Americans ‘worry more about online privacy than losing main income’

American consumers are more concerned about not knowing how their personal data are collected online than they are about losing their main source of income, new research has found.

The US Consumer Privacy Index 2016, by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and TRUSTe, revealed that 68% of respondents cited online privacy as the thing they most worry about.

Surprisingly, for 57% of Americans, losing personal income was the biggest cause of unease.

Interestingly, the survey revealed that in the space of 12 months, there has been 45% increase in the number of people who are now concerned about online privacy.

Unsurprisingly, many consumers are worried about organizations sharing their details with other enterprises, without them having any idea about it.

The index also highlighted the fact that while many individuals are increasingly troubled by the idea of their personal information not being totally private, they still don’t fully understand what happens to their information once it is shared online.

Additionally, while many (75%) are of the opinion that they “adequately” protect their data, the survey results suggest that this doesn’t always happen in practice.

For example, while 33% of Americans appreciate that they can read up on privacy policies, only 16% have actually done this.

Similarly, while 43% of respondents understand that they have the ability to change social media settings to make their account more private, only 29% have made an effort to do so.

Other interesting trends from the index, which was released to mark Data Privacy Day, include the wider impact that privacy concerns are having on businesses.

It was reported that 29% of Americans have stopped using an app because the information it asked for was determined to be disproportionate, while 19% stated that they felt “forced to use a website they didn’t trust”.

“The Consumer Privacy Index indicates a need for better privacy awareness,” said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. “Consumers must learn how to better protect their personal information and manage their privacy.”

Author , We Live Security

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