Americans Say Data Privacy is Important, But Don't Take Steps to Protect Themselves

Americans Say Data Privacy is Important, But Don't Take Steps to Protect Themselves

With concern for online data privacy at an all time high, a survey found that though many say online data privacy is “very important” to them, not everyone is taking necessary steps to protect themselves.

Instsamotor surveyed 1,500 Americans and found:

People say their online data privacy is “very important” to them

  • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) say online data privacy is “very important” to them
  • More than half of respondents are most concerned about identity theft (51%), followed by someone accessing their financial accounts (27%) and someone using their information to find them in real life (13%)

But relatively unconcerned about the government knowing their personal information

9% of respondents say the government accessing their personal information was their biggest concern regarding online privacy

Most people don’t want their data sold to third parties but not everyone is reading the Terms and Conditions

  • More than 3 in 5 (64%) believe tech companies should not sell their data to third parties under any circumstances, while more than a quarter (27%) said “it depends on what they’re selling and to whom”
  • 1 in 10 (10%) say they NEVER read the Terms and Conditions when opening new accounts or downloading apps, with 15% saying they usually don’t read them

Many people that use virtual assistants, like Alexa, are concerned that they are always listening

Of respondents using virtual assistants, more than half (54%) are concerned their virtual assistants are always listening, more than a quarter (28%) are not concerned at all

Measures People are Taking (or not taking) to Protect Their Privacy:

  • Less than half of respondents change their passwords regularly (41%)
  • The average business employee must keep track of 191 passwords, according to a report from LastPass. According to the report, 81% of confirmed data breaches are due to passwords. Yet despite the alarming news cycle, too many businesses are failing to respond to the threat, with 61% of IT executives relying exclusively on employee education. People often underestimate the number of accounts they actually have, according to the report. And the average 250-employee company has 47,750 passwords in use, the report found. "Beyond the enterprise-level apps that are standardized across a business, individual employees have dozens more, whether they use them once a year or every day," the report said. "When credentials are systematically collected and organized in one place, a more accurate picture emerges." The report also noted that the average employee starts with 20 credentials in their password vault, and doubled that number after only three months, and that 61% of people to use the same or a similar password everywhere, despite knowing that it's not a secure practice. Advertisement Speed up your Mac now! The average employee types out credentials to authenticate to their websites and apps 154 times per month, the report found. They also share about four passwords with others. Only 27% of businesses have enabled multi-factor authentication to protect their password vaults, LastPass found. "While we're seeing that a significant portion of businesses are investing in multi-factor authentication, it is not yet adopted widely enough to compensate for the shortcomings of passwords," according to the report.
  • More than half (62%) display personal information on their social media profiles (birthday, phone number, employers, etc.)
  • A little more than a quarter (28%) use a password protector or generator
  • Less than 1 in 5 (19%) cover their laptop and cell phone cameras when not in use or use a private browser of VPN (18%)
  • More than 1 in 10 (11%) don’t take any of these security measures

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Surprisingly, there were no significant differences between Millennials and Gen Xers, or women and men, the survey said.

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