Despite FBI Propaganda, Americans Love Encryption

Recent study reveals that 95% of Americans would want strong encryption to secure their data while online

Mar 21, 2016 12:29 GMT  ·  By Catalin Cimpanu

In spite of the massive propaganda from both sides after the San Bernardino shooter iPhone scandal, most Americans understand the crucial role encryption plays in securing their personal information, both online and offline, even if most don’t understand what encryption is exactly.

A recent study conducted by Zix Corporation, an email data protection company, on 500 subjects of age 18 and above reveals that in an overwhelming majority, Americans view encryption as a good thing for their lives.

The study showed that 72% of all survey respondents associated the term “encryption” with security while only 4% viewed encryption as a threat. The other respondents were also encryption-friendly, saying that the first thing that comes into their head when they say encryption is privacy.

In a similar question, when asked what adjective they associate with encryption, 79% said secure, 16% said complicated while only 5% said frightening.

The pro-encryption sentiment was also seen in the answers to other questions, with 95% of Americans saying that they believe that sensitive personal information should be encrypted while online.

The views on encryption of 42% of Americans influenced by media coverage

With the FBI trying to pull as many people as it can on its side with “terrorists use encryption” arguments, 42% of the survey takers have admitted being influenced by media coverage in their opinion about encryption, while 28% relied on personal experience, 16% of personal research, and 14% on their work experience.

The general confusion about encryption and what it is also came to light when Zix asked survey takers if they ever used encryption. Only 32% said yes, while 43% said no, and 25% said they weren’t sure. This fact is extremely surprising if we take into account that encryption is used hundreds if not thousands of times each day when you go online.

Of course, when asked if medical records should be protected 88% said yes, and if they shared sensitive personal information while online, 75% also said yes, not all knowing that encryption was keeping that information safe.

What word do you associate with encryption?

What word do you associate with encryption?