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The Most and Least Secure U.S. States

The need for security is ever-growing, and it’s crucial for Americans to recognize where they stand in terms of home and digital safety. To gain an in-depth understanding of this issue, we conducted an extensive survey to reach respondents from every corner of the country and learn about the home and digital security measures they take.

We asked participants questions about the security measures they take at home, such as the use of alarms and monitoring systems, as well as their online activities, including password strength and the use of secure networks. States demonstrating more security awareness and implementation were given a better score.

Through this study, we want to emphasize the importance of individual responsibility in safeguarding one’s home and digital presence. By helping homeowners find a home insurance policy tailored to their unique needs, Assurance IQ empowers individuals to take control of their security.

How Seriously Does Each State Take Their Security?

A U.S. map showing the most and least secured U.S. states.

Kentucky leads the nation in home security measures. Not only do many Kentuckians report keeping their windows locked at all times, but they are also diligent in safeguarding valuables, often placing them in lockboxes or safes. Many residents of the state reported participating in neighborhood watch programs, contributing to a high sense of security.

Similarly, Pennsylvania scores high on our list because of the robust digital security measures many residents take. Pennsylvanians reported consistent use of antivirus or malware protection software to ensure that home networks are secure. They are also cautious about using unfamiliar networks when out of the house, underscoring an informed and careful approach to cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, Kansas performed well in both home and digital security aspects. Residents in Kansas are vigilant about locking common home access points, maintaining well-lit entryways, and trimming surrounding foliage to deter potential intruders lurking in the shadows. While these steps seem simple enough, they create an extra layer of security for many Kansans. 

On the other hand, Texas lags behind, receiving the lowest digital security score across all states. Many Texans in our survey admitted to infrequent software updates, repetitive use of the same passwords, and avoidance of two-factor authentication— all practices that can leave them vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Connecticut’s residents also scored relatively low on both home and digital security. Negligence in maintaining their surroundings, such as allowing greenery to grow wildly, along with practices like leaving windows unlocked or valuables unprotected, contributed to its lower rating.

Finally, Arkansas’s scores reveal areas of concern, including a lack of diligence in activating home security systems, poor lighting around entryways, and a tendency to leave blinds or curtains open, diminishing privacy and potentially attracting unwanted attention.

For a closer look at each state’s security scores, average spending, and priority when it comes to safety, sort through the full table below.

Americans’ Home Security Habits

A graphic showing the home security measures Americans regularly take.

For many Americans, home security is a central concern. The benefits of a robust home security system go beyond safeguarding possessions; it also contributes to a sense of safety and comfort among everyone at home. 

In addition, maintaining good habits and investing in home security renovations can influence insurance rates. Many insurance providers recognize the added protection offered by security measures and may offer reduced premiums or special rates to homeowners who take these precautions.

We asked survey respondents about the different practices and habits they employ in their daily lives. Almost a quarter (23%) of homeowners always leave lights on when they leave the house to make it look like someone is still home, while 19% do so frequently. Another 39% use devices that turn on entryway lights upon arrival to deter intruders and add another layer of protection.

Another common nighttime ritual among an overwhelming 76% of homeowners is dead bolting the doors. Only a mere 7% reported never doing so.

Similarly, most homeowners (74%) consistently lock their windows, with 15% doing so often. Only 17% leave a house key hidden outside, showing a general aversion to this practice.

Over half of homeowners (55%) take home security to the next level by installing security cameras in or around their homes. Additionally, 45% have invested in a home security system.

A substantial 63% report never leaving their car unlocked, with an additional 19% rarely doing so, extending the home security mentality to their vehicles.

Americans’ Digital Security Habits

While digital security is essential to modern living, many people overlook it. From unlocking phones to managing passwords, we found some concerning trends in the cybersecurity practices of Americans.

The most common phone unlock methods were face ID (42%) and numerical passcodes (38%), reflecting a shift towards more secure authentication. However, a bold 10% of respondents reported not using any security features on their phones.

Only 2 in 10 respondents ensure they never repeat passwords across platforms, while an additional 20% often or always do – a behavior that could expose them to unwanted risks.

Another alarming statistic is that 3 in 10 Americans use typical and easily guessable phrases and keywords in their passwords. Additionally, apart from their significant others, 67% never share passwords with others.

A cautious 55% of Americans refrain from saving passwords on their phones. Of those who do (45%), 39% utilize a password-protected vault, demonstrating some awareness of digital security needs.

Closing Thoughts

Home and digital security are undeniably important in today’s world. Both require vigilant attention and thoughtful measures to protect against potential threats. The variation in security preparedness has shown us that there is much to learn and apply to enhance our safety as a nation — both within our homes and in the vast digital landscape.

Home insurance is an important tool when it comes to securing your home and most cherished possessions. Assurance IQ helps people navigate the complexities of finding and choosing insurance with recommendations and guidance.

Methodology

To determine the most and least secure U.S. states, we surveyed over 3,100 people from 44 states, asking them a series of ‘select all that apply’ questions about the specific home and digital security actions they take most regularly.

Our security score is based on the percentage of respondents from each state who said they regularly took the specific home and digital security actions we asked about. The responses from every state were put on a scale of zero to five, with five being the state that took the most security actions. We weighed each security measure equally and totaled them to give us a security index for each state.

To dig a little deeper, we surveyed homeowners across the country to find out how they secure their homes (both physically and digitally) with questions about the importance of security, basic security actions they take, and what other ways they keep themselves and their property safe.