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article imageNew Data: How much do Americans know about encryption?

By Tim Sandle     Jan 25, 2020 in Technology
New data reveals that U.S. citizens are familiar with – and trust – the concept of encryption. However, at the same time the poll reveals that generally people are fuzzy on exactly how data encryption works.
The extent of people's understanding about data, the importance of data encryption, and exactly how encryption works (including any limitations) is drawn from a study constructed by nCipher Security (an Entrust Datacard company and provider of trust, integrity and control solutions for business-critical information and applications). nCipher Security fielded the data-related survey to more than 1,000 U.S. adults, ahead of Data Privacy Day (which takes place on January 28 each year, aimed at raising awareness of all-things data privacy related).
The results of the study have been made available to Digital Journal. With the results, nCipher discovered that 72 percent of U.S. citizens know that encryption is the process of making data unreadable to anyone other than those holding the encryption keys. Furthermore, a high proportion of people - 87.4 percent - know that encryption is important.
However, there are gasp in relation to the specifics of encryption. In terms of the average U.S. citizen's relationship with encryption, the survey also revealed that most people are most likely to learn about encryption at work (22.5 percent of those surveyed). After that, the typical person is almost equally likely to learn about encryption via a television program (17.7 percent), from friends or family (17.6 percent) or at school (17.3 percent).
Over half (53.3 percent) correctly believe that individual consumers can encrypt their own personal data, but nearly a third (32 percent) are not sure sure. Almost half of the survey cohort (45.9 percent) can correctly identify cryptographic keys as the series of codes needed to unlock an encryption.
The data further reveals that 55.5 percent of people believe their private data is safe in the cloud as long as it’s encrypted. 29.4 percent are uncertain and 15.1 percent believe there is no encryption in place. It also stands that 62.5 percent have little confidence in encryption, believing that hackers can access confidential info even if it’s encrypted.
These issues raise implications for businesses in the way they handle and process data. Given the reliance of businesses upon data for analysis, ways to make consumers feel secure when passing over personal identifiable information will continue to be an important feature of the business model.
More about Data, Data Privacy Day, data security, Privacy
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