A survey conducted by popular VPN provider HideMyAss and Morar Consulting has revealed that despite most Americans wanting more privacy tools, few actually use existing privacy tools already at their disposal.
A survey of 2000 participants nationwide across the US revealed that 67% of them “would like extra layers of privacy”. This would be a number that more-or-less makes sense, if it wasn’t for the fact that only a small percentage of participants actually use existing [and free] privacy tools already at their disposal. 13% used two-factor-authentication to help secure their accounts and only 11% used VPN software for more privacy-secure web browsing.
Additionally, only just over half of the people surveyed who had encountered security issues on the Internet actually changed their surfing habits as a result of it.
Also, 70% of people limited their use of social media due to the potential exposure of their personal information, but only 25% employed strict privacy setting.
And on top of that, while two thirds of people would shred physical documents that contain their personal information like home address and email, 51% would post their email online, 26% their home address and – very worryingly – 21% would post their phone number online.
Morar concluded that there was a “deep disconnect” between the participants attitudes and their actions concerning online security and privacy. Those surveyed were certainly aware that scams and privacy issues exist online, and also expressed an interest in wanting to make themselves safer online.
But their actions told a different story. Even with hacking scandals and information leaks hitting the headlines more than ever, many would not change their browsing habits even in the face of privacy or security issues, nor would they even use online tools they claim to want more of.
Morar purported that Americans may believe that they would have to “give up convenience or sacrifice their digital presence” if they wanted to remain safe online. Something they assert is not true.
Ultimately, Morar & HideMyAss claim, in the face of more sophisticated scams and the increasing frequency in which they occur, many Americans will need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Meaning many will need to make changes to their security habits, or risk falling foul to any number of the Internet scams out there waiting to trip them up.