Nearly half of Americans can’t live without their electronics (48%) and WiFi (46%), according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 U.S. adults revealed that other essentials – besides food and water – people can’t go without include medicine (55%), electricity (53%) and gasoline/petrol (51%).
The study examined respondents’ perspectives on supply chain issues and found that nearly half say the issues have “somewhat affected” their lives (45%) – from impacting their cost of living, their jobs and finding basic essentials.
One respondent said, “baby formula is really hard for me to find,” and another noted, “I had to cut back on spending so much on groceries.”
On average, Americans buy a third of their essentials online, with respondents 35-44 being the most likely to get at least half of their necessities this way.
The research suggests that brighter days may be on the horizon – two in five Americans are optimistic that the situation involving global supply chain disruptions will get better.
But change doesn’t happen overnight: A third of respondents predict supply chain disruptions will continue for another two years (34%).
While 30% think supply chain issues will remain the same, the same percentage believe things will only worsen (30%).
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of WithSecure, the survey also tested respondents’ knowledge about basic economic terms, discovering that although seven in 10 Americans are “confident” in their understanding of supply chain issues – only 59% actually know what the term means.
Regarding supply and demand, less than half of respondents knew that it determines product prices and services in a free market (41%), while only 45% think it determines gas prices.
The majority of people, however, have a better understanding of what inflation and recession mean, with 64% and 57% selecting the correct definition respectively.
“Large companies have tens of thousands of suppliers in their supply chains; attacks are increasing and no industry is off limits,” said Paul Brucciani, cyber security advisor at WithSecure™. “Every individual working in a supply chain is a potential target. Companies can reduce supply risk by helping employees and suppliers understand how they might be exposed, and how they can protect themselves.”
While elder Americans are most likely to look to the internet or TV for news about politics and major events, a significant amount of younger respondents interestingly get their news through sources like podcasts or newspapers, keeping most up to date about technology and finance.
Across the board, respondents of all generations stay informed when it comes to economic issues such as the supply chain and inflation.
The research also delved into the connection between the global supply chain and cybersecurity.
When it comes to their personal data, 37% admit they feel “somewhat secure” about their cloud storage system.
Respondents cited some advantages of having a data cloud storage system, such as backup and recovery (51%), security (42%) and easy access (41%).
Others said they value privacy (37%), reliability (36%) and having the cloud on multiple devices (33%).
Although the cloud can be helpful, survey-takers also noted some of the disadvantages that cloud-users are at risk of, including hacking (48%) and phishing (33%) from outside sources, technical problems (44%) and data loss (38%).
With these pros and cons in mind, 51% agree they would be ruined if they ever got hacked or phished, especially since they have sensitive content stored there (46%).
“Three-quarters of breaches can be prevented by using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication and being alert to suspicious emails,” Brucciani said. “Having effective cyber security measures in place, and always backing up your date, will reduce much of the risk and should be our first priority.”