91% of Americans have privacy concerns

A new survey, conducted by Harris Poll among 2,100 U.S. adults and developed by WP Engine, discovered that 91% of Americans are concerned about their online privacy, while nearly all (95%) Americans would take some kind of action if they felt their online privacy was being threatened.

Popular solutions consumers say they are most likely to take when online privacy is threatened include changing a password (79%), deleting or unregistering from an app (57%), and reporting a company (56%).

Additionally, research found that nearly nine in ten Americans (88%) think that online privacy will be one of the biggest concerns for themselves over the next 10 years, for several reasons.

More than half believe so because we are becoming increasingly reliant on internet-enabled devices (59%), because social networking is exposing more of our personal information (57%), and because the government has too much access to information on its citizens (51%).

Additional reasons for concern include:

  • Because we will be storing the majority of our personal data online/in the cloud (50%)
  • Because our locations can be easily tracked via GPS-enabled smartphones (50%)
  • Because our digital profile is more important than ever before for jobs, dating, and our private life (39%)
  • Because more companies are using the facial recognition software to recognize citizens’ faces (24%)

The online platforms that Americans have most privacy concerns about include:

  • Social media networks – 66%
  • Email – 56%
  • Web browsers – 52%
  • Search engines – 45%
  • Social photo sharing platforms – 35%
  • Mobile apps – 30%
  • Online dating apps/dating online – 27%
  • Instant Messaging apps – 23%
  • Micro-blogging sites – 23%
  • Disappearing photo sharing apps – 22%
  • Smart wearable devices – 18%
  • Online games – 17%

“In today’s world of constantly streaming information and amplified volume of voice across online channels, it’s only natural that privacy has become a critical concern among Americans, and no doubt, the world at large,” said Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine. “It’s encouraging to see that as the online threat landscape changes over time, users are evolving with it, taking steps to protect themselves from harm.”

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