Commentary

Who’s watching you?

Ahead of terrorist attacks, becoming bankrupt and being attacked in their homes, people are more worried about their online privacy being violated and becoming a victim of Internet fraud. Coinciding with global Data Privacy Day today, new survey research by Opera Software in the United States, Japan and Russia pulls back the curtain and looks under the bed at what people worry about online.

Internet fraud as a result of online privacy violations was among the top four concerns tipped in all three countries, recorded by between 22 and 29% of respondents in each country. Distress over being hurt in a traffic accident topped the lists in Japan (35%) and the United States (27%), while relationship problems keep 40% of Russian respondents awake at night. Relationship drama and pandemics such as swine flu tied for second place in Japan’s worries (34%), while concerns for bankruptcy took third place in the United States (23%).

The online survey, administered by market research company YouGov, aimed to uncover what concerns people have for their online safety and privacy. More than 1000 people in each of the United States, Japan and Russia completed the survey between 19 and 24 January. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults aged 18+ in the three countries.
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Anti-virus software rules as the preferred measure to protect privacy online, with Russia leading the pack (90%) ahead of the United States (79%) and Japan (68%). Despite their concerns for online privacy violations, less than two-thirds (61%) of respondents in the United States use safe passwords, and this was as low as a quarter of respondents in Japan. Regularly deleting browsing history fared even worse in the United States and Russia, though men delete browsing history more often than women in all three countries. Only using software and websites that do not collect information lagged far behind in people’s safety arsenal, used by just 9-15% of respondents in each country. Continue reading…

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