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Why We Adopt Then Abandon Online Safety Practices


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More than half of poll respondents did not follow recommendations for unique or strong passwords.

A survey of more than 900 people on their use of commonly recommended online safety practices found that more refrained from clicking on unknown links or emails than utilized privacy or identify theft countermeasures like ad blockers or credit report freezes.

Credit: University of Michigan News

Researchers at the University of Michigan (UM) and NortonLifeLock's Research Group surveyed more than 900 people to gauge their use of 30 commonly recommended online safety practices, to better understand the trend of certain practices' adoption and abandonment.

Security practices such as not clicking on unknown links or emails were found to be more widely adopted than privacy or identify theft countermeasures like ad blockers or credit report freezes.

More than half of poll respondents did not follow recommendations for unique or strong passwords.

The researchers suggested that damage from security risks is more concrete to users, versus damage from privacy and ID theft.

UM's Florian Schaub said researchers, designers, and practitioners need "to not only better explain to people why it's important to keep doing something they had been doing at some point, but also figure out how to make security and privacy tools and solutions easier to use so that people are not struggling."

From University of Michigan News
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