Cyber crimes top list of Americans’ fears

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    Crime was not a major concern in last week’s midterm elections. Let’s see where the issue ranks in the minds of Americans with Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

    The Gallup added nonviolent cyber crimes, such as identity theft and credit card fraud, those crimes shot to the top of the lsit for most Americans. In the most recent poll, 69 percent said they were worried about their credit card information being stolen; 62 percent feared their smart phone or computer being stolen or hacked; while 45 percent reported worrying about burglary.

    On the whole, Americans seem to think that guns are the answer to these fears. Asked whether having a gun in the home was safer or more dangerous, 63 percent said having a gun in the home makes it safer. Eight years ago fewer than 50 percent thought so. About 40 percent of Americans have a gun in the home, while 30 percent of adults say they own a gun — with gun ownership rates higher in rural areas than urban areas, and highest in the South.

    And the question of whether gun laws should be stronger falls pretty cleanly along political lines; 47 percent of Americans, most of them liberal, say gun laws should be stricter, a figure that has come down in recent decades.

    And the Affordable Care Act is now in its second year. Since it began, the uninsured rate has gone down, but 13 percent to 14 percent of Americans are still uninsired. This time around, about 90 percent of those uninsured people say they did not know about the new open enrollment period. About 2/3 reported knowing nothing or only a little about Obamacare, however, the majority of Americans still have an unfavorable view of the law.

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