40% said they don’t trust the internet.
While it’s estimated that 91% of the Australian population are online, a recent 2022 study by the cybersecurity company NordVPN has found that more than a third of Aussies (35%) would delete themselves from the internet if they could.
When asked about the reason, 40% said they don’t trust the internet, and 39% feel used because companies exploit their data to their advantage.
Another 38% said they fear that someone will eventually hack their devices, and around the same percentage say they have no reason to have their name on the internet.
According to respondents from the survey of 1,000 Australians, more than half (56%) said that they would most like their personal financial information to be deleted from the internet.
Other information Aussies want deleted from the internet include:
○ 38% – Unflattering photos/videos
○ 32% – Embarrassing moments
○ 27% – Old dating/social media profiles
○ 17% – Previous employment history
“While removing yourself from the internet sounds like a good idea for those concerned with having their personal information exposed to the wrong entities, you have to ask yourself if wiping the slate totally clean is even possible in our digital-dominant world,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
“Our study also found that some would be in favour of a more practical approach because 40% would be in favour of paying to use the internet anonymously at all times.”
For those who want to be anonymous when online and are willing to pay for it, the study reveals that 30% of Aussies would pay up to 150 AUD, 5% would pay between 151-700 AUD, and 4% would fork out between 701-1500 AUD to be anonymous. Two percent of respondents said they would pay even more.
To know or not know – that is the question!
The survey found that keeping their personal information safe on the internet is the key to happiness online. As many as 75% of Aussies would most be afraid of having their financial data accessed by a hacker (or malicious third party), while 44% said texts and emails, 40% said “medical information,” 35% said “social media accounts,” and 22% said “sex life.”
“While we can hope to remove some information about ourselves online, only better online habits can help Australians feel safer when they’re on the internet. Using more sophisticated passwords, trusted cybersecurity tools (such as a VPN, antivirus, and password manager) and practicing a general awareness of threats will help people protect their most valuable information online for years to come,” said Daniel Markuson from NordVPN.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR DATA
While deleting your entire internet presence may be too much of a challenge for most people, you can do a lot right now to limit your digital footprint.
Nord VPN‘s article on erasing yourself from the internet will give you a detailed breakdown of everything you need to do, but here are the main areas you should focus on.
Limit or delete social media accounts. To enhance your privacy, scrap old profiles that you don’t use and set the ones you do use to private. Many social media sites have detailed privacy settings through which you can specify how much information you make public and how much data the company gathers about you. Make use of these settings, although bear in mind that if you’re on social media in any form, your privacy will always be somewhat compromised.
Send data deletion requests. Many companies profit by gathering and selling your data, and for the most part they do so perfectly legally. However, you have a right to contact these organizations and request that they remove the information they store about you. While that’s no guarantee that they’ll comply, many will, and it’s a good way to get companies like Facebook to remove the data they still hold on you after you’ve deleted your account.
Use a VPN. While it’s hard to cut your digital footprint down after years of using the internet, you can do so proactively going forward. A great place to start is with a VPN, or virtual private network. With a service like NordVPN, you can encrypt your internet connection, meaning that your internet service provider can’t log and sell information about your browsing habits. A VPN will also boost your overall security and privacy, and give you access to Threat Protection, a feature that blocks online trackers.
Methodology: The survey was commissioned by NordVPN and conducted by the external company Cint on May 16-24, 2022. The survey’s target group was residents of France, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Japan, and South Korea aged 18+ (nationally representative), and the sample was taken from national internet users. Quotas were placed on age, gender, and place of residence. 10.800 people were surveyed in total, made up of 800 people from Spain and 1000 people from each of the remaining countries.
NordVPN is the world’s most advanced VPN service provider used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN.
The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide, and is P2P-friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy.
For more information: nordvpn.com.
For more TOTT News, follow us:
Facebook — Facebook.com/TOTTNews
YouTube — YouTube.com/TOTTNews
Instagram — Instagram.com/TOTTNews
Twitter — Twitter.com/EthanTOTT