Internet Users Have No Idea How to Protect Their Privacy Online

Despite saying they are concerned about their digital privacy, Internet users ignore basic advice.


The desire for privacy and the active measures users take to maintain their privacy are often at odds. Cybersecurity software company Trend Micro commissioned a survey of 2,029 users that demonstrates just how different users desires can be from their actions.

“A simple step to protecting our digital lives begins with being mindful of the hazards to privacy and personal data the Internet presents,” Akihiko Omikawa, general manager of global consumer business at Trend Micro, said in a press release.

Users frequently ignore the most basic security steps. For example, 40 percent of users surveyed admitted that they didn’t set passwords on their devices. Even when users choose to set passwords, the passwords they choose are often downright useless.

Additionally, 28 percent of survey respondents allowed mobile apps to access their social media profiles. We’ve learned time and time again that social apps are nowhere near as secure as they should be.

Despite these glaring oversights — or maybe because users are aware of their security sins — they have grave security concerns. Seventy-four percent worry about sharing personal data on social networks, and 60 percent have removed social media posts for fear of real-life repercussions, according to the survey.

“Managing privacy and security in this connected world is something that is often overlooked as we walk through life with our smartphones and laptops,” said Omikawa. To better protect their personal data, users would do well to be aware of their lackluster security protocols.