When it comes to crime, Americans fear the invisible cybercrook far more than they do the crook who’s in plain sight.
In a survey commissioned by CreditCards.com, 46 percent of adults in the U.S. said having their identity stolen would be worse than having their home broken into. Just 27 percent said a home break-in would be worse.
That finding aligns with Americans’ overall fear of cybercrime – a fear, experts say, that’s fueled in large part by the broad reach of data breaches and other cybercrimes, as well as by widespread media coverage of them.
In a 2018 survey by Gallup, cybercrime ranked as the most feared crime in the country. The survey showed that only two types of crime worried the majority of Americans: having their personal, credit card or financial information nabbed by a computer hacker (71 percent) and having their identity stolen (67 percent).
- 40 percent of American adults feared a home burglary.
- 37 percent feared a car theft or break-in.
- 25 percent feared mugging.
- 24 percent feared terrorism.
For many Americans, the fear of cybercrime is real. Twenty-three percent of American adults surveyed by Gallup reported that someone in their household had personal, credit card or financial information stolen by a hacker in the previous 12 months. That ranked as the top crime experienced by the people surveyed — above identity theft (16 percent), monetary or property theft (14 percent) and vandalism (11 percent).