How Concerned Are US Citezens About Their Digital Privacy?

ExpressVPN Protocols
Ryan Glenn | VPN Expert
Updated August 18th, 2020

We vetted and curated a list of the latest privacy statistics continuing in 2020. We also polled 1,000 anonymous people to get their take on the state of privacy compared to a year ago.

Privacy Concern Level

This study shows an overwhelming amount of americans having the same level of concern or an increasing level of concern. Furthermore, 52.5% are at least more concerned or a lot more concerend about their online privacy compared to a year ago.

These are the most recent and interesting privacy statistics we found:
  1. In 2020, 40% of American adults stated concerns about the misuse of their online data. (statista)
  2. 80% of social media users are concerned about advertisers and businesses accessing the data they share on social media platforms. (vpngeeks)
  3. Most concerning issues for mobile users about data privacy are identity theft and fraud (72%), stolen passwords (64%), Not knowing what personal information is used (59%), information being sold for profit (54%), location tracking (53%). (statista)
  4. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, online crimes reported to the FBI have quadrupled from 1,000/day to 4,000/day. (nozominetworks)
  5. 57% of Iot devices are vulnerable to medium or high severity attacks. (nozominetworks)
  6. According to a 2019 survey, over 80% of U.S. internet users felt that their data was vulnerable to hackers. (statista)
  7. 80% of Americans reported online privacy concerns due to their government in 2019. (statista)
  8. 34% of adults stated discomfort with the idea of tech companies sharing location data with the government. (statista)
  9. 4800 websites worldwide compromised by formjacking attacks every month, meaning users are duped into thinking that they are voluntarily sending their personal data to a trusted site which is in turn submitted to a cybercriminal. (vpngeeks)
  10. 1000% increase in malicious powershell scripts, a 2019 report states command line scripting language is being used by hackers. (broadcom)
Key Takeaways:
  1. A continuing trend in 2020, Americans are increasingly concerned about online privacy, even more so than the year before.
  2. Americans are concerned about companies collecting and abusing their data.
  3. Americans feel they are losing control of who sees their online searches and activity.
  4. Among various privacy threats, Americans are the most concerned about cybercriminals and hackers stealing their passwords, identity, and commiting fraudulent acts.
  5. Concerns about government mass surveillance have accelerated due to COVID-19 location tracking measures. Online crime reporting has quadrupled since the pandemic.

How to be safe online?

  1. Keep personal information limited online. If you do not want others to see certain information you have the power to dictate what information is publically availble for people to see.
  2. Keep privacy settings on. Marketers and hackers love to know all about you. Major websites like Facebook have privacy enhancing settings available. Ensure to safeguard your information.
  3. Make online purcahses from secure sites. Look for an web address that starts with 'https'. It may also be marked by a padlock icon next to the address bar.
  4. Choose strong passwords with the help of a password manager (Bitwarden, Dashline, NordPass)
  5. Make sure your internet connection is secure by using a VPN.
  6. Protect your computer with an anti-virus and malware blocker. Ensure to keep this updated.
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