US leads UK in VPN use and some security awareness, according to survey
A recent security study shows VPN use on the rise in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Wombat Security surveyed roughly 1,000 adults in the United States and 1,000 adults in the United Kingdom on their internet security habits – showing a clear leader in common VPN use. The author of the study, James Nathan Miller, summarized the findings concisely in the conclusion:
“There is still much work to be done on the security awareness training front.”
The majority of US respondents regularly use a VPN – so should those in the UK
66% of surveyed Americans said that they use a VPN “frequently: (e.g. while at home or traveling).” In contrast, only 43% of respondents from the UK said the same. This is despite the fact that UK internet users have the Investigatory Powers Act and Digital Economy Act to contend with when they are at home and at work. A whopping 38% of respondents in the UK said that they never use a VPN. Compare that with only 21% of US respondents. In the US, the public is becoming more aware of Congress-approved internet privacy concerns and that VPN use is necessary to keep one’s internet use history from being sold to third parties.
Security remains a valid concern in both countries
Other findings include that Americans are more likely to use a password manager and more likely to have been a victim of identity theft in the past. Some things that UK internet users lead Americans on, though, is awareness about ransomware and physical security. When going to a public place, instead of leaving their laptop in their car, more English would rather lock it in their trunk (or boot). The most important privacy and security tidbit, though, using a VPN – seems to have been adopted much more widely in the states than across the pond. The survey also revealed some persisting security misconceptions that some internet users hold. For instance, 33% of surveyed Americans still thought that malware was something that “boosts” WiFi signal.
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