Norton LifeLock Exposes Cyber Myths
Placing Consumersí Personal Information At Risk
December 20, 2018
than half of Americans (53 percent) donít know that their data and personal
information is not protected even if they enable privacy settings on social
media apps or websites, according to a survey commissioned by Symantec brand
Norton LifeLock. In fact, once information is shared online, itís no longer
private Ė and, it can fall into the wrong hands whether itís compromised through
a data breach, email scam or even someone familiar.
This is just one of several cyber myths Norton LifeLock identified in their
recent online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll among more than 2,000
American adults. Regardless of age or gender, cyber myths coupled with poor
cyber safety habits are likely hindering peopleís ability to protect themselves
from cyber crime.
Even Millennials and Gen-Z age groups, who are often seen as the most tech savvy
generations, are less likely to know how to protect their digital and financial
lives compared to older adults. More than one in four 18-to-34-year-olds (27
percent) believe itís safe to send personal information through email if they
have a strong password, compared to only six percent of seniors (65+) and 11
percent of 54-to-64-year-olds. Similarly, more than 4 in 10 of 18-34-year-olds
(44 percent) believe or are unsure if itís usually okay to ignore browsers and
security warnings about questionable websites and proceed to the site, compared
to only 17 percent of seniors.
ďWe find people have many misconceptions and unfounded beliefs about the safety
of their data online,Ē said Paige Hanson, Chief of Identity Education, Symantec.
ďCyber criminals are ruthless and determined to take advantage of consumersí
digital and financial well-being, so we hope to educate and help consumers
protect themselves by sharing common myths and clarifying the facts about real
To help educate consumers and bring the story to life, Norton LifeLock enlisted
myth busting expert, author and producer Kari Byron to take part in a five-part
educational video series, helping close the cyber literacy gap and foster cyber
ďIím deeply passionate about digging into closely held beliefs and uncovering
truths, which is why Iím excited to help Norton LifeLock with this fun, easy to
understand video series,Ē said Byron. ďYou donít know what youíve got until itís
gone Ė and that includes your data, your privacy, or even your identity.Ē
What Are the Cyber Security Myths Dispelled by Norton LifeLock?:
Smart Phone Hygiene
Cyber Myth: One in 8 Americans (13 percent) believe hackers cannot gain access
to data and personal information on a locked mobile phone.
Cyber Fact: Locking your phone is important, but not enough. Without touching
your phone, hackers can gain access to your data and personal information in the
cloud where itís stored. They can also trick you into installing a malicious app
that enables them to steal account information and even look at your email and
texts. To help keep your phone protected, use a complex password, install
security software, only use trusted Wi-Fi, and be careful about who you let use
Cyber Myth: About1 in 5 Americans (19 percent) believe that turning on private
browsing hides their online activity from their internet service provider.
Cyber Fact: Private browsing may only hide certain activities, such as browsing
history on the device itself, and it does not conceal online activity from your
internet service provider, the websites you visit or your employer. To help hide
your online activity, try a virtual private network service (VPN). Using a VPN
will encrypt the data you send and receive while using public Wi-Fi so you can
pay bills, check email and privately surf the web.
Credit Freezes and Identity Theft
Cyber Myth: More than half of Americans (54 percent) donít know that freezing
their credit after a data breach doesnít prevent their identity from being
stolen. Additionally, 52 percent believe or are unsure whether their bank or
financial institution will handle all consequences that result from identity
theft, including stolen funds reimbursement, credit repair, and reinstating
ability to take out loans.
Cyber Fact: Your identity can be stolen even if you freeze your credit. A credit
freeze will only prevent thieves from opening new accounts in your name where a
credit report is required. It doesnít protect existing financial accounts or
prevent them from filing fake tax returns in your name. While a credit freeze is
a good idea if your data is breached, identity theft protection services could
help you see potential threats that a credit freeze canít catch.
The Dark Web
Myth: More than half of Americans (52 percent) believe itís impossible or are
unsure if they can find out if their personal information is on the dark web.
Cyber Fact: Your personal information can be bought and sold on the dark web Ė
names, Social Security numbers, birthdays Ė typically for less than $1.50 per
record1. An identity theft protection service can patrol the dark web and notify
you if it finds your information on the sites it searches2.
Cyber Myth: More than one-third of Americans (35 percent) donít know that paying
off a ransomware attack will not ensure they regain access to their files.
Cyber Fact: If a hacker targets you and you pay the ransom, you may not get your
files back, and, if they can make you pay once, you could be targeted again.
With the average ransom costing $522, thatís an expensive way to learn the
truth. To help protect yourself, back up your data regularly, invest in security
software, and keep your software and operating system up to date.