Survey Says, Make the Content Go Away, Please

May 19, 2020

TechRadar states the obvious—“Want to Remove Information About Yourself Online? You’re Not Alone.” The write-up cites a recent Kaspersky survey of over 15,000 respondents. It confirms people are finally taking notice that their personal data has been making its way across the Web. The findings show a high percentage of Internet users have tried to erase personal information online, and for good reason, but many have met with little success. Writer Mike Moore reports:

“Four in five people (82 percent) surveyed in a major study by Kaspersky said they had tried to remove private information which had been publicly available, either from websites or social media channels, recently. However a third (37 percent) of those surveyed had no idea of how to remove details about themselves online. … [The survey] found that over a third (34 percent) of consumers have faced incidents where their private information was accessed by someone who did not have their consent. Of these incidents, over a quarter (29 percent) resulted in financial losses and emotional distress, and more than a third (35 percent) saw someone able to gain access to personal devices without permission. This rises to 39 percent among those aged between 25 and 34, despite younger internet users often being expected to have higher levels of technological literacy. Overall, one in five people say they are concerned about the personal data that organizations are collecting about them and their loved ones.”

The standard recommendation to protect privacy in the first place has been to use a VPN, but even that may be inadequate. A study performed by TechRadar Pro found that nearly half of all VPN services are based in countries that are part of the Fourteen Eyes international surveillance alliance. Looking for alternatives? Moore shares this link to a TechRadar article on what they say are the most secure VPN providers.

Cynthia Murrell, May 19, 2020

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