Halon, the technology leader in email security, routers, and load balancers, today announced the results of its 2013 Security Survey. Halon commissioned the study because it is the only provider of email security solutions built for hosting, cloud, and service providers. Conducted online by Harris Interactive among 2,084 American online adults aged 18+, the survey found that the majority of Americans are wary about cloud security. In fact, over three-quarters of Americans (76%) have concerns about storing music, photos and files in the cloud, while 94% say there are specific triggers within an email that would cause them to doubt the credibility of the sender.
“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,” said Jonas Falck, COO and Co-founder, Halon. “As the only technology leader with an effective solution for email security and the cloud, we hope to instill 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%)
Someone gaining access to sensitive or embarrassing files (28%)
Computer viruses (21%)
Surprisingly, 25% of Americans say they do not understand what the cloud is, and a number of Americans (13%) 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 sensitive or embarrassing files like emails and photographs (31% vs. 25%), and feel like they do not own music, television shows and movies in the cloud (19% vs. 11%). Conversely, more women than men do not understand what the cloud is (32% vs. 18%). Looking at the generation gap, more adults 55+ than millennials aged 18-34 (35% vs. 29%) 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 35 were more concerned than their senior counterparts aged 55+ (33% vs. 25%).
A further 79% of Americans say they would never feel comfortable saving any type of file in the cloud, and of those , 84% 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% vs. 33%) and reassurance from a friend with technology know-how (17% vs. 10%).
Security concerns extend to email. Less than half of Americans (43%) say they are confident or very confident that when they receive an email, the sender is who they say they are. 94% of Americans 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%)
Too many hyperlinks (63%)
Subject line in all capital letters (50%)
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.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Halon 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.