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Norton™ LifeLock™ Research Identifies American Cyber Literacy Gap – Press Release

New IdentityTheft Scam

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–(Business Wire)–More than half of Americans (53 percent) don’t know that their data and
personal information is not protected even if they enable privacy
settings on social media apps or websites, according to a survey
commissioned by Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) brand Norton™ LifeLock™. In
fact, once information is shared online, it’s no longer private – and,
it can fall into the wrong hands whether it’s compromised through a data
breach, email scam or even someone familiar.

This is just one of several cyber myths Norton LifeLock identified in
their recent online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll among more than
2,000 American adults. Regardless of age or gender, cyber myths coupled
with poor cyber safety habits are likely hindering people’s ability to
protect themselves from cyber crime.

Even Millennials and Gen-Z age groups, who are often seen as the most
tech savvy generations, are less likely to know how to protect their
digital and financial lives compared to older adults. More than one in
four 18-to-34-year-olds (27 percent) believe it’s safe to send personal
information through email if they have a strong password, compared to
only six percent of seniors (65+) and 11 percent of 54-to-64-year-olds.
Similarly, more than 4 in 10 of 18-34-year-olds (44 percent) believe or
are unsure if it’s usually okay to ignore browsers and security warnings
about questionable websites and proceed to the site, compared to only 17
percent of seniors.

“We find people have many misconceptions and unfounded beliefs about the
safety of their data online,” said Paige Hanson, Chief of Identity
Education, Symantec. “Cyber criminals are ruthless and determined to
take advantage of consumers’ digital and financial well-being, so we
hope to educate and help consumers protect themselves by sharing common
myths and clarifying the facts about real online dangers.”

To help educate consumers and bring the story to life, Norton LifeLock
enlisted myth busting expert, author and producer Kari Byron to take
part in a five-part educational video series, helping close the cyber
literacy gap and foster cyber safe behavior.

“I’m deeply passionate about digging into closely held beliefs and
uncovering truths, which is why I’m excited to help Norton LifeLock with
this fun, easy to understand video series,” said Byron. “You don’t know
what you’ve got until it’s gone – and that includes your data, your
privacy, or even your identity.”

What Are the Cyber Security Myths Dispelled by Norton LifeLock?:

Smart Phone Hygiene

  • Cyber Myth: One in 8 Americans (13 percent) believe hackers
    cannot gain access to data and personal information on a locked mobile
  • Cyber Fact: Locking your phone is important, but not enough.
    Without touching your phone, hackers can gain access to your data and
    personal information in the cloud where it’s stored. They can also
    trick you into installing a malicious app that enables them to steal
    account information and even look at your email and texts. To help
    keep your phone protected, use a complex password, install security
    software, only use trusted Wi-Fi, and be careful about who you let use
    your phone.

Private Browsing

  • Cyber Myth: About 1 in 5 Americans (19 percent) believe
    that turning on private browsing hides their online activity from
    their internet service provider.
  • Cyber Fact: Private browsing may only hide certain activities,
    such as browsing history on the device itself, and it does not conceal
    online activity from your internet service provider, the websites you
    visit or your employer. To help hide your online activity, try a
    virtual private network service (VPN). Using a VPN will encrypt the
    data you send and receive while using public Wi-Fi so you can pay
    bills, check email and privately surf the web.

Credit Freezes and Identity Theft

  • Cyber Myth: More than half of Americans (54 percent) don’t know
    that freezing their credit after a data breach doesn’t prevent their
    identity from being stolen. Additionally, 52 percent believe or are
    unsure whether their bank or financial institution will handle all
    consequences that result from identity theft, including stolen funds
    reimbursement, credit repair, and reinstating ability to take out
  • Cyber Fact: Your identity can be stolen even if you freeze your
    credit. A credit freeze will only prevent thieves from opening new
    accounts in your name where a credit report is required. It doesn’t
    protect existing financial accounts or prevent them from filing fake
    tax returns in your name. While a credit freeze is a good idea if your
    data is breached, identity theft protection services could help you
    see potential threats that a credit freeze can’t catch.

The Dark Web

  • Cyber Myth: More than half of Americans (52 percent) believe
    it’s impossible or are unsure if they can find out if their personal
    information is on the dark web.
  • Cyber Fact: Your personal information can be bought and sold on
    the dark web – names, Social Security numbers, birthdays – typically
    for less than $1.50 per record1. An identity theft
    protection service can patrol the dark web and notify you if it finds
    your information on the sites it searches2.


  • Cyber Myth: More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) don’t
    know that paying off a ransomware attack will not ensure they regain
    access to their files.
  • Cyber Fact: If a hacker targets you and you pay the ransom, you
    may not get your files back, and, if they can make you pay once, you
    could be targeted again. With the average ransom costing $522, that’s
    an expensive way to learn the truth. To help protect yourself, back up
    your data regularly, invest in security software, and keep your
    software and operating system up to date.

Check out the video series with Kari Byron here.

Survey Methodology:

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris
Poll on behalf of Norton LifeLock from July 31 – August 2, 2018 among
2,012 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on
a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling
error can be calculated.

About Symantec

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ: SYMC), the world’s leading cyber security
company, helps organizations, governments and people secure their most
important data wherever it lives. Organizations across the world look to
Symantec for strategic, integrated solutions to defend against
sophisticated attacks across endpoints, cloud and infrastructure.
Likewise, a global community of more than 50 million people and families
rely on Symantec’s Norton and LifeLock product suites to protect their
digital lives at home and across their devices. Symantec operates one of
the world’s largest civilian cyber intelligence networks, allowing it to
see and protect against the most advanced threats. For additional
information, please visit
or connect with us on Facebook,
and LinkedIn.

NOTE TO EDITORS: If you would like additional information
on Symantec Corporation and its products, please visit the Symantec News
Room at
All prices noted are in U.S. dollars and are valid only in the United

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report
2 LifeLock
does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. No one can prevent
all identity theft or cybercrime.

Spring Harris
[email protected]

Jenn Foss
[email protected]

Source: on 2018-12-19 10:00:00

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