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Ten Crucial Privacy Statistics That May Surprise You
The online world sometimes feels like a mysterious place where we don't know people yet communicate with them and we can vent out our frustrations and thoughts without disclosing our identity. We feel we are safe under the mask of an online identity.
The feeling of not being known gives us the confidence to share a huge part of our life on the internet. We feel secured as no one knows us in person. Our audience is unaware of our past and can only sneak into what we portray about ourselves, that is, the fabricated reality. But is this true? Are we really safe online? Does the internet provide us complete anonymity?
The risk of privacy leakage has increased with the rising use of the internet. The online world is not as safe as it may appear nor it is an anonymous world. The details that we share about ourselves at different times and occasions are often stored permanently and stayed there even after a long time. Tracing someone through the information available online is quite easy and so is causing harm to them.
Online privacy statistics are eye-openers as most of them are quite unexpected. The so-called anonymous social media users and online buyers are the victims of cybercriminals and stalkers.
Hacking of Accounts
According to the online privacy statistics, approximately 21% of online users are the victim of account hacking. These hacked accounts include both email accounts and social media accounts that are used for various unauthorized purposes.
To make the email and social media accounts less vulnerable to hacking you can use multiple step authentication for accessing the accounts.
According to the online privacy statistics, about 11% of online users have been the victim of data theft. This stolen data includes some crucial information like credit card details, social security numbers, and bank details. Most of the people using online banking and online shopping sites are the victim of data theft.
Online banking and e-shopping is a convenience but sometimes it has a bigger price to pay.
According to the online privacy statistics, approximately 12% of online users are the victim of stalking and spying. The personal information and photographs shared by the people considering their social media accounts and sites as a safer place are often used against them as a tool of harassing and blackmailing.
No matter how secure is your account, sharing unnecessary personal information and family details is always risky.
It is often believed that one can be a part of the online world as an anonymous person completely hiding his actual identity and social status. But the online privacy statistics reveal that the majority of online users' opinion is not in favor of this popular belief. Approximately 59% of online users stated that they don't believe in complete online anonymity.
It is almost impossible to stay completely anonymous while being an active online user. It is difficult to hide from the spying eyes of doxxers.
Not everyone on the internet wants to be an anonymous online user and there are a huge number of public profiles. Some people are least bothered about their privacy and others love to show off their private life to the world. You can easily find a good number of public profiles on all social media platforms. Ironically, according to online privacy statistics, approximately 41% of children aged 8-17 have public profiles open for all which is an open invitation for predators and risk for these young ones.
Social media is not meant for kids and teens and most sites have a minimum age limit of 18 years. Unfortunately, we still see children as young as 8 years old on these platforms and that too without any information regarding online security. Are these kids not worth protecting?
Laws for Online Privacy
According to the online privacy statistics approximately 68% of online users are not satisfied with the present cybersecurity laws and have reservations regarding their implementations.
Its high time government institutions should intervene in this matter and establish firm rules and regulations for cybersecurity. Just like GDPR fines, all social media platforms should be made to abide by the cybersecurity laws and strict actions should be taken in case of breach of security policy. Cybercriminals are like all other criminals and must not be given any leverage.
Threat to Career and Reputation
According to the online privacy statistics, approximately 6% of online users have damaged their reputation and 1% of them have to resign from their jobs and leave their careers just because of the online world.
Arguments and scandals in the online world also have an impact on the physical world that is the real world and sometimes their consequences have a profound impact on personal life. Even if it is an affair of the past or a comment from the last decade a little searching and investigation by doxxers is enough to ruin your career and reputation.
Everyone needs to be extra vigilant while using the internet. You are not an anonymous person here you have an identity that can damage your hard earned reputation outside the online world.
There are a lot of online buying and selling sites and other sites that ask you for payments but not all of them are safe. According to the online privacy statistics, approximately 6% of online users have reported being a victim of online scams and frauds. But this is just the number of users who have registered their complaints, there are far more people who have lost their money in online scams but have never launched a complaint. Most of them are even unaware of what to do in these instances.
Often the sites asking for online payments are not trustworthy. So, pay online only if you are sure about the sellers or person offering the service.
According to the online privacy statistics, approximately 19% of people have never turned off their device location tracking option. This means anybody can trace them with their devices and these people are least bothered about it. Even 56% of online users are willing to turn their device location on just for checking in and updating their status. This means they are willingly paving way for predators.
Sharing your device location is telling the world about where you are at the moment and this is certainly not a wise decision.
Awareness about Online Security
Not all online users are careless about their online security. The exposing episodes of the data breach scandals by some of the most trusted sites have alerted the online users and according to the online privacy statistics, approximately 86% of online users have taken steps to remove their online traces like the old comments and previous search histories. Also, approximately 56% of online users are now concerned about who is accessing their data and to what extent and have changed their account`s privacy settings.
Precaution is always better than to be sorry and it is good that the majority of online users are now aware of the online security concerns.
About the Author
Waqas Baig is a tech writer with eight years of experience in journalism, reporting and editing. In his spare time, he reads and writes about tech products including gadgets, smart watches, home security products and others.