57% of Online Americans Have Confidence in the Safety of Their Email

June 29, 2011, 11:02 PM GMT+0

The Economist/YouGov panel is mostly confident about the safety of their email, even though most of them have experienced some sort of personal cyber-attack. Viruses and phishing seem to be the most common. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, more than half of internet users had caught a computer virus, 29% had been the victim of phishing, and 12% had their email accounts hacked.

The impact of those computer attacks has been severe for some: although relatively few have lost money through a scam, 31% of those who have had a cyber-attack have had emails sent in their names.

Still, 57% of Americans online are at least somewhat confident in the security of their own email, though only 8% are very confident. However, 44% are not especially confident their email accounts are safe. Among those who have experienced an attack, half of those who have had email attacked or had a computer virus are still confident in email security, as are 42% of the phishing attack victims.

Confidence in email security decreases with age. 77% of those under 30 are confident in the security of their email, while just 38% of those 65 and older are. All age groups are just about as likely to have experienced some sort of attack. But the type of attack differs with age. Older internet users are the most likely to have been “phishing” victims: 42% of them report this, compared with only 20% of those under 30. However, older internet users are the least likely to have had their online accounts accessed through a stolen or guessed password.

For more detail, read the Toplines or Cross-tabs for this poll, conducted from June 18-21, 2011.

Photo source: flickr ( john_a_ward )

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