64 Percent of American Voters Predict a 2016 Presidential Campaign Will Be Hacked

MILWAUKEE, WI (Sept. 9, 2015) — As the 2016 presidential race heats up, data security company PKWARE announced the results of a poll conducted by Wakefield Research that examined American perceptions of the threat of political hacking, and which of the leading U.S. presidential candidates are most qualified to protect our nation from a growing onslaught of cyber-crime. According to the survey, which was sponsored by PKWARE and conducted in recent weeks, the majority (64 percent) of registered U.S. voters believe it is likely that a 2016 presidential campaign will be hacked.

Due to the onslaught of breaches we are seeing every day, which stretch to the highest levels of the U.S. government, it’s hardly surprising that a majority of Americans believe that a presidential campaign will fall victim to hacking,” says V. Miller Newton, CEO and President of PKWARE. “Behind every candidate there are legions of operatives, allies and adversaries sharing sensitive information. Whether foreign entities or campaign operatives and lone wolves based in the U.S., presidential campaigns offer unique staging grounds for what could be highly disruptive attacks.

Despite Hillary Clinton’s private email controversy, 42 percent of registered voters think she is the presidential candidate most qualified to protect the United States from cyber-attacks. She is followed by Donald Trump (24 percent), Scott Walker (18 percent) and Jeb Bush (15 percent).

Hillary Clinton Most Qualified to Protect U.S. From Cyber-Attacks

Additional key findings of the survey include:

Red-Blue Split: Registered voters are predictably very evenly split on which political party has the best policy solutions for protecting personal information, with 38 percent saying Democrats and 36 percent saying Republicans. Yet, the majority of registered millennials (56 percent) think Democrats have the best policy solutions.

Millennials Trending: Hillary Clinton also emerged as the leader on cybersecurity issues among the millennial generation. Within this influential demographic, 47 percent of registered millennials believe Hillary Clinton is the presidential candidate most qualified to protect the U.S. from cyber-attacks.

Sacrificing Privacy: In the wake of the ongoing debate over safety versus privacy, 56 percent of registered voters would be willing to allow the government to search their email, internet browser history, phone calls and text messages if it meant protecting the U.S. from a terrorist attack.

Superpower Hackers: When it comes to cyber warfare, 51 percent of U.S. voters believe China to be the country with the best hackers, followed by the United States (30 percent), Russia (13 percent) and North Korea (7 percent).

Debate Points: American cybersecurity is a serious issue worth debating. Improved defense against hackers (34 percent) tops the list of cybersecurity issues voters would most like to see the presidential candidates debate, followed by an identity protection plan for Americans (26 percent) and collaboration with private business on safeguarding the internet (22 percent).

Encryption… What?: In terms of personal cybersecurity, the majority of Americans voters are not taking advantage of available security tools that can best protect sensitive personal data. Only 47 percent of voters use encryption to protect their personal data, and 23 percent did not understand the meaning behind the word encryption.

Data Worries: Social security numbers (56 percent) represent the personal data that registered voters worry most about, followed by bank information (33 percent) and internet browsing history (7 percent).

Methodology

Wakefield Research conducted the survey for PKWARE between Aug. 10-14 among 1,000 registered US voters, using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About PKWARE

PKWARE’s Smart Encryption armors data at its core, eliminating vulnerabilities everywhere it is used, shared or stored. Smart Encryption is easily embedded and managed without changing the way people work. For nearly three decades, PKWARE has provided security and compression software to more than 30,000 enterprise customers, including 200 government entities. PKWARE invented .ZIP, the world’s most widely used, file-based open standard.

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