Unsafe on any site -- over three-quarters of Americans admit to risky online behavior

A new report finds that 78 percent of Americans indulge in risky online behaviors that open them up to cyber threats, such as reusing or sharing passwords, skipping software updates and more -- a 14 percent increase from just two years ago.

The Xfinity Cyber Health Report from Comcast combines data from a new consumer survey of 1,000 US adults, conducted by Wakefield Research, with national threat data collected by Xfinity's xFi Advanced Security platform.

Among the findings are that Xfinity xFi homes average 15 connected devices, up 25 percent from 2020. Power users average 34 devices. And 58 percent of consumers plan to buy at least one connected device this holiday season. xFi Advanced Security blocks an average of 23 unique threats per home each month -- with the total number of attacks at least three-to-four times that number, since many attacks are repeated.

The report also shows that people continue to underestimate threats, 74 percent of Americans believe less than 10 attacks hit their home network every month. 61 percent believe devices are protected from threats right out-of-the-box at purchase.

When asked how soon they would know whether they were a victim of a cyberattack, only 20 percent say immediately. Another 32 percent say they aren’t sure they'd ever know if they were a victim of a cyberattack. 51 percent of respondents are not confident that they would know if a non-screen device was hacked, such as a robot vacuum or a smart plug.

"This holiday season consumers are purchasing and connecting more devices to their home networks than ever before," says Noopur Davis, EVP, chief information security officer and product privacy officer at Comcast. "With this influx of devices comes an influx of cybersecurity risk. Now more than ever, consumers need to prioritize keeping their connected devices, and the people who use them, safe from cyber threats."

Younger generations are more likely to have bad online habits, 70 percent of boomers admit to unsafe behaviors compared with Gen X (80 percent), millennials (82 percent) and Gen Z (87 percent). Gen Z has the lowest awareness of common threats like phishing and malware.

The full report is available from the Comcast site.

Image credit: Andreus/depositphotos.com

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