In June, we conducted a survey among 2,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 65 about their online privacy knowledge, beliefs and security practices. Since Keepsafe wants to make privacy and security simple for everyone, we set out to better understand common misunderstandings around privacy and technology.
We asked questions like:
- How important do you think your online security and privacy is?
- How diligent are you about using unique passwords across your online accounts?
- What do you see as the benefits of using a privacy app?
What we found was that the privacy paradox is alive and well. There are also many common misconceptions when it comes to simple steps people can take to protect their privacy.
What is the privacy paradox anyway?
It’s the disconnect between how important people say their online privacy is versus how they behave in real life.
In Keepsafe’s survey results, these were key examples of the privacy paradox:
Sixty-eight percent of people who answered said that their online security and privacy is extremely important.
The paradox: Only 36 percent describe themselves as extremely diligent about using unique passwords across their online accounts.
Sixty–five percent of people who answered don’t feel comfortable posting their contact information online (for buying and selling items or dating online).
The paradox: Only 51 percent of people said they’d use a second phone number app to protect their personal number online.
Privacy protections – what misconceptions?
- Thirty-one percent of people who answered our survey didn’t know or understand the benefits of using privacy apps.
- Ninety-seven percent didn’t know what a VPN and private browser were.
At Keepsafe, we care so much about protecting people’s digital privacy and security, that we’ve created a simple family of apps on iOS and Android to do just that. Anyone can use them, they are that simple. So let’s debunk these misconceptions, once and for all!
Your online privacy and security really matters.
Privacy is a fundamental human right according to the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human rights. Privacy is a hallmark of personal freedom and democracy. Think about it: your decision to keep information to yourself rather than share it is central to how you experience the world. In any context – at work, at home, with friends and family, you get to decide when and with whom you want to share personal information.
Always, always use unique passwords.
Twenty-four percent of people we surveyed use three or fewer passwords across all of their online accounts. The problem? If one password gets hacked, it compromises all of your accounts. Use a password manager to create unique passwords for each online account you have. With a password manager, you need only to remember one master password. A password manager stores all of your online credentials and helps you easily update them when you need to.
Learn how VPNs, Private Browsers, and Burner Phone Number Apps can protect you.
Virtual private networks encrypt your data on public networks (like WiFi hotspots) and hide your location. This protects your Internet activity from being collected sold by your Internet Service Provider. VPNs also come in handy when you are browsing the Internet in cafes, airports and hotels – anywhere where your personal data isn’t using secure connection. Just make sure to sign-up for VPN you trust and pay for the service so that you use a reputable service.
Private browsers keep your browsing history private because they don’t track you and they give you the option to clear your browsing history, urls, cookies and caching. A private browser is helpful if you share a device with friends, family or co-workers and don’t want them inadvertently finding your browsing history or logging into one of your accounts. A great one will also include tracker blockers so you won’t be tracked by sites you visit and VPN (see above).
Burner phone apps give you new phone numbers that you can use on your phone to protect personal information and your primary phone number. Use additional phone numbers when you buy or sell anything online and date to protect your safety. You’ll also stay out of marketing databases and avoid robocalls. Use secondary numbers to protect privacy with co-workers, clients, students and parents to keep your personal life separate from work.
What are the real benefits of privacy apps?
- Control. You decide what information stays private.
- Safety. Protect yourself from danger and bad players.
- Peace of mind. Rest easier when you’ve safeguarded what matters most.
Learn more about Keepsafe’s simple mobile apps to protect your privacy.