Americans Anxious About Personal Financial Security

A majority of consumers use chip cards or plan to use them soon, and more than half currently use mobile digital payments via an app or Website.

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More than three-quarters (77 percent) of consumers are concerned with their financial information or social security number (SSN) being stolen or compromised, higher than even concerns about their email being hacked (62 percent), according to a Braun Research survey of 1,000 consumers.

The survey, which was sponsored by MasterCard, found about half (48 percent) of consumers believe they are most responsible for protecting their own financial information from being stolen or comprised.

While 92 percent of Americans feel they take precautions to protect their financial information, roughly half (46 percent) rarely or never change their passwords or online financial accounts.

In addition, 44 percent use the same password for multiple online accounts, and more than a third (39 percent) have checked their financial data online on public networks.

"It was surprising to see that the data does not show big swings in behavior or technology adoption by generation," Beth Kitchener, business leader for U.S. markets communications at MasterCard, told eWEEK. "This may be because consumers, regardless of age, recognize the importance of protecting their financial information. And in today’s digital world, taking an active role in one’s own protection goes hand in hand with embracing new technologies."

A majority of consumers (69 percent) use chip cards or plan to use them soon, and more than half (56 percent) currently use mobile digital payments via an app or Website or plan to try it soon.

Perhaps the most intriguing finding of the survey was that 55 percent of respondents said they would rather have naked pictures of themselves leaked online than have their financial information stolen.

"We are all human," Kitchener said. "The good news is that consumers are optimistic about the change ahead and actively embracing new technologies and services that will counter security concerns."

A majority (83 percent) of consumers said they are excited about new secure technologies helping protect their financial information, and 77 percent feel there are more secure ways to pay than ever before.

The vast majority of respondents (88 percent) said they also trust that their payment network is arming them with secure technologies to protect them from fraud.