Identity theft fears weigh on Americans

People 'extremely concerned' about lost personal data, Unisys study shows

Most Americans remain afraid of identity theft, but their level of anxiety is increasing, according to a survey by Unisys.

The study found that 64% are very or extremely concerned about someone stealing their identity, with 31% describing their level of worry as extremely concerned. Six months ago, 65% said they were worried, but only 26% described their fear as extremely concerned.

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The intensity of worry has increased in other areas over the past six months as well, with respondents ranking themselves among the most worried about loss of personal data (up 5%), computer viruses and spam (up 5%), online shopping (up 5%), national security and the war on terror (up 5%), personal safety (up 4%) and ability to meet financial obligations (up 3%).

These results come from the latest "Unisys Security Index: United States", a survey the company performs twice a year. The company provides network security consulting.

Those who make the most money, people ages 45 to 64, are the most worried about the safety of online banking and shopping. Those 65 years of age and older and those with the highest household incomes show the least concern about being able to pay their bills.

The best educated, those who are college graduates, are least likely to worry about health epidemics, meeting financial obligations and personal safety.

Concern about personal safety is linked to race, with more than twice the percentage of blacks and Hispanics likely to worry about it than whites, according to the survey.

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