Hackers, Trackers and Snoops: Our Privacy Survey Results

Post By in Security on Oct 14, 2017

Mozilla polled 30,000+ Internet users about privacy and security online. This is what they said.

Protecting our privacy and staying secure in the physical world is second nature. We lock our doors to keep out unwanted guests. We shut our blinds to thwart nosy neighbors. And we tuck away our wallets to foil thieves. It’s habit. And it’s common sense.

Yet online — where we shop, flirt, gossip and type unseemly questions into search engines — we rarely apply the same vigilance. We recycle passwords, we run outdated software and we volunteer personal information for a free coupon.

If this same carelessness carried over to the physical world, our wallets might be a lot lighter. And our neighbors might know a lot more about us than we want.

Why is that? And what can we do to fix it?

Mozilla recently set out to learn more. We want to know how people feel about issues like privacy, encryption, tracking and security online. And we want to act on our learnings, so we can help build a healthier Internet.

Last month, some 30,000 Mozilla community members responded to our privacy survey. Here’s what we learned from those respondents — everyday Internet users from countries like France, Australia, Germany, Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

Most people feel they don’t know how to stay safe online.

The details: Over 90% of survey participants said they don’t know much about protecting themselves online. Only 8.9% are basically Mr. Robot.

Interesting tidbit: Respondents from France are the least confident about their knowledge of how to protect themselves online, with 1 in 5 people admitting that they know nothing and need help.

What to do: Keep your software current. Updating apps and devices regularly takes advantage of developers’ latest security enhancements. Here’s a great list to get you started.

Overwhelmingly, people don’t feel like they have control over their personal information online.

Most people are pretty fuzzy on how encryption works.

The details: Nearly 1 in 3 survey participants said they know either very little, or nothing at all, about encryption.

Interesting tidbit: German respondents were most familiar with encryption, with 85% of respondents having at least some knowledge about it.

What to do: Mozilla’s “Meet Encryption” video explains encryption in simple language.

People are most scared of hackers and trackers.

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