Baby Boomers and seniors are more likely than respondents under the age of 40 to express the highest concern over China-based cyberattacks.
The American public continues to see a number of issues related to China and its rising power as major concerns, according to a Pew Research Center report. Chief among them is the large amount of American debt held by China, but not close behind are concerns about cyberattacks originating from China.
Eighty-six percent of respondents to the Pew study consider cyberattacks from China to be an issue worthy of serious concern, with 54 percent deeming the issue to be “very serious.”
A new Spectrem Group Investor Pulse survey of Affluent households finds a similar mindset. On a scale of 0 to 10, on which 10 equals “very concerned,” 41 percent expressed the highest concern. Women were more likely than men (44 percent vs. 40 percent) rate their concern a 10. Analyzed by age group, Baby Boomers and seniors were more likely than respondents under the age of 40 to express the highest concern over China-based cyberattacks. This may be because older individuals are generally less tech-savvy than their younger counterparts and thus more prone to concern about issues related to computers and the security of personal information.
Across the political spectrum, this is an issue of heightened concern among those identifying themselves as Republicans (47 percent vs. 36 percent of Democrats).
Last June, the Obama administration linked China to one of the largest breaches of federal employees’ data, involving at least four million current and former government workers. The target, the New York Times reported, appeared to be Social Security numbers and other “personal identifying information.” While China was linked to the cyberattack, it was unclear whether it was state sponsored.
In a state visit in September between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the leaders of the world’s two largest economies pledged their governments would refrain from cyber-thefts of intellectual property for commercial gain. President Obama did suggest that America would impose sanctions if the China-based attacks continued.
Of less concern to Affluent households are tensions in a South China Sea territorial dispute, that escalated last month when a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands claimed by China. America and other countries do not recognize China’s claims of sovereignty over the Subi Reef.
Only 13 percent of Affluent households surveyed by Spectrem Group rank this issue of the highest concern, a near equal percentage as those who do express the least concern. But here again, Republicans are much more concerned about this issue than their Democratic counterparts (17 percent vs. 6 percent).
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.