Halloween '13: What tech frightens us most

Halloween '13: What tech frightens us most

Summary: In their latest October 2013 survey released just in time for All Hallows' Eve, IT recruiting firm Modis surveyed 1000 Americans to find out what potential tech disasters are keeping them up at night.


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  • Modis Main Findings


    IT recuriting firm Modis polled 1,005 Americans to understand what technology disasters “scared” them the most and which information or content  they were most afraid to have shared with the public.


    • This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,005 adults, 504 men and 501 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States.
    • Interviews for this CARAVAN® Survey were conducted from October 10-13, 2013 -- 655 interviews were from the landline sample and 350 interviews from the cell phone sample. The margin of error for this study is  +/- 3.1%.
  • Primary Fear: Email Hacking

    Email hacking is Americans’ greatest technology-related fear.

    • When asked which technology-related situation they find scariest, Americans cited having their   personal or work email account hacked (22 percent) or losing all of the files or data on their computer (19 percent). 
    • They are also afraid of losing or forgetting passwords to important online accounts (15 percent),  permanently losing all contacts in their mobile phone (15 percent), losing personal Internet access   for a month (8 percent), spilling coffee or liquid on their keyboard (6 percent), and sending a text or   email to the wrong person (4 percent).


  • Secondary fear: Release of banking information

    Americans are most fearful of online banking information being publicized or leaked.

    • More than half of Americans (58 percent) would be most afraid of their online banking information    being publicized without their consent, compared to their photos/videos (7 percent), social media   passwords (7 percent), text messages (5 percent), personal emails (5 percent), search or browser   history (3 percent), and apps (1 percent). 

Topics: Security, Banking, Cloud, Smartphones


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • Great Site

    Virginia responded I cannot believe that a mom can get paid ($)4750 in a few weeks on the internet. view website... http://smal.ly/nkY63
    Erin K. Wright
  • My Bigest fear is the Fog better known the Clowd

    Gather around the fire children let me tell you a story about a user. One day Companies like Instagram, Google, Facebook and a few start-ups came a knocking. The tempted the poor user saying come with us, store your story, your pictures, and post on our server, and we will give you all you wish, infinite storage , friends and more online delights , all for free we just need your e-signature.
    All was fine until the user one day, found Instagram took ownership of all his pictures and used them as they wish, Google sold his personal information to advertizes not only his but his family and contacts, Facebook cut him off, and for the cloud storage start-ups: they went belly up and took all the user’s data never to be seen again. The user was left in utter darkens (in a lovecraftian way) while the cloud demons laughed; another unwitting soul trapped in their cloudy web.
    • Also

      Comments section that doesn't allow one to edit typos
      • Also

        A slide show that refreshes the entire page instead of just the slide.
        • Also

          But then the markets couldn't count all those reloads as "hits" and "clicks"
    • I like your ghost story...

      and agree somewhat. I keep local backups AND use the cloud for convenience. Not all clouds are created equal - the terms of service must be examined thoroughly.
    • The cloud is for remote access to your files from another PC..

      not to be used for a backup or storage. You have better luck recovering your data from a bad hard drive using software. There is no guarantee you'll get it back from a server plus if their electricity goes out could fry the cloud harddrives and it's really easy for them to become permanently damaged.
  • EMP from space that knocks out all electric-electronic systems

    Very messy. Very expensive. And a lot of people will get hurt or dead from it.
  • ZD Net Galleries

    Really guys. Hire a web developer for a day, and have him set up your gallery pages, so they don't reload the entire frekin' page when you click the next image. Yes, we get it. You want to load new banner ads when a new image is clicked. Fine. You don't have to reload the entire page, just load new ads.
    • This ^^

      I never go through more than 1 or 2 slides when I see it's a slide show, maybe first and conclusion. It's way too frustrating to go through it.

      I imagine far fewer people read articles that are in this stupid format.
      Koopa Troopa
  • These slideshows and Windows 8..

    are the worst tech which frightens me and others. Though thanks to MS's stubbornness more people are moving to Linux. It can only get better from there, even if it's a bumpy ride to the top i couldn't imagine any reason to stick with an OS where the company dictates what you can or can't do with the OS.
  • I am unafraid.

    None of those things worries me. Sure, they'd be a nuisance, but not that big a deal. I only use the cloud to transfer non-critical files or to download purchased content. Yes, someone could rob me via the internet, but that's better than being hit over the head by a mugger on the street. I'm much more afraid of being hit by a drunk driver.