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Research and Statistics

Identity theft, bank card fraud rank atop consumers’ security fears

In a new Unisys survey, U.S. respondents said they’re more concerned about identity theft than terrorism or their personal safety


For the third year in a row, identity theft and bank card fraud top the list of global consumer security concerns, according to the latest Unisys Security Index survey.

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For the third year in a row, identity theft and bank card fraud top the list of global consumer security concerns, according to the latest Unisys Security Index survey.

Begun in 2007, the annual survey measures consumer attitudes across eight areas of security in four categories: national security, financial security, internet security and personal security. In addition, the results are used to calculate an aggregate index score of concern each year.

Using a scale of zero to 300, with 300 representing the highest level of concern, the U.S. index remains at its second-highest level, registering at 165. The peak during the survey’s dozen years appeared in 2017, when the index reached 169.

Coming in ahead of all other threats evaluated by the survey, almost two-thirds of U.S. respondents (63%) reported they are extremely or very concerned about their identity being stolen or misused.

See related: How to undo unauthorized credit card charges by a family member

In second rank, with 58% indicating serious concern, is bank card fraud, or other people obtaining and using one’s credit or debit card details. This ranked directly alongside concerns surrounding national security, or the threat of war or terrorism (also reported by 58%).

Rounding out the bottom ranks of the eight consumer security concerns targeted by the survey were natural disasters, reported as a serious concern by 50% of U.S. adults, and personal safety, which has 42% of respondents extremely or very concerned.

The U.S. component of the 2019 Unisys Security Index is drawn from online surveys of 1,038 respondents, ages 18 to 64. Conducted from February through March of 2019, the results were weighted to national demographic characteristics and released in late January.

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