Webroot Survey: 1 in 4 Moms Report Their College Student Lacks a PC Security Solution

BROOMFIELD, CO - September 22, 2015

Webroot, the market leader in intelligent cybersecurity for endpoints and collective threat intelligence, today announced the results of its survey on moms’ perceptions about their college student’s online safety. The results of this survey, which come on the eve of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), show that 1 in 4 of moms report their child do not have a cybersecurity solution installed on their computer. When asked why, most (37 percent) responded that they “didn’t think about it.” Furthermore, of the 69 percent of moms who report their student does have security installed, 36 percent can’t recall the name.

In today’s increasingly digital world, the threat of cyberattacks is on the rise. Major breaches, such as those against Target, Apple iCloud, and Ashley Madison, demonstrate how vulnerable companies and individuals are to cyberattacks, as well as the far-reaching implications of data theft. Despite the growth in cybercrime and the media’s coverage of it, the Webroot survey found that a sizable percentage of moms (32 percent) are “not at all” worried about online safety. Additional takeaways from the survey include:

  • Of the moms who reported their child’s computer does not have a security solution installed, 17% don’t think security is necessary.
  • 62% of moms are “somewhat” to “not at all” confident that they would know what actions to take, if their child’s identity were stolen.

“Almost 40 percent of survey respondents said they just didn’t think to install cybersecurity, and almost 20 percent don’t think it’s necessary. That’s why NCSAM, as well as other initiatives to educate the general public about the dangers they face in cyberspace, are crucial,” said Grayson Milbourne, security intelligence director at Webroot. “From sophisticated malware to spear phishing and ransomware, cybercrime continues to get more advanced. People who are not concerned or aware of internet risks make easy targets. As we’re faced with an increasing number of high-profile hacks, individuals need to be more cautious than ever about the websites they visit, the URLs they follow from emails and social networks, and the apps they use.”

In an effort to increase cybersecurity awareness and education, Webroot encourages participating in NCSAM this October. Sponsored by the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) within the Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance, this important initiative was created to ensure that every American has the resources they need to protect their identities and data online.

Additionally, Webroot recommends the following precautions:

  • Use up-to-date cybersecurity: Whether using a Webroot SecureAnywhere® solution or another cybersecurity product, Webroot encourages that users ensure their protection is up to date and uses the correct security settings. This helps keep devices protected against the latest threats.
  • Protect mobile devices: Any internet-connected device can become a target, including smartphones and tablets. This is especially important if the devices are used for online banking or other financial transactions.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi: Although free public wireless is convenient, sensitive information should never be sent over these connections.
  • Enable junk filtering: By enabling junk filtering within an email client, many phishing emails and other scams can be caught before they make it to the inbox.
  • Choose a secure password: A combination of characters, numbers, and letters that is 10 or more characters long helps prevent brute-force password theft.
  • Use two-factor authentication whenever possible: Two-factor authentication adds another layer of security when logging in to social networks, email or banking accounts, and other websites.
  • Remain vigilant: Continually check the accuracy of personal accounts and deal with any discrepancies immediately.
  • Only download software from trusted sites: Carefully evaluate software and file-sharing applications before downloading them, particularly if they are free.

For more information on National Cyber Security Awareness Month, visit www.staysafeonline.org


This survey was commissioned by Webroot and conducted by SurveyMonkey in August 2015. Survey respondents included more than 500 moms who have or have recently had a child leave for college. The survey represents moms age 30 and up and identifies moms’ understanding and perceptions about their college student’s online safety.

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