With some surveys reporting things like ‘11 percent of Americans think HTML is an STD’, and ‘123456’ remaining a firm favourite when it comes to passwords, it is easy to throw our hands up in despair about how clueless much of the general internet using public seems when it comes to online security.
However, a report by the nonpartisan American think tank Pew Research Center suggests a more promising picture, finding that following the ‘catastrophic’ Heartbleed Bug fiasco in April, when it was discovered that over two thirds of all supposedly secure websites and servers had been vulnerable to undetectable hacking for over a year and half, 60 percent of American adults (and 64 percent of those online) were aware of the problem.
Even more impressively, 39 percent of internet users surveyed actually did something about it and changed their password or cancelled their accounts. Color us impressed!
Pew Research Center’s director Lee Raimie told the The Washington Post that he was surprised by the result,
‘I think it’s a pretty striking number. And, to me, even more impressively, it’s 61% of the Internet users who had heard of Heartbleed who changed passwords or deleted accounts. In other words, the majority of Internet users who had heard of the problem took a pretty significant step to address it.’
Ramie attributes the high numbers of people who took action over the Bug to the urgent attention it received in the news, although events in the Ukraine received more public attention (46 percent of respondents had heard ‘a lot’ about this while only 19 percent has heard ‘a lot’ about Heartbleed).
Here at BestVPN we are encouraged by this news, and hope that more people are starting to take a real interest in, and responsibility for, their online security.