The internet is an archive of information. Once something has been shared online, it is going to exist in some way for virtually forever. Think that tweet or embarrassing photograph was actually deleted? All it takes is a screen grab, a share, or a retweet to make that item last forever.
86% of people who actively use the internet are taking active steps to improve their internet privacy.
Most people still want to remain anonymous while online, but it just isn’t a possibility today. There are plenty of ways even an incognito or private browsing history can be accessed remotely. All it takes is one inadvertent download, one hacked password, or one stolen wallet for a person to lose their identity. As the world becomes more connected, internet privacy will only continue to grow.
- 11% of people who are online consistently have had personal information stolen online. This includes credit card numbers, bank account information, or a personal ID number like a driver’s license or SSN.
- 1 in 4 registered social networking users had posted sensitive personal data about themselves on their profiles.
- 12% of internet users say that they have had people harass them while online or have had people stalking them.
- The percentage of people who say that they’ve lost a job opportunity or a chance to attend college because of a lack of internet privacy: 1%.
- 6%. That’s the percentage of people who admit that they lost money because of an online scam that came their way.
- 1 in 5 people who regularly use the internet say that they have had their social networks or email compromised by hackers or someone they knew at least once without permission.
- More than half of internet users [55%] are taking steps right now to avoid observation by someone or something specific.
- 84% of American internet users say they don’t know where or how they can secure information that is contained in their email.
- 41% of children aged 8-17 who had a visible profile had their profile set so that it was visible to anyone.
- 17% of adult users said they talked to people on social networking sites that they didn’t know and 35% spoke to people who were “friends of friends.”
More than half of all internet users say that it is impossible to be 100% anonymous online and they’re probably correct. Most people use their legal name for a social networking account and regularly have the same passwords for their email, their bank accounts, and other online accounts. Once someone has that one password, they have access to everything that person does online. Although the average person isn’t going to be subjected to most online privacy concerns, the risk is always present and should be accounted for in some way.
How Concerned Are We About Internet Privacy?
- 3 out of 4 people who send emails regularly are concerned that their personal information will be compromised by someone other than the intended party.
- 56%. That’s the percentage of people who are concerned in some way with Google and similar companies using information in private messages against them in some way.
- 68% of internet users believe that current laws are not good enough in protecting the rights of internet users.
- More than half of parents have not read online privacy policies of the websites that their children are visiting regularly.
- Only 1 in 3 people have begun using encryption, a secure browser, or a secure email provider for their online needs.
- 15% of Americans have never even checked the privacy policies for their preferred social networks.
- Even though 88% of teens have witnessed online bullying and harassment, 68% of teens say that people are generally kind to each other while online.
- 41% of social media-using teens have experienced at least one negative outcome as a result of using a social networking site.
- 1 in 5 teens in the US has shared their real personal mobile phone number on their preferred social network.
There are two issues to address here. The first is with oversharing. When people share everything that they are doing, then patterns begin to be noticed. Others will know when someone is away from home. They might be able to determine where someone lives based on pictures of a house. Interior pictures let people know what kind of stuff someone has. Internet privacy settings that have been set to public or global make it so that everyone has access to this information. Then secondly, when this information is made public, it can be abused. This is why internet privacy must become a top priority for everyone who is online.
Has Personal Information Become a Bargaining Chip?
- 1 in every 4 Millennials is fine with sharing some of their personal information so they can receive advertising that is relevant for them.
- 51% of Millennials would share personal information with companies as long as they get something in return. 40% of those over the age of 35 feel the same way.
- 3 out of 4 internet users say, however, that they don’t want search histories kept about them by sites like Google or Bing, even if such histories gave them better results.
- The percentage of teen parents who are concerned about how companies use the data that is collected about their children: 81%.
- 56%. That’s the percentage of Millennials who will share their current location to receive coupons or discounts in return.
- 35% of US internet users have never deleted cookies on their computer to protect their privacy.
- Just 19% of mobile phone owners have turned off the location tracking feature on their cell phone because they were concerned that other individuals or companies could access that information.
- The percentage of people who haven’t installed a mobile app because they realized how much personal information was required: 54%.
Talk about mixed messages. On one hand, we tell brands that we will readily share information about ourselves in order to receive something that is valuable in return. On the other hand, we tell the internet that as a majority, we don’t want specific data stored about us or used in a way that makes us “uncomfortable.” We’ll keep cookies on our computer, but we’ll delete the search history that led us to the website where the cookies we’re installed. It makes no sense because the average internet user doesn’t have a complete picture of what internet privacy really means. We need to be educated and empowered to protect ourselves and our children online. Otherwise the data we share could lead to future problems.
The original infographic was created by WhoIsHostingThis.