The Bay Area Council today released a new poll on cyber security and internet use, and the results show that 71% of Americans believe the safety of our information systems is a national security issue. The announcement was made as the Bay Area Council and a dozen of its member companies traveled to Washington D.C. this week for meetings at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and at the Commerce and Justice Departments on cyber security issues.
“Securing the personal and financial information of every American is a bipartisan issue,” said Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council. “With more Americans using smart phones and tablet computers to check their account balances and make purchases, it is absolutely critical for the federal government to step up and do more to protect consumers and businesses.”
The poll of 1,000 registered voters, conducted by Pineda Consulting, also showed that 66% of Americans surveyed think new laws need to be written to keep personal information secure, with 61% also stating that government needs to make the protection of the nation’s information systems and networks a higher priority. 63% of those surveyed also believe the current penalties for crimes related to electronic transactions and e-commerce are not tough enough.
The data showed that a digital divide still exists in America, with 59% of those earning less than $40,000 reporting that they go online to access the internet and e-mail, compared with 84% of those earning between $40-80,000, and 96% of those earning greater than $80,000. The poll also showed that 87% of Republicans reported going online to access the internet and e-mail, compared to 74% of Democrats and 77% of independents.
Separately, the poll also yielded interesting data about the Bay Area and its tech-savvy residents. While only 16% of Americans nationwide reported receiving all or almost all calls on a cell phone, in the Bay Area, nearly 31% do. 78% of Americans reported going online to access the internet and check e-mail, but in the Bay Area, 91% reported doing so. And, whereas 64% of Americans reported making purchases online, 78% of Bay Area residents surveyed reported doing so.
The poll was conducted between January 9-13, 2011. Findings are subject to a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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