With issues including Facebook's Cambridge Analytical data leak and breaches affecting Best Buy, Under Armour, and Orbitz making headlines this year, privacy is a real concern for a lot of Americans.
A new survey from TheBestVPN has revealed that 93 percent of Americans are either more worried or just as concerned about their online privacy now as they were a year ago. Just 7 percent of the 1,000 Americans polled by the site in June said they are less worried about their privacy than they were in 2017.
More than half of respondents (51 percent) cited hackers as their top privacy concern, followed by companies collecting and sharing their personal data (26 percent), online surveillance by the US government (14 percent), and online surveillance by foreign governments (9 percent). Moreover, the site found that 54 percent are "not confident" that they understand how companies collect and share their information.
Despite these concerns, TheBestVPN found that more than one-third of respondents (39 percent) haven't taken steps to protect their data, such as opting out of behavioral advertising, reading privacy policies, or tweaking their social-media privacy settings. To better protect your privacy online, TheBestVPN recommends blocking web activity trackers, using a VPN, avoiding non-HTTPS sites, not connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, and customizing your social-media security settings.
"Strides toward greater online privacy are being made—GDPR implementation aims to increase transparency and California recently passed a similar law aimed at major tech giants," TheBestVPN wrote in its report. "However, misunderstandings around data policies, as well as feelings of powerlessness in an always-connected society, mean that concerns around online privacy aren't likely to abate anytime soon."