Quantcast
Latest Stories

Privacy fears cause more to cover online tracks— study



AFP FILE PHOTO

WASHINGTON – Amid growing fears about online surveillance and data theft, Americans are increasingly taking steps to remove or mask their digital footprints on the Internet, a study showed Thursday.

The Pew Research Center report said 86 percent of US Internet users have taken some steps to avoid online surveillance by other people or organizations.

Despite these precautions, 21 percent of online adults in the survey have had an email or social media account hijacked and 11 percent have had information like Social Security numbers or financial data stolen.

The report said 12 percent of those using the Internet have been stalked or harassed online, and six percent have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.

Another six percent said they have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online, and four percent said they were in physical danger because of something that happened online.

According to the study, 50 percent of Internet users say they are worried about the amount of personal information about them that is online — a figure that has jumped from 33 percent in 2009.

“Users clearly want the option of being anonymous online and increasingly worry that this is not possible,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and an author of the report.

“Their concerns apply to an entire ecosystem of surveillance. In fact, they are more intent on trying to mask their personal information from hackers, advertisers, friends and family members than they are trying to avoid observation by the government.”

The survey found some 64 percent of online adults clear “cookies” which store information, or their browser history and 41 percent have disabled cookies.

Some delete material they have posted in the past, create usernames that are hard to tie to them, use public computers to browse, or give inaccurate information about themselves.

Roughly 14 percent of the users survey said they at times encrypt email and 14 percent say they use services like virtual networks that allow them to browse without being tied to a specific Internet protocol (IP) address.

“Our team’s biggest surprise was discovering that many Internet users have tried to conceal their identity or their communications from others,” noted Sara Kiesler, an author of the report and a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University.

“It’s not just a small coterie of hackers. Almost everyone has taken some action to avoid surveillance. And despite their knowing that anonymity is virtually impossible, most Internet users think they should be able to avoid surveillance online — they think they should have a right to anonymity for certain things, like hiding posts from certain people or groups.”

Most Web users said would like more control over their personal information, saying in many cases it is important that only they or the people they authorize should be given access to their emails, their contacts, their locations and the content of what they download.

“These findings reinforce the notion that privacy is not an all-or-nothing proposition for internet users,” said Mary Madden, a Pew researcher. “People choose different strategies for different activities, for different content, to mask themselves from different people, at different times in their lives. What they clearly want is the power to decide who knows what about them.”

The researchers surveyed 1,002 adults, including 792 Internet and smartphone users, from July 11-14. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points for the full survey group and 3.8 percentage points for Internet users.


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter




Recent Stories:

Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters 16 mins elapsed Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion 1 hour elapsed Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’ 1 hour elapsed Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful 3 hours elapsed Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further 3 hours elapsed Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th 3 hours elapsed Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report 3 hours elapsed Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official 3 hours elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: data theft , Internet , online surveillance , Privacy



Copyright © 2014,
.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement Advertisement
  1. Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  4. Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  5. Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  6. Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  7. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  8. Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  10. Aquino may be ousted for cybercrime law, says lawmaker
  1. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  2. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  3. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  4. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  5. Netizens react to Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley
  6. IT technician found guilty of defrauding firm of P130,000
  7. Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  8. Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  9. Nude and so dangerous
  10. Online-addicted man arrested over son’s death
  1. #RejectedBbPilipinas2014Questions flood Twitter
  2. Did Deniece Cornejo lambast Vhong Navarro on social media?
  3. Netizens fall in love with Crimea prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya
  4. Mommy Dionisia Pacquiao scores, takes over social media
  5. Nude and so dangerous
  6. Mommy Dionisia sings ‘Riking Bull,’sends netizens ablaze
  7. Russia tries to curb Crimean prosecutor’s Internet fame
  8. Memes flourish after Pacquiao victory
  9. Why didn’t missing jet passengers use their cellphones?
  10. Netizens thank Capa for Lee arrest

News

  • Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Sports

  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Lifestyle

  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Kristo gathers 100 artists
  • ‘Magkabilaan’ concert at Peta celebrates 20-year dance partnership
  • Philippine novelist wins US book award amid cancer and ‘Yolanda’
  • Taboan 2014 in Subic: A movable, moving literary feast
  • Entertainment

  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • The Way They Like It
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Advertisement
    Marketplace