In the professional world of Lawfare (national security, homeland security, intelligence, privacy and civil liberties) nobody would doubt the salience of questions of cybersecurity. They seem to resonate across many dimesions and to pose some of the most vexing legal and policy questions. What to do, for example, about encryption is an issue that has generated far more heat than light and continues to divide analysts in ways that confound resolution.
But if you asked the mythical “average” person what they thought about cybersecurity, it seems that there is much less concern. At least that is the reasonable inference one can draw from what people actually do to protect themselves. Perhaps that is the wrong prism through which to ask the question, but it seems reasonable to base a judgment on the premise that “actions speak louder than words.” Last month we asked public opinion questions concerning personal cybersecurity using Google Surveys. The short answer: Very few people make any effort at all to protect themselves—evincing at least facialy a disregard for cybersecurity concerns.
- Do you encrypt data on your phone or computer?
- Do you ever use an anonymous browser like Tor?
- Do you use a password locker or storehouse like LastPass or OnePass?
- Please think of the password you use most often. How many letters or numbers or characters long is it?
- Have you ever had personal information of yours stolen from a company you patronize, like Target or Home Depot?