More than half of Americans have said the president should be able to shut down portions of the Internet in the event of a cyber attack, according to research conducted by Unisys Corporation.
The survey also found that while Americans are taking proactive steps to protect themselves against cyber crime and identity theft, only a little more than a third of web users regularly use and update passwords on their mobile devices.
The findings also suggest citizens are in favor of a pending cybersecurity bill that would give the president widespread authority over the Internet in the case of an emergency.
“A majority of the American population is willing to grant the president the authority to cut short their Internet access to protect both U.S. assets and citizens, suggesting that the public is taking cyber warfare very seriously,” said Patricia Titus, Unisys’ vice president and chief information security officer. “Our survey shows that the American public recognizes the danger of a cyber attack and wants the federal government to take an active role in extending the nation’s cyber defense. It will be up to officials in all branches of the federal government to respond to this call to action in a way that is measured and well planned.”