Americans are almost four times more worried about getting hacked than murdered

  • More Americans are worried about internet-related crimes involving personal and financial information theft than “conventional” crimes, like burglary or murder.
  • More people were affected by cybercrimes than conventional crimes over the course of 12 months.

Americans are more worried about crimes facilitated by the internet than “conventional” crimes, like burglary, stolen cars, and sexual assault, according to a report from Gallup News.

The top concern is having personal and financial information hacked, which has 67% of those who were surveyed worried. The top “conventional” crime is having your car broken into or stolen, which concerns 38% of those who were surveyed. Meanwhile, few are apparently concerned about being assaulted or killed at a place of work at 6%.

Indeed, the internet has revolutionised the way we communicate since its widespread adoption, and it’s hard to imagine a life without it. But it’s opened up a whole new category of crime called “cybercrime” for Americans, and the world, to be concerned about.

In 2013, phone numbers, birth dates, security questions and answers, and “hashed,” or scrambled, passwords of all three billion of Yahoo accounts were compromised. And in 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax experienced a huge breach including sensitive information like social security numbers,: full names, addresses, birth dates, and even drivers licenses and credit card numbers of 143 million Americans.

It’s easy to understand why cybercrime is more of a concern than “analogue” crime (as I call it). Having information like social security and credit card numbers stolen can have far more of an impact than a stolen car.

On top of that, cybercrime is more common than other crimes. An astounding 25% of Americans — one in four – have reported that their personal information was stolen by hackers in the last 12 months, according to Gallup. That’s compared to the 12% of Americans who have reported “having money or property stolen” in the last year.

With that said, it’s surprising that more permanent crimes, like “getting murdered” and “being a victim of terrorism” isn’t as concerning to Americans — scoring just 18% — as having their cars stolen. It just goes to show the extent that Americans value their cars.

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