Google Study: Comparing Expert and Non-Expert Security Practices

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  • February 4, 2016

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Google researchers conducted two surveys recently; one with 231 security experts and another with 294 web-users who aren’t security experts. They asked both groups what they do to stay safe online. Results show that most people do not have a solid understanding of the most effective ways to protect themselves against security threats.

The results illustrate that there are some common trends when it comes to the misinformation of the average user. For example, security experts and regular Web users presented careful password management. However, they differ in their approaches. Where security experts rely heavily on password managers (73%), only 24% of non-experts answered that they use password management services. Most of the respondents in the non-expert group simply try to remember their passwords, which leads to the issue of failing to change passwords often which puts users at greater risk.

Despite of some commonalities, there is a difference between experts’ and non-experts’ answers. Surprisingly, only 7% of security experts said that antivirus software was one of the top three actions they use to keep their data safe with 42% of non-experts saying they rely on antivirus software as part of their top three.

Google specialists reported that their findings “highlight fundamental misunderstandings about basic online security practices”. Google’s researchers wrote: “Software updates, for example, are the seatbelts of online security; they make you safer, period. And yet, many non-experts not only overlook these as a best practice, but also mistakenly worry that software updates are a security risk.”.

To find out more, check out the full study hereYou’ll be surprised how little most people know about keeping their data safe.

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