Online privacy: 3 surprising things you should know

Do you distrust the Internet? If so, you’ve got company.

Online-privacy concerns have increased around the world, according to the 2019 CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust.

Consider this. More than half of the 25,000 internet users surveyed — 53 percent — said they’re more concerned about online privacy than they were a year ago.

Despite those concerns, the survey also found many people ignore tools that could help boost their privacy while online.

More on that to come. It’s one of the three survey findings that might surprise you.

1. Two things create the most online privacy distrust

Maybe you guessed it. Cybercriminals are the leading cause of online privacy distrust.

Less predictably, social media companies come in a close second.

Here’s how it breaks down.

Cybercriminals were cited by 81 percent of people surveyed.

Three of four respondents to the survey cited Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms as contributing to their distrust of the Internet.

That’s just a six-point gap.

2. Fake news fakes out a lot of people

If fake news has yet to dupe you, consider yourself in the minority. Here’s what the survey found:

• 86 percent of respondents said they fell for fake news at least once.

• More than half of those respondents — 44 percent — said they sometimes or frequently fall for bogus news.

What about the people who think they’ve never been tricked? Just 14 percent.

3. Distrust is changing online behavior, but …

Distrust is high, but what can you do about it?

Nearly half — 49 percent — of respondents said their distrust has led them to disclose less personal information online.

That’s a start, but technological tools can help, too. For instance, a VPN — or virtual private network — can help protect your privacy and security when you use public Wi-Fi.

Even so, fewer than two in 10 respondents — just 19 percent — use privacy tools such as VPNs or encryption.

That’s not a lot, but it’s four points higher than last year.

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Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. NortonLifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about cyber safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses.

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