ads and sponsors. On one hand, it’s mildly annoying, but on the other hand NordVPN and RayCon are probably the only major brands that are keeping certain channels safe from YouTube’s increasingly rigorous and hostile monetization policies. At any rate, that’s discussion for another day. NordVPN, as can be surmised from the name, is a virtual private network that allows users to keep themselves hidden and their personal information secure online. In a world where personal user data is being siphoned off by every known online platform, be it social media sites, online journals, games, and nearly all applications, VPNs are incredibly important if one is to keep their private life, well, private. That’s not to say that every website online is out to get your browser and location data: only most of them are, which isn’t great but now I can avoid claims of libel. At any rate, legitimate platforms aside, there are a lot of illegitimate threats that surround online activity as well, with cybersecurity becoming another increasingly relevant topic in today’s time.

A record number of online businesses were hit by a barrage of cybersecurity threats across 2021, ranging from malware to Trojans to all sorts of phishing attacks. While that’s pretty bad in and of itself, NordVPN’s research states that such damage isn’t just relegated to business owners: all Americans out there are vulnerable to some form of cybersecurity threat. The study states that 33% of all US citizens have encountered one form of cybersecurity attack or another, with 49% of those being phishing attacks, 35% being social media threats, and then the rest being a rather worrying mix of bank account hacks, payment fraud, and identity theft. It’s like Willy Wonka’s factory, but for hackers looking to get into your online personal space.

NordVPN’s study also noted that many US citizens don’t adhere to best practices regarding online safety either, which definitely doesn’t help matters. Americans professed to visiting shady websites without using a VPN, or accessing them through public Wi-Fi; responding to emails and/or texts without looking for any signs of validation or threat; and buying items off of unverified online vendors. In fact, the most common password across the USA in 2021 was found to be “123456”. It’s interesting that this is the technology-driven world that we inhabit.

H/T: TR.

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