Americans are deeply concerned about privacy online and the security of data entered in website forms according to a recent WP Engine Online Privacy Study. The survey, conducted by market research firm Harris International, clearly indicates that fears the American public has about the security of financial data entered online and privacy on the internet.
71% of the survey’s respondents state that they care deeply about privacy online, with 99% of respondents caring about the security of their private information when surfing the internet, sending emails, using social media and shopping online.
WP Engine is a SaaS content management platform developed for use on WordPress, one of the internet’s most popular website platforms. The company developed the survey with the Harris poll run in June 2014 on a sample of 2,100 adults from across the United States. The results published on 31st July this year.
The major causes of concern relate to privacy on the internet when entering and accessing financial information on websites – checking online bank accounts for example – with three out of 4 participants expressing concern about the security of the data they enter online, while over half (57%) express similar concerns about online shopping.
The survey probed views on ownership of information entered on websites, in particular on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, in addition to communications programs like WhatsApp. The vast majority (93%) believe that they should have either full or at least partial ownership of the online content they generate on these sites and platforms, with ownership of uploaded photographs the main concern. 19% of people believe ownership should be theirs.
Online privacy protection is an issue when accessing online pornography with 16% of the surveys participants concerned about their privacy while doing so, although it is not clear how many out of the 2,100 sample size actually use the internet for this purpose.
14% were concerned about the information they access on the web and social media channels at work, 10% would like to keep their checks on ex’s private and confidential, while 12% were concerned about how private their naked selfies would turn out to be, although perhaps not enough to stop taking them and posting them.
Aside from financial data, the biggest areas of concern were shown to be referencing photos of themselves online, with 27% eliciting privacy concerns, while the biggest risk to privacy online appears to be social media networks such as Facebook, with 66% of respondents concerned about the data entered and stored in their profiles. Email (56%), internet browser security (52%) and search engines (45%) were other notable areas where privacy was a major worry.
Considering the sensitive nature of the financial data entered on websites and the potential for naked photographs, photos of users’ children and internet browsing history to come back to bite people at a later date, it is no surprise that so many Americans have very real concerns about privacy on the internet and android phones.