Posts tagged with "graph"

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Pandemic Pause: Americans Cut Driving Nearly In Half In Early Stage of COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions in the spring of 2020, such as stay-at-home orders, led to a drastic drop in U.S. road travel and a sharp increase in the number of people who chose to stay home all day. While the dramatic change in traffic patterns was widely noted last year, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s New American Driving Survey (2020) provides compelling month-by-month data that examines the types of trips and the characteristics of the people who altered their driving habits. According to the research, the average number of all daily personal car trips plunged 45% in April 2020 and 40% for trips by all modes of transportation combined. The dip in travel moderated later in the year but remained below 2019 levels.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our commute habits and patterns in the United States,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings based on our survey data provided some contextual information to understand better how this unfortunate event has affected the way we travel.”

Daily trips for all modes of transportation fell from an average of 3.7 trips per day in 2019 to 2.2 trips in April 2020, before slightly recovering. After abruptly decreasing in April 2020, daily trips by U.S. residents rebounded somewhat in May and June and then remained at approximately 20%–25% below their 2019 levels during the second half of 2020.

The survey results show that early in the pandemic, reductions in travel were most substantial among teens and young adults (ages 16–24) and among those ages 65 and older. But later in 2020, reductions in travel were more uniform across various age groups.

Other key findings

  • Daily Car trips: (as a driver or passenger) fell from 3.2 pre-pandemic to 1.8 in April 2020, before rebounding slightly to 2.6 trips for the rest of the time period.
  • All travel by any mode: Daily trips in April 2020 by people living in urban areas dropped 42%,  versus 25% for their rural counterparts, before leveling off to a 20%-30% reduction in both groups for the rest of the survey period.
  • Travel by transit, taxi, or rideshare: The proportion of people who reported making any trips by transit, taxi, or rideshare plummeted from 5.5% pre-pandemic to 1.7% in April of 2020, before leveling off at approximately 2.4% for the remainder of the year.
  • Commuter Travel: Work-related travel by all transportation modes dropped by 40% in April 2020, likely reflecting a mix of layoffs, job losses, and telecommuting. Commuting trips made by workers on days when they worked decreased by approximately 22% relative to pre-pandemic levels as well. In the following months, commuting trips returned to approximately 26% below pre-pandemic levels among the population as a whole, likely due to increases in the proportion of Americans who were working. Commuting remained approximately 25% below pre-pandemic levels among workers on days when they worked, indicative of continued widespread telecommuting. 
  • Staying At Home: The percentage of the population who remained in the same place all day fluctuated between 9% and 14% before the pandemic but increased to 26% in April 2020, before stabilizing at levels slightly higher than those before the pandemic for the remainder of the year.  The proportion of respondents who stayed in the same place all day quadrupled among those with the highest levels of education (from 5% in the second half of 2019 to 21% in April 2020), whereas it doubled (from 15% to 30%) among those who did not attend college.
  • Marital Status: The percentage of married people staying home nearly tripled from 8% in 2019 to 22% in April 2020, versus 12% and 29% for unmarried people. The numbers for both groups remained elevated over pre-pandemic levels for the remainder of the year.

Despite fewer cars on the road and more people staying home, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently estimated that 38,680 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2020—the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007. It is an increase of about 7.2 percent over 2019.

“It’s counterintuitive to see the rate of traffic deaths spike when so many of us were driving less often,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy. “As the U.S. climbs out of the COVID-19 pandemic, highway safety officials will need to double down on curbing speeding, substance-impaired driving, and failure to buckle up.”

Methodology

This study examined data from the AAA Foundation’s New American Driving Survey (New ADS), which surveys a representative sample of U.S. residents ages 16 years or older to collect detailed information about all of the travel they did on the day before the interview. The current study examines the mean daily number of trips made by U.S. residents each month among 7,873 respondents who were interviewed between July 1, 2019 (start of data collection for the New ADS) and December 31, 2020. In the New ADS, a trip refers to any travel from one place to another.

About AAA 

AAA provides more than 62 million members with automotive, travel, insurance, and financial services through its federation of 30 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, click HERE.

Graph via BeyondTrust.com for Atlas VPN for use by 360 Magazine

In 2020 Number of Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Products Exceeded 1,000 for the First Time

Microsoft products are used by billions of people worldwide. Historically, however, they are known to have many vulnerabilities that pose security risks to users of the software.

According to data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the total number of vulnerabilities in Microsoft products reached 1,268 in 2020—an increase of 181% in five years. Windows was the most vulnerability-ridden Microsoft product. It had a total of 907 issues, of which 132 were critical. However, Windows Server had the largest number of critical issues. In 2020, 902 vulnerabilities were detected in Windows Server, of which 138 were critical.

Issues were also found in other Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. Together, these browsers had 92 vulnerabilities in 2020. In total, 61 or even 66% of these vulnerabilities were of critical level. Meanwhile, Microsoft Office had 79 vulnerabilities, 5 of which were critical. 

Ruth Cizynski, the cybersecurity researcher and author at Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the situation :

 “These numbers are a massive problem because every Microsoft product has millions of users. Therefore, it is important that consumers update their software applications on time. Software updates can include security patches that can fix vulnerabilities and save users from getting hacked.”

Elevation of privilege is the most common Microsoft vulnerability

A wide range of vulnerabilities was discovered in various Microsoft products last year.  However, some types of vulnerabilities were more common than others. Elevation of privilege was the most frequently detected issue in Microsoft products. It was discovered 559 times and made up 44% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.

Next up is remote code execution. In total, 345 such vulnerabilities were found last year, putting it in second place on the list. Remote code execution accounted for 27% of the total number of Microsoft vulnerabilities in 2020.

Information disclosure occupies the third spot on the list. There were 179 such issues discovered in 2020. Together, they made up 14% of all Microsoft vulnerabilities that year.

To learn more, click HERE.

Art by Mina Tocalini of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Atlas VPN Finds Most Popular Browsers

More than 3 billion internet users now use the Google Chrome browser

Choosing what browser to use is something that every internet user has to do. There are plenty of options to pick from. When choosing, it is essential to make sure your browser has the proper security and privacy settings.

According to the recent Atlas VPN team findings, 3,258,256,887 internet users (or 41% of the population) use Google Chrome browser, making it by far the most popular browser in the world. The key reason for such browser popularity is the fact that it has been created by the tech giant Google. In addition, many people praise it for various customizable options and speed compared to other browsers.

The statistics are based on the GlobalStats browser market share percentage, which was then converted into numbers using the InternetWorldStats internet user metric to retrieve the exact numbers.

The second most popular browser is Safari, with a total of 944,576,100 internet users. iPhone or Mac device users mostly work with the Safari browser as Apple developed it. This browser offers several security features such as security indicators and malware protection.

Third on the list is the Firefox browser, with 181,435,430 people actively using it. Unlike other browsers, Firefox has placed a huge emphasis on user privacy. In March 2021, Firefox launched SmartBlock in version 87 to offer protection against cross-site tracking without breaking the websites users visit.

Microsoft Edge browser ranks fourth with 171,327,607 internet users. Edge is the only browser to natively support Windows Information Protection (WIP), which protects corporate data to help prevent accidental leaks by users on Windows 10 devices.

In fifth and sixth place goes the Samsung Internet and Opera browsers. They have 166,779,086 and 112,196,840 active users respectively.

Google Chrome seems to be the most popular browser based on user interface and ease of customization. Users can install VPNs and AdBlockers directly to the web browser. Another reason for the significant increase in popularity of Google Chrome could be the growth in popularity for Google devices such as the Chromebook, which has Google Chrome installed natively. 

Browser security concerns

At this time, when cybercrime is more active than ever, safety should be one of the priorities when choosing a browser. There are a few additional tools that will help you stay secure to accompany a good browser.

Even though Chrome is the most popular browser globally, it has a history of security and privacy issues. Last year in March, hackers found a backdoor in a Google Chrome update and took advantage of it by releasing a fake Chrome update with malware. It infected more than 3000 users worldwide.

More common browser security concerns are that hackers could access your saved passwords and other information. In addition, cookies and browser cache could also be used to obtain your sensitive data.

Using software such as VPNs, antivirus, firewalls, or password managers can help you to protect your identity online and avoid malicious attacks. These applications have become essential tools when it comes to online security.

To see the data and graphs relevant to Atlas VPN’s report visit their website here.

Graph via Sophos for Atlas VPN for use by 360 Magazine

India, Austria, and US Most Hit with Ransomware

Ransomware attacks are one of the leading cyber threats that organizations have to face.

According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, organizations in India, Austria, and the United States are among the most hit with ransomware attacks. To compare, more than 50% of companies in the mentioned countries experienced such attacks in the past year, while the global average is 37%.

Out of 300 interviewees from India, 68% suffered from a ransomware attack. At the same time, 57 out of 100 respondents from Austria experienced a ransomware attack in the last year. Next up, in the United States, 51% of participants, out of 500 questioned, reported that they were hit with a ransomware attack.

Retail and Education Sectors Suffer the Most Ransomware Attacks

Some organizations in specific sectors are more susceptible to hacker attacks due to their lower security levels or valuable data. However, cybercriminals do not shy away from attacking even the biggest companies or government administrations.

Out of 435 respondents in the retail industry, 44% were hit with a ransomware attack last year. Hackers strike retailers when it could hurt them the most, for example, on Black Friday or Christmas seasons.

Retailers share first place with education organizations—out of 499 education interviewees 44% experienced such malicious attacks. Cybercriminals usually deploy ransomware attacks at the start of a school year to cause maximum disruption.

The business and professional services industry suffered the third most ransomware attacks, with a total of 42% out of 361 respondents stating they experienced a ransomware attack in the past year. Companies in this industry are usually smaller with less staff, meaning they might not have a dedicated person to ensure security. Out of 117 participants in the Central government and non-departmental public body (NDPB) sector, 40% reported being attacked with ransomware in the last year.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity writer and researcher at Atlas VPN Anton Petrov shares his advice on how to protect your organization against ransomware attacks.

“Prepare a plan in case you… get hacked. Always have a backup of your data so you don’t have to pay a ransom. Investing in cybersecurity will cost you less than having to deal with the aftermath of a ransomware attack.”

Like with everything else, there’s a way to protect your data in order to make sure hackers don’t get to it and cause serious financial damage.