Cyberthreat Concerns Reach New Heights for Personal Users

Here's what our Cyber Protection Week survey results mean for personal users

Earlier this week we unveiled the results of our 2020 World Cyber Protection Week survey, sharing insight into the experiences, concerns, and priorities that personal and professional users have had in the past year. As the inaugural World Cyber Protection Week starts to wind down, we’re taking a deeper look at those survey results to explore what they really have to say about personal, home users and how you can use those insights to keep yourself safer in the year ahead.

Explore our 2020 World Cyber Protection Week results further:

General survey result analysis

IT Professional user result analysis

Service provider result analysis

Learn how people around the world are protecting their increasingly digital lives and confronting the modern cyberthreats attacking their data, applications, and systems. Then join the conversation by sharing your cyber protection experiences and reactions to the survey with #CyberFit or #CyberProtectionWeek

Cyberthreats are top-of-mind

This year’s World Cyber Protection Week Survey revealed that more personal users than ever are concerned about cyberthreats. In fact, compared to last year’s survey results, awareness and concern of all threat types grew by more than 29%.

  • 83% of personal users are concerned about ransomware
  • 78% of personal users are concerned about cryptojacking
  • 82% of personal users are concerned about social engineering attacks
  • 84% of personal users are concerned about data breaches

This increased concern and awareness speaks to the prevalence of these threats and suggests that taking steps to safeguard against them is a top priority for personal users. Proving that point, 88% of personal users report that they’re using anti-malware solutions to help detect and prevent these threats. Similarly, 88% of respondents have taken proactive steps like encrypting their passwords, securing their WiFi networks, and more to defend their data privacy online.

Despite these positive trends, however, our World Cyber Protection Week survey found that people aren’t taking all the necessary steps and following all the established best practices to ensure that they’re protected in the modern digital world.

Users aren’t keeping their data safe with backups

The majority of personal users back up on a monthly (30%) or yearly basis (32%). That’s definitely better than the 9% of individuals who never back up their data or devices, but still means that if they had to recover using those backup files they would lose up to a year’s worth of files, applications, images, etc.  Those backups are of little value to users – they are incomplete and therefore any recovery would be incomplete too.

Making matters worse, half the personal users who do back up only store their backups locally: in a separate hard drive partition (13%) or on an external device like a USB, external hard drive, or NAS (39%). As a result, these users wouldn’t be able to recover any of their data if an accident, flood, fire or other natural disaster destroys both their computer and local backup. In fact, only 17% of personal users use the best practice 3-2-1 rule of backup, employing both local and cloud storage to keep their data safe through redundant copies kept both locally and remotely.

If you’re worried about losing your most important data, you need to more diligently safeguard your data with backups performed at least weekly and stored in a combination of storage destinations.

More than two-thirds of personal users have lost data

In last year’s survey, 65% of personal users said that they had personal experience losing data or devices. Even if that only means accidentally deleting an email, that’s a lot of lost information. This year, unfortunately, even more lost data, with 68% reporting they’ve now shared the experience. That’s on top of the 48% of home users who reported recent difficulty just trying to access their data.

Given how much of modern life is spent, shared, and stored on digital devices, this level of data loss is unacceptable – something our survey respondents heartily agree with. When asked to rank the importance of the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection (safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security), personal users overwhelmingly said that data safety was their number one concern. That prioritization may appear contradictory given the high rates of data loss – but it really speaks to a desire for reliable data safety that’s held back by one of two obstacles: either people are unwilling to take the steps necessary to ensure modern data safety or they’re not sure what those steps are.

Since the majority of respondents indicated that they’ve taken steps to enhance their data safety and security posture, it’s more likely that the problem lies with how they’re protecting themselves. As we’ve said before, traditional solutions no longer offer the comprehensive protection needed to keep data safe. Only modern cyber protection solutions can do that in a digital world that’s constantly growing more complicated and dangerous.

Get #CyberFit with Acronis Cyber Protection solutions

Acronis True Image combines reliable backup and recovery with proven AI-based anti-malware technology to provide a unique cyber protection solution that comprehensively defends all the data, applications, and systems personal users rely on today.

Be confident that your most important files and devices are safeguarded against mistakes, attacks, and whatever comes next as the digital world continues its evolution.