#privacy: Research reveals the most popularly-searched cyber-security terms

Almost 18 months into the era of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, cyber-security has seldom been out of the media headlines.

It makes sense that associated terminology, such as ‘fraud’, ‘cyber-crime’, ‘data breach’ and ‘cyber-security’ have increasingly crept into the lexis of the average consumer – a trend to which Google can testify.

This week saw Redscan publish research on Google cyber-security searches and the popularity of associated terms based on Google Trends data harvested over 15 years.

The study reveals Robert Herjavec as the most searched-for public figure in the cyber-security industry, an investor and CEO of the IT security firm Herjavec Group. Searches for Herjavec were four-times greater in number than those for Kevin Mitnick, aka ‘the world’s most famous hacker’, and an active IT consultant.

John McAfee, Bruce Schneier and Troy Hunt were further names in the top-five most searched-for industry experts.

Norton, Avast, AVG, Kaspersky and ESET were among most commonly searched-for cyber-security companies, the research found. With regards to enterprise-related searches, Redscan found Symantec, Fortinet, Akamai, Mimecast and FireEye to be the most popular.

Increasing instances of phone-based fraud have also prompted more consumers to Google search phone numbers to see if they are linked to well-known or current scams, while Apple is often Googled as it is the most commonly used company with which phishing emails associated themselves. Topping the pole as the most searched-for brand with regards to crimes of this nature, Apple was followed by PayPal, HMRC, Amazon and NatWest on the phishing search rankings.

The most popularly-searched company connected to data breaches was Equifax, owing to the massive leak the credit-monitoring agency confessed to two years ago. The world-record breaking breach led to the personal data of around 150 million people being exposed.

Redscan commented:

“The fact that Equifax disclosed the breach late and communicated details poorly may also have had an impact on search behavior, driving people to find out whether their details had been stolen. Indeed, interest in the Equifax data breach is so high that it skews all historical searches for the term ‘data breach.'”


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