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45% of the users found their email accounts more valuable than their bank accounts

When asked what type of online account is the most valuable to you, 45% of the population choose their email accounts over their banking, social network and gaming accounts. Younger generations start favoring social network over email. Women seem more into social networks, men into gaming.

While teaching, I usually refer to financial institutions as THE example of accounts that users care to protect. To test if this claim was backed by data, I ran another Google consumer survey, and found out that I was wrong

Disclaimer: Once again I did this survey on my own time and money. This blog post solely represents my personal opinion, not my employer’s.

A vast majority of people (45% of them) consider their email account as their most valuable online account, as shown on the diagram above. From a security standpoint, I can’t agree more with these people. Email accounts are used most commonly to reset other websites’ account passwords, so if it gets compromised, the others will fall like dominos.

Breaking down by gender show that women and men are equally smart at realizing that emails might be the weakest link in online security. An interesting difference between the two genders is that women seems more attached than men to their social network networks as visible in the chart below:

Finally breaking down by age hint toward a generation shift: the younger you are the more you care about your social accounts and gaming accounts. Maybe the new generations are more invested into those medias. The trends discussed above are particularly visible on the 18-24 years olds population. However there is not enough answer to get any significant result on this. For the other group of population emails remains the arch-dominant winner.

A factor that might be biasing why so many men care about their gaming accounts is the recent release of Diablo 3. Blizzard blockbuster.

Drop me a comment below to let me know what you think of the this survey and if you would like more of those (and on which topic ?). Don’t forget to share / like / +1 this post if you liked it as it is a good indicator for me that people care

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Elie Bursztein

I lead Google's anti-abuse research team, which invents ways to protect users against cyber-criminal activities and Internet threats. I blog about web performance and security.

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Elie Bursztein © 2017
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