Researching the impact of the Internet on society, Pew Internet focused in on privacy online, and found that while most Americans want to remain anonymous online, they fear that it’s not possible.
“Their concerns apply to an entire ecosystem of surveillance. In fact, they are more intent on trying to mask their personal information from hackers, advertisers, friends and family members than they are trying to avoid observation by the government,” said Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.
Below are 10 statistics on privacy online that may surprise you:
1. 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised. or taken over by someone else without permission.
2. 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.
3. 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government.
4. 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
5. 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
6. 12% of internet users have been stalked or harassed online.
7. 59% of internet users do not believe it is possible to be completely anonymous online.
8. 68% of internet users believe current laws are not good enough in protecting people’s privacy online.
9. 1% of internet users have lost a job opportunity or educational opportunity because of something they posted online or someone posted about them.
10. 6% of internet users have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
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