About 19 percent of surveyed Internet-using U.S. households (some 19 million households, potentially) report they have been affected by an online security breach, identity theft, or similar malicious activity during the 12 months prior to a July 2015 survey conducted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Security breaches appear to be more common among the most intensive Internet-using households. While nine percent of online households that used just one type of computing device (either a desktop, laptop, tablet, Internet-connected mobile phone, wearable device, or TV-connected device) reported security breaches, 31 percent of those using at least five different types of devices suffered this experience.
These concerns are prompting some Americans to limit their online activity, according to data collected for NTIA in July 2015 by the U.S. Census Bureau. This survey included several privacy and security questions, which were asked of more than 41,000 households that reported having at least one Internet user.
Households Reporting Online Security Breaches by Number of Different Types of Devices Used,
About 22 percent of Internet-using households that used a mobile data plan to go online outside the home experienced an online security breach, compared with 11 percent of those not using data plans while outside the home.
And it appears that security concerns are negatively affecting willingness to use the Internet. Some 45 percent of online households reported that these concerns stopped them from conducting financial transactions, buying goods or services, posting on social networks, or expressing opinions on controversial or political issues via the Internet.
Online Activities Avoided Due to Privacy or Security Concerns