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Government and misuse of technology are most feared by Americans

Deborah Salmi, 22 October 2015

Government and misuse of technology are most feared by Americans

Americans don't trust that technology will be kept out of the hands of bad guys.

Forget about zombies, vampires, and ghosts. Americans don't fear things that go bump-in-the-night as much as they do their own government. The annual Survey of Fear conducted by Chapman University asked Americans about their level of fear in 88 different topics ranging from crime, the government, disasters, personal anxieties, technology, and others. The majority of Americans said that they are “afraid” or “very afraid” of the corruption of government officials.

The misuse of technology, financial crime, and privacy-related issues took up half of the Top 10 fears of 2015. After two years of high-profile data breaches and the revelations of government spying from the Edward Snowden leaks, it’s not too surprising. Here's the list:

  • Corruption of government officials (58.0%)
  • Cyber-terrorism (44.8%)
  • Corporate tracking of personal information (44.6%)
  • Terrorist attacks (44.4%)
  • Government tracking of personal information (41.4%)
  • Bio-warfare (40.9%)
  • Identity theft (39.6%)
  • Economic collapse (39.2%)
  • Running out of money in the future (37.4%)
  • Credit card fraud (36.9%)

From this survey, it's apparent that Americans' awareness and concern about guarding their personal privacy is growing. An interesting topic that was further down the list is "Technology I don’t understand," feared by 19% of Americans surveyed. At least that is something that individuals can control - just watch some videos or read this blog and you will learn about technology and how you can minimize your risks of these other things happening to you. For example, here's how to secure your Facebook login and protect your personal privacy and identity.

Facebook announces government spying alert

The fears of government spying don't go unwarranted. Facebook has reason to believe that it's an important issue “because these types of attacks tend to be more advanced and dangerous than others.” These are the words of Facebook’s Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos, in a recent announcement telling if the social media network suspects that a user is being targeted by government-sponsored hackers, they will issue an alert advising them to “take the actions necessary to secure all of their online accounts” such as “rebuild or replace these systems [your computer or mobile device] if possible.”

FB govt intruder warning


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