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Halloween '13: What tech frightens us most

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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1 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

Modis Main Findings

Background 

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.

Methodology

  • 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%.
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2 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

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).

 

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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). 
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Third fear: Teens are afraid of their videos being released

Younger Americans are more likely to be concerned about photo and video leaks.
  • In fact, 13 percent of those 18-34 are most afraid of having their photos or videos publicized without   their consent, compared to 11 percent of 35-44 year olds, 3 percent of those ages 45-54, less than 1  percent of 55-64 year olds, and 2 percent of those over the age of 65. 
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You'll pay big bucks to protect your phones and content on them

Americans are willing to pay up to protect their mobile phones and associated content.

  • Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans are willing to pay to safely recover their personal mobile phone   and all its digital content if it were lost and left accessible to others, with the average amount they are   willing to pay  being  $128.

 

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6 of 6 Jason Perlow/ZDNet

And willing to pay more to recover it! Muhahahaha!

One-quarter (25 percent) of those respondents are willing to spend more than $50 to recover their personal mobile phone and all of its digital content.

  • The willingness to pay more than $50 actually decreases as people age.  Four in 10 (40 percent)   Americans ages 18-34 are willing to pay more than $50, while just 24 percent of those 35-44, 22   percent of those 45-54, 16 percent of those 55-64, and 11 percent of those 65 and older would  say the same. 

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