Americans have overwhelming concerns about Cloud

A day after July the 4th Indepedence Day comes a new study that shows more than three-quarters of Americans do not trust cloud security to save their emails, photos and files.

This survey was conducted online and only in the U.S. so there is no results that are Canadian, but still interesting. The study was done by Harris Interactive on behalf of Halon, an email security vendor, from May 31- June 4, 2013 among 2,084 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Halon commissioned the study because it providers email security solutions built for hosting, cloud, and service providers. The study found that the majority of Americans are wary about cloud and email security 76 per cent have concerns about storing emails, photos and files in the cloud, while 94 per cent say there are specific triggers within an email that would cause them to doubt the credibility of the sender.

Jonas Falck, vice president, Halon, said although millions of Americans use email and the cloud for professional and personal reasons, our research shows that most Americans still have concerns about security and still don’t fully trust the cloud. As the only technology leader with an effective solution for email security and the cloud, we hope to instil trust in the security of email and cloud services.

Concerns about storing in the cloud include:

  • Losing files (35%)
  • Files not stored securely (34%)
  • Loss of control (30%)
  • Embarrassing files made public (28%)
  • Computer viruses (21%)

Surprisingly 25 per cent of Americans say they do not understand what the cloud is, and a number of Americans (13 per cent) think companies that hold files in the cloud cannot be trusted. Men were statistically more likely than women to worry that someone will access their embarrassing files like emails and photographs (31 per cent vs. 25 per cent), and feel like they do not own music, television shows and movies in the cloud (19 per cent vs. 11 per cent). Conversely, more women than men do not understand what the cloud is (32 per cent vs. 18 per cent). Looking at the generation gap, more adults 55+ than millennials (35 per cent vs. 29 per cent) feel a loss of control when handing over files. When addressing concerns that someone can get access to sensitive or embarrassing files, adults younger than 34 were more concerned than their senior counterparts (33 per cent vs. 25 per cent).

A further 79 per cent of Americans say they would never feel comfortable saving any type of file in the cloud, and of those respondents, 84 per cent say there are actions to get them there, including:

  • Proof of security (54%)
  • Guarantee of security from a trusted company (44%)
  • Better understanding of what the cloud is (41%)
  • Knowing where files are stored (34%)
  • Reassurance from a tech-savvy friend (14%)

Women were statistically more likely than men to say they need a better understanding of the cloud (49 per cent vs. 33 per cent) and reassurance from a friend with technology know-how (17 per cent vs. 10 per cent).

Security concerns extend to email. Less than half of Americans (43 per cent) say they are confident or very confident that when they receive an email, the sender is who they say they are. Of the 94 per cent of Americans who say there are triggers within an email that make them doubt the validity of the sender, these triggers include:

  • Offer for a free device (77%)
  • Offer for free prescription drugs (73%)
  • Subject line promising pictures of a celebrity having sex (71%)
  • Subject line promising pictures of a celebrity naked (71%)
  • Subject line in all capital letters (50%)
  • Too many hyperlinks (63%)
  • Email about a scandal involving President Obama (50%)
  • Email about a scandal involving Republicans (48%)

Falck continued, “Ensuring users fully trust the cloud and what is being sent via email starts at the hosting level, and by ensuring malicious threats never reach the end user is the only solution – and that is the problem Halon is here to solve.”


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