Monmouth University Poll: Concern Over Goverment Cyber Attacks

The Department of Homeland Security recently revealed that US government computers suffered a cyber attack this spring that accessed the personnel records of federal employees.  A national poll by West Long Branch-based Monmouth University finds that most Americans feel Washington is not doing enough to protect these systems and are worried that these attacks could have serious consequences.

Nearly 2-in-3 (64 percent) Americans say that Washington is not doing enough to protect government computer systems from another attack, while just 21 percent say it is.  Most Americans are aware of this incident – 38 percent have heard a lot and 44 percent have heard a little.

About 2-in-3 Americans are at least somewhat worried that an attack on government computers could lead to serious consequences.  Specifically, 32 percent are very worried and 40 percent are somewhat worried that a cyber attack on US government computers could significantly damage our national security and defense systems.  Just 27 percent are not worried.  The poll also finds that 36 percent of Americans are very worried and 34 percent are somewhat worried that a cyber attack on US government computers could negatively impact them personally, such as tampering with their social security or tax records.  Just 29 percent are not worried about this affecting them.

Fully 7-in-10 Americans feel that the federal government can protect its systems from cyber attacks, although only 27 percent say it is very likely that the government can do this while 43 percent say it is somewhat likely.  About 1-in-4 say it is either not too (15 percent) or not at all (11 percent) likely that Washington can do anything to protect its computer systems from these attacks.

“We have entered a new era in global combat and the American public is unsure what the consequences will be,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Pres. Obama’s job rating with the American public currently stands at 44 percent approve to 46 percent disapprove in the Monmouth University Poll.  This is a slight improvement from the 42 percent approve to 48 percent disapprove rating he held in April.  Congress continues to earn a negative 19 percent approve to 71 percent disapprove job rating.  Currently, just 23 percent of Americans feel the country is heading in the right direction while 68 percent say it is on the wrong track, which is similar to the public mood two months ago.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from June 11 to 14, 2015 with 1,002 adults in the United States.   This sample has a margin of error of + 3.1 percent.  The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch

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