Leaked data scarier than leaked nude photo, consumers say

July 10, 2015

PURCHASE, N.Y. (7/10/15)--Most Americans--55%--would rather have naked pictures of themselves leaked online than have their financial information stolen, according to a new survey from MasterCard.

In fact, U.S. consumers’ fear of having their financial information stolen runs so deep that they are less concerned about having their email hacked (62%) or their home robbed (59%). Seventy-seven percent are concerned that their financial information or Social Security number could be stolen or compromised.

At the same time, Americans don’t seem to be doing enough to protect their financial information. Ninety-two percent of survey respondents feel they take precautions to protect their financial information, yet roughly half (46%) rarely or never change passwords for online financial accounts. And 44% use the same password for multiple online accounts. More than a third (39%) have checked their financial data online on public networks.

But consumers are ready to embrace better security and new methods of payment, according to the MasterCard survey. A majority of consumers (69%) use chip cards or plan to use them soon.

Perhaps the best news is that Americans feel responsible for protecting their own data. About 48% of respondents believe they are most responsible for protecting their own financial information from being stolen or comprised.

Americans also believe there are more secure ways to pay today than ever before. A majority (83%) of consumers are excited about new secure technologies helping protect their financial information, and 77% feel there are more secure ways to pay than ever before.

Most people (88%) also trust that their payment network is arming them with secure technologies to protect them from fraud, and a majority (77%) feel that new technologies in the payment sector are having an overall positive impact on personal security.