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Americans Want Privacy, Is Anyone Listening?

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

The online privacy scenario has turned from bad to worse in the last 2+ years. Due to the explosive revelations made by Edward Snowden, most Americans are now aware that the US government and security agencies such as NSA are now monitoring their online activities every time they connect to the internet. In addition, most ISPs are hand in glove with the government authorities and don’t hesitate to reveal browsing habits and other personal details of customers in the event they are served with a court notice. This clearly shows that online privacy is increasingly hard to come by and people cannot trust the authorities to protect their personal information.

Contrary to popular belief, American people do care about their online privacy. According to a survey conducted by WPEngine, 91 percent Americans are worried about the security of their private data on the web. The survey targeted more than 2000 American adults and found that as many as 95 percent respondents took some corrective action upon learning about a potential security breach. The research also found that 88 percent respondents believed that online privacy is going to be one of their biggest concerns over the next decade. In addition, 51 percent of the respondents were worried that the US government has access to far too much private information, 57 percent believed that social networking is exposing a lot of personal information and 59 percent people thought relying on internet-enabled devices is one of the primary reasons that contributes to leaking of confidential data.

The survey also reveals some interesting information on how people try to protect their personal data and to what extent they are willing to go to in order to ensure their privacy. As per the survey, here is what Americans are willing to do when their private data gets compromised:

  • Change email address: 48 percent
  • Change their passwords: 79 percent
  • Delete/Unregister an app: 57 percent
  • Delete all of their social media accounts: 42 percent
  • Change credit cards: 48 percent
  • Report a company: 56 percent
  • Change their name: 7 percent
  • Change their address: 3 percent

The research also tells more about the online platforms that cause the most privacy concerns among the users. As per the survey, here is the breakdown of the type of sites/apps that are most likely to leak personal data:

  • Browsers – 52 percent
  • Email – 56 percent
  • Search engines – 45 percent
  • Social networks – 66 percent
  • Online games – 17 percent
  • Wearable Smart devices – 18 percent
  • Dating websites/apps – 27 percent
  • Photo sharing sites – 35 percent
  • Micro blogging sites – 23 percent
  • Instant Messengers/Messaging apps – 23 percent
  • Mobile apps – 30 percent
  • Photo sharing apps – 22 percent

The above findings clearly show that Americans are very much aware of the privacy challenges that exist on the web and are even willing to take extreme steps in order to protect their data. Since you cannot rely on government or ISP for safekeeping of your data, it is time to take privacy matters in your own hands. There are several good VPN services available today that guarantee 100% protection from surveillance, censorship and security threats. Once you start using a VPN service, you will never have to worry about online privacy since your online sessions and personal data will remain hidden from your ISP, government agencies as well as hackers.

October 8, 2014

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