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Third of Americans hacked after visiting “sketchy” websites – survey

With 30,000 websites hacked every day on average, a large portion of these cyberattacks happen due to human error, a study shows.

One in three Americans said they were hacked after visiting a “sketchy” website, according to a survey carried out by HostingAdvice, a web hosting company. Just over half of those said they got a computer virus as a result.

These hacks also resulted in half of respondents having their information phished, and 43% had their credit card information stolen. Just over a third of respondents had their username and password exposed, and 17% said their identity was stolen or cloned.

A large majority, or 75%, of survey respondents “harbor genuine concerns” about visiting websites that do not look secure, HostingAdvice said. Of those, more than half, or 58%, said their biggest concerns when visiting a small business website was the potential of insecure transactions.

They were also concerned, in descending order, about fake websites impersonating legitimate businesses (55%), phishing attacks (51%), the risk of catching a virus (47%), disinformation and misinformation (43%), and spyware (42%).

The survey also showed that 34% of Americans used web hosting services, with security and privacy features prioritized by 47% of those, second only to price at 51%. For servers to be in-house and not managed by a third party was another important factor, as was server customization and root access, according to HostingAdvice.

Web hosting users had biggest security concerns about their domain, or subdomains, getting a virus (49%), and about additional cost for security services (45%). Other concerns included fear that someone would steal their clients’ data, botnet-building attempts, DDoS attacks, and web server misconfigurations.

The majority of respondents using web hosting services – 62% – said they could not live without data protection or threat protection. Another 52% said encryption was the most important security feature for them.

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