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BizReport : Internet : October 24, 2018

Despite concerns, Americans failing to protect online data

Data leaks are a big conversation in the US, with most consumers saying they are concerned about the security of their data within social media, retailer, and even banking institutions. And yet, many of these same Americans haven't updated their privacy settings or updated their site passwords to improve their security risks.

by Kristina Knight

New data out from BestVPN finds that nearly all (87.5%) Americans are concerned about the security of their personal data in the online space and that nearly half (45%) "are uncomfortable" using social media platforms because they fear their data may be sold. Despite those fears, and the outrage that swept the country in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, 46% of people still haven't upgraded their security settings within the social network to protect their data, and only 44% actually checked to see if their data was part of that used by Cambridge Analytica.

"Complete privacy is almost impossible to come by - especially on the internet,. Individual consumers, government agencies, and big corporations are all guilty of careless actions that accelerate the risk of significant data breaches," write the report authors. "That doesn't mean internet users should wait around for their personal data to be compromised before choosing to act. Employing security tools like a VPN and practicing good cyber habits can help private citizens safeguard their data from prying eyes."

Other interesting findings from the BestVPN report include:

▪ 57% of Americans connect to public WiFi "within seconds" of arriving at a hotspot
▪ 36% of people write passwords down rather than using a password manager
▪ 41% have not enabled 2-factor authentication for their devices, email, bank accounts, or social media
▪ 54% of Americans still do not understand Net Neutrality or how its rollback effects their privacy

With these stats in mind, BestVPN suggests consumers update and upgrade their digital security settings and passwords, secure browsing history, and check into the privacy settings of their email providers, as well.

As for businesses, marketers, and even social networks, these entities should upgrade their security settings, as well, to protect their users data, and be more transparent with consumers about how and when personal data is used.

Tags: advertising, advertising data, BestVPN, consumer data, consumer data trends, data privacy, data protection, ecommerce

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