Poll finds Americans' fears about national security growing

 Poll finds Americans' fears about national security growing
© Getty

A new Unisys Security Index reveals that national security is the top security concern for Americans, overtaking financial security.

The index found that 68 percent of Americans said they were "seriously concerned" about national security, which includes the threat of war or terrorism. That was a marked 44 percent jump since the last Unisys Security Index in 2014, when 47 percent said they were seriously concerned about those issues.

The security index also found growing anxiety over cybersecurity and hacking. Thirty-six percent of Americans said they were concerned with malware and hacking in 2014, a figure that is now at 56 percent.

“Americans are feeling an acute loss of control when it comes to all different types of security,” said Bill Searcy, vice president of Justice, Law Enforcement, and Border Security for Unisys, and a former FBI deputy assistant director. “National security has risen to the top because Americans feel they cannot control what is happening around them.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. results matched those with other countries, which also saw overall security concerns rise.

But respondents in other countries were more concerned with financial security such as protecting against identity theft or bankcard fraud than national security concerns.

“At the same time, Americans’ highest level of personal concerns center on identity theft and bankcard fraud,” Searcy said. “Again, this is because consumers feel they have less personal control than they should or used to.”

The Unisys Security Index for the U.S. was at 169, which the report saw as "a serious level of concern," up from 123, a "moderate level of concern," in 2014.

The score is calculated based on consumers' responses to a wide range of security issues. The index surveyed 13,000 consumers in April 2017 from 13 countries.

The global index for 2017 is 173, the highest since the study began in 2007, and 30 points higher than the last survey. Nearly 85 percent of respondents expressed concerns about security.

“[T]he implications of the study are both clear and global: anxiety over security is at an all-time high, and the rise shows no signs of abating,” said Michelle Beistle, the U.S. chief privacy officer at Unisys.