Americans increasingly worry about online privacy and security

Americans are increasingly concerned about their online privacy and security, and apprehensive about increased government surveillance in the new presidential administration, the results of a recent survey by AnchorFree have revealed.

online privacy security

Over 1,000 users of the company’s Hotspot Shield personal VPN application were polled, and 84 percent of them said they are more concerned about their online privacy and security today than they were a year ago. 64 percent stated that they are more concerned about keeping personal information private today because of the new presidential administration.

The user survey was conducted in January 2017 and consisted of consumers that downloaded the VPN application on or after November 9, 2016. The results provided additional insight into consumer issues:

  • 50% are more concerned about online privacy because of the increased number of connected technology devices that contain personal information
  • 49% say they are more concerned about their online security today because of the recent large-scale email hacks (e.g. Yahoo!)
  • 36% identified the recent alleged Russian cybersecurity hacks in the U.S. as a privacy concern
  • Other privacy concerns include having personal information stolen and sold (62%) and companies collecting and sharing personal information (52%).

The company released a series of user metrics that mirror this concern, revealing a surge of interest in online privacy and security protection. AnchorFree saw a 243 percent increase in iOS downloads of the Hotspot Shield app in the US following the presidential election (from October to December).

A spate of interventions in internet access, well-documented security incidents, global concern over online privacy, and even global sports events have also contributed to massive growth in Hotspot Shield user numbers around the world, the company says.