Cybersecurity Survey: Educated Consumers Likely to Spend on Security

High profile hacking incidents in recent months have cybersecurity at the forefront of many people’s minds. But according to a recent Pew study, consumers might not be as knowledgeable about cybersecurity issues as they’d like to think. So just how concerned are consumers about cybersecurity? And what types of actions and purchases have they made to protect their own data? We asked 1,000 respondents about their thoughts on cybersecurity and what steps they’ve taken to protect themselves online.



In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 78% of respondents said that they are generally concerned about cybersecurity. And 78% also agreed that they are more concerned about cybersecurity issues now than they were three years ago.

More specifically, 82% said that they stay cognizant of cybersecurity issues when checking their email. 84% said that they take care to create strong passwords. 55% said that they generally try to avoid using public wifi. 68% are more likely to trust websites that start with https://. And 53% said that they use two factor authentication to log into their accounts.

Major Concerns

When it comes to cybersecurity, there are many different areas of concern. Overall, 76% said that they are concerned about people hacking into their online accounts. Another 76% are most worried about identity theft. 66% are concerned about viruses attacking their devices. 63% are concerned about their personal data being obtained when business databases are breached. And just 34% are most concerned about phishing.

Protective Actions

Overall, 66% of respondents said that they’ve taken some kind of action within the past year to protect their data online. 81% of those respondents said that they’ve upgraded their passwords or login information. 63% said they’ve bought or updated their antivirus software. 56% have checked their credit reports. And 17% have bought new devices with improved cybersecurity features.

In addition, 29% of respondents said that they’ve made purchases related to cybersecurity within the past year. Norton and McAfee were the most popular brands for those purchases. But respondents also mentioned brands like Microsoft, Kaspersky, LifeLock and Avast. According to Personality Radar, those who have made cybersecurity related purchases are likely to be educated, tech savvy consumers and young professionals.

Key Takeaways

It seems that cybersecurity is a big enough concern for consumers to take action and make purchases. However, there are many more consumers who seem to be worried about various cybersecurity issues who haven’t made any purchases in the past year. So there’s room for businesses that sell cybersecurity related software and other products to broaden their market. Since those who have made cybersecurity purchases seem to be fairly educated on tech issues, it would stand to reason that companies could benefit from sharing some educational materials and straightforward information to consumers. Some might not even be aware of major issues like phishing and how it can impact their data and devices.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: wocintech (microsoft) – 48 by WOCinTech Chat under CC BY 2.0

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 7 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.