Survey reveals 8 in 10 Americans worry that Artificial Intelligence tech will be used for identity theft crimes
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 20, 2023 ~ As the world continues to embrace the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), new risks and concerns have arisen that were not on people's radars even a year ago. According to a survey conducted by Nationwide, 82% of general consumer respondents are concerned about the use of AI by criminals to steal someone's identity. Cyber threats remain top of mind for consumers, with 6 in 10 expressing concern about potential cyberattacks.

The survey also revealed that only 34% of consumers feel prepared to prevent a cyberattack and only 41% are confident in their ability to recover from one. 45% would hire or outsource someone to lead the recovery process if they were to fall victim to an attack, which is up 5 points from 2022 findings.

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that in 2022 there was a 5% decrease in total number of complaints reported, but dollar losses increased by 49%. This has made many consumers more likely to purchase cyber insurance or expand their current coverage.

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When it comes to cybercrime familiarity, respondents reported being most familiar with phishing (46%), malware (45%), and cyber bullying (44%). However, they said they were not at all knowledgeable about digital unemployment fraud (54%), DoS (denial of service) attacks (53%), deepfakes (51%), and digital tax fraud (48%).

10% reported having been a victim of an attack, down 10 points from 2022 findings. The most common attacks reported were password attacks (40%), malware (34%), and data breaches (30%). Only 53% knew what to do when they identified the attack and half reported an impact on their personal finances. Measures taken included changing passwords (58%), updating cybersecurity software (40%) and purchasing ID theft protection (31%).

Most consumers who monitor their personal information or accounts do so themselves rather than using an external service—the accounts most likely to be self-monitored are financial accounts (47%), emails (42%) and social security numbers(39%)—all up from 2022 findings (+13 points, +10 points, +8 points respectively).

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15% of consumers report currently owning cyber insurance, down 1 point from 2022 findings. The main barriers for not having it are lack of knowledge(40%), lack of awareness of availability(36%) and perceived costs(29%).

75% are interested in identity recovery—pays for the costs of recovering from an identity theft as well as a full-service ID theft restoration services; 74% are interested in payment accounts and financial accounts monitoring and activity alerts; 72% are interested in computer attack protection—removes malware and reprograms computers and tables, Wi-Fi routers, or other internet access points.

Having cyber insurance can dramatically shrink the cost and time it takes to recover from a cyber issue. Nationwide offers ID theft coverage for $45 a year which includes cyber protection services, an identity protection portal and resolution services features—this can be added to any home or auto policy. Consumers can check with their agent to see what's available to them and identify vulnerabilities.
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