This article comes from the Pew Research Center
Digital literacy is widely seen as an essential skill. But Americans’ understanding of digital topics varies notably depending on the subject. For example, majorities of U.S. adults know what cookies on websites do and can identify a secure password. Far fewer can recognize an example of two-factor authentication – a cybersecurity practice that makes signing into online accounts more secure.
In addition, much larger shares know Elon Musk was running Tesla and Twitter in April 2023 than understand the technology behind ChatGPT. (Twitter was recently renamed X in July 2023, after the survey was conducted.)
Overall, Americans answer a median of five out of nine questions correctly on a digital knowledge survey that Pew Research Center conducted among 5,101 U.S. adults from May 15 to May 21, 2023. The questions span a range of topics, including cybersecurity practices, facts about major technology companies, artificial intelligence and federal online privacy laws.
Some 26% of U.S. adults can answer at least seven of the nine questions accurately, but just 4% can correctly answer all nine. And as was the case in past digital knowledge surveys by the Center, the public’s understanding of digital issues differs by age and educational attainment. (Refer to the Appendix for race, ethnicity and gender breaks.
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