While the Majority of Americans Are Still Worried about Identity Theft, It’s Now Become a Global Concern – and Few Know How to Properly Protect against It

Generali global assistance releases findings from its global cybersecurity issues barometer.

According to Generali Global Assistance’s first global consumer survey conducted by LEXIS, 57 percent of Americans indicated they are very worried about cybersecurity issues. This year identity theft ranked third behind viruses and malware as the top three most familiar cyber risks to respondents. The Company also developed an accompanying Cyber Barometer Infographic, which you can view at the link below for further information on the survey respondents’ feelings about cybersecurity.

With the fallout of many large corporate data breaches still ongoing, it should come as no surprise that 39 percent of Americans know someone who has been the victim of an attack on their personal data. This concern has only become more real for respondents as a majority now rate identity theft higher on their list of concerns than getting into a car accident. This is supported by the fact that a large majority (91 percent) of Americans indicated that they consider an attack against their personal data as “very stressful.” While this number was the highest out of all the countries surveyed, Europeans are still feeling the strain: 81 percent consider an attack against their personal data as very stressful.

Respondents indicated that some of their most common worries when browsing the web are related to payments and purchases (53 percent), child safety (48 percent), and identity theft (42 percent). Moreover, more than a third of Americans (39 percent) indicated that they felt very exposed when it came to cyber security and identity theft. Respondents in Italy (39 percent) felt similarly exposed, while Spain had the highest number of respondents (47 percent) who felt exposed to cyber security and identity theft. This feeling of exposure can be due in part to the lack of protection respondents feel: 48 percent declared that companies and institutions are not doing enough to protect their personal information. While respondents’ concern about identity theft is well founded, based on the responses received in this year’s survey, it’s clear that they are still not doing enough to protect themselves.

Paige Schaffer, President and COO of Generali Global Assistance’s Identity Protection Services Global Unit, commented on today’s news, “The results of this survey do seem to indicate big steps forward in terms of consumer awareness about attacks on their personal information, but it also reinforces the fact that consumers are not educated enough on the best practices and services available to protect themselves.”

For instance, only a quarter of all respondents indicated that they regularly update their passwords and digital credentials. While the U.S. had the highest number of respondents who regularly updated their credentials (37 percent), in countries such as the Czech Republic (11 percent), Austria (16 percent), Romania (17 percent), and Hungary (19 percent), the number of respondents who regularly updated their credentials was less than 20 percent. While a large majority of respondents (88 percent) indicated that they have an anti-virus/anti-malware solution on their personal computer, roughly half said that they are not similarly protected on their mobile device or tablet – a concerning figure since half of the web traffic in the world is done via these devices. These numbers are especially worrying since 45 percent of respondents indicated that they wouldn’t know how to fix their situation if their personal information was compromised.

While these responses are cause for concern, there may be hope as it seems that this year respondents are more aware of the options they have when it comes to identity protection. For example, 65 percent of Americans indicated that they were aware of the availability of identity protection solutions, with 64 percent stating they had a very positive opinion of cyber and digital protection services. Notably, nearly half of all respondents globally stated that they are interested in digital protection services, with respondents from Spain, Romania, Italy, and the United States showing the highest interest. Some of the services that are of interest to respondents include: Alerting Services (57 percent), 24/7 Assistance Services (54 percent), Monitoring Services (48 percent), and Prevention Services (47 percent).

Schaffer continued, “Based on our findings, many consumers are looking for a solution that monitors for threats to their personal information and secures it in the event of an attack without much input. While there are many solutions available to meet those needs, being truly safe online requires a combination of both services and a commitment to safe browsing practices, which should ultimately help to alleviate the strong concerns many consumers have around the theft of their identity.”

Generali Global Assistance currently offers Identity and Cyber Protection services in the U.S., Canada, parts of Latin America, Europe, and Asia – with plans underway to launch services in Africa and Middle East.

Please find the Cyber Barometer Infographic available for download here.

To learn more about Generali Global Assistance’s identity protection offering, please visit http://us.generaliglobalassistance.com/solutions/identity-protection.

Survey Methodology The 2019 edition of the Cyber Barometer was conducted by LEXIS on behalf of Europ Assistance and Generali Global Assistance in 9 countries including the United States, Italy, France, and Spain. In each country, 800 respondents from ages 25-75 took part in the fifteen-minute online questionnaire tailored to each country. The survey was conducted between November and December 2018 and investigated four key topics: online activities and personal protection strategies, worries regarding web and digital activities, their valuation of a cyber and digital protection service, and their intentions to buy such a service.

About Generali Global Assistance Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of identity and digital protection solutions, travel insurance, and other assistance services for more than 35 years.  The Company offers a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services, identity protection solutions, and beneficiary companion services.  Generali Global Assistance is part of the multinational Generali Group, which for over 185 years has created a presence in 60 countries with over 74,000 employees.  Our success has been built on the foundation of trust that clients have placed in our ability to provide assistance in the most difficult of circumstances.

GGA Media Contact Jesse Tron M Group Strategic Communications (for Generali Global Assistance North America) +1 646 859 5952 jtron@mgroupsc.com

GGA Marketing Contact Eugenia Buggs VP, Global Marketing, Identity and Digital Protection Services Global Unit +1 240 330 1091 eugenia.buggs@us.generaliglobalassistance.com

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