Alexa, you’re scaring me: Study reveals top tech-driven concerns

Concerns about crimes and robberies have been around since the beginning of time. But our online world poses just as many threats and might even be scarier.
Written by Eileen Brown, Contributor

Times have changed, and so have our fears and worries. While technology makes much of our day-to-day easier, it can also be a cause for concern. Draper, UT-based security solutions company Cove surveyed 1,003 Americans to reveal their top security concerns in an increasingly digital age.

It aimed to rank people's most common modern-day fears, by generation, gender and political party. The survey unearthed some alarming insights.

Almost four in five (78%) parents said that they were worried about raising their kids in today's world. The top three safety concerns for parents are tech-related. They are worried about their kids talking to stranger's online (67%), cyber-bullying (61%), and providing personal information online (59%). These factors ranked equal to, or higher than their concerns about mass shootings which also scored (59%).

Although parental controls have been around for a while, over three out of four (76%) think that kids should have restricted access to the internet for safety reasons. Almost nine out of ten (87%) of Baby Boomers felt like this, and (68%) of Generation Z felt the same way. Only 12% of respondents did not support the idea of restricting children's access to the web.

Alexa, you’re scaring me Study reveals top tech-driven concerns zdnet

Social media is seen as the most harmful of modern technology when it comes to safety with 59% of respondents reporting this, while security cameras were considered the most helpful (75%).

Voice enabled devices such as Google Nest, Alexa, and Siri that listen to our conversations were considered to be more harmful for safety by 38% respondents. Only one in four (27%) felt these devices were more helpful.

If the data is sliced politically, Republicans were a little more on board with restricting internet space, with 81% of respondents in favour. Three out of four (75%) Democrats felt the same.

Their number one technology fear for upcoming decades is large data breaches (22%) followed by election hacking (13%). Only three percent are worried about their personal information being sold to companies for advertising purposes.

Although many of us think of Gen Z as the most tech-savvy generation, they were the only generation whose biggest concern had nothing to with tech. Almost half (46%) of this generation is reluctant to walk in public alone at night.

Although technology is a great enabler, it plays such a large role in today's safety concerns.

Social media has turned into a staple of our day-to-day interactions, yet half of the respondents believed their social accounts were more harmful to their safety than helpful.

Americans are tightening the reins on their own behaviour in favour of living a safer life. If you are wary of how your data might be treated, and where the data is sent by social media and smart home devices, make sure your devices are as secure as they can be.

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