More than a third of Aussies (35%) would delete themselves from the internet if they could, according to a new study commissioned by cybersecurity company NordVPN.
And when asked about the reason, 40% of Australians said they don’t trust the internet, while 39% feel used because companies exploit their data to their advantage.
Another 38% say they fear that someone will eventually hack their devices, and around the same percentage say they have no reason to have their name on the internet.
According to respondents from the survey – commissioned by NordVPN and conducted by Cint – of 1,000 Australians, more than half (56%) said that they would most like their personal financial information to be deleted from the internet – and other information Australians want deleted from the internet include:
- 38% – Unflattering photos/videos
- 32% – Embarrassing moments
- 27% – Old dating/social media profiles
- 17% – Previous employment history
“While removing yourself from the internet sounds like a good idea for those concerned with having their personal information exposed to the wrong entities, you have to ask yourself if wiping the slate totally clean is even possible in our digital-dominant world,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
“Our study also found that some would be in favor of a more practical approach because 40% would be in favor of paying to use the internet anonymously at all times.”
VPN says that for those who want to be anonymous when online and are willing to pay for it, the study reveals that 30% of Aussies would pay up to A$150, 5% would pay between A$151-700 and 4% would fork out between A$701-1500 to be anonymous. Two percent of respondents said they would pay even more.
The survey also found that for Australians keeping their personal information safe on the internet is the key to happiness online. As many as 75% of Aussies would most be afraid of having their financial data accessed by a hacker (or malicious third party), while 44% said texts and emails, 40% said “medical information,” 35% said “social media accounts,” and 22% said “sex life.”
“While we can hope to remove some information about ourselves online, only better online habits can help Australians feel safer when they’re on the internet. Using more sophisticated passwords, trusted cybersecurity tools (such as a VPN, antivirus, and password manager) and practicing a general awareness of threats will help people protect their most valuable information online for years to come,” Markuson concluded.
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