[ISN] Most troubled by net security

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 23:14:32 PST

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    Barbara Gengler
    MORE than 70 per cent of Americans say they are concerned about
    internet and computer security, according to a recent poll.
    Another 74 per cent expressed fears that their personal information on
    the net could be stolen or used for malicious purposes, according to
    the results of a national poll released by the Information Technology
    Association of America (ITAA) and managed secure communications
    specialist, Tumbleweed Communications.
    An equal number said they were concerned that cyber-attacks could
    target critical infrastructure, such as phone networks or power
    The poll, called Keeping the Faith: Government, Information Security
    and Homeland Cyber Defense, is based on a telephone survey of 800
    adults on November 26 and 27, conducted by Luntz Research.
    Seventy four per cent of the respondents expressed worries about
    terrorists using the internet to launch cyber-attacks against critical
    infrastructure. Thirty-seven per cent said they were very concerned
    while another 37 per cent said they are somewhat concerned.
    The poll found that despite the fears, respondents failed to register
    major changes in online behaviour as a result of the September 11
    attacks or The War on Terror.
    While only 17 per cent said they had complete faith in the ability of
    the US government to prevent cyber attacks against agencies, 54 per
    cent said they had some faith. Only 17 per cent said they had very
    little faith.
    ITAA spokesman Bob Cohen said the group was surprised by the level of
    concern that respondents expressed about attacks on critical
    "We think it's notable that the public retains confidence that the
    federal government will be able to assure the security of its
    information systems and does not appear to be particularly troubled by
    the possibility of unwarranted government surveillance," he said.
    Few in the survey said they were concerned that in the post-September
    11 environment their email would be subjected to government sleuthing
    and only 10 per cent said they were a lot more concerned about federal
    authorities monitoring or reading their email, while 14 per cent said
    they were somewhat more concerned.
    Only 5 per cent said they found themselves using the internet more for
    updates and information, while 34 per cent said their usage had stayed
    the same. Seven per cent said they use the internet a lot less since
    the September 11.
    Even with the Anthrax scare, email has not become a replacement for
    paper mail. Fifty-five per cent said their use of email had not
    changed, while 35 per cent said they did not use email. Only three per
    cent said they had made a significant shift to email to avoid paper
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