Nearly 9 Out of 10 Online Users in the US Prefer to Stay Anonymous—Study
A new study has found that 86% of Internet users in the US prefer to withhold their identities when doing online activities. About 55% of online users have even taken measures to make sure they would remain anonymous online especially from organizations, the government, and specific people.
Those data were taken from findings of a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for its Internet Project. The research was underwritten by the Carnegie Mellon University. The poll involved 1,002 adults who were randomly interviewed from July 11 to July 14.
Aside from preferring to remain anonymous online, most online users also worry that keeping their identities withheld may not be fully possible these days. There is a growing concern over possible increase in online surveillance activities. Internet users are now more intent on hiding their personal data from advertisers, hackers, and even friends and family members than on preventing possible monitoring by the government.
Online security problems
The study also found that up to 79% of Internet users in the country have already experienced problems regarding online security. They complain about being victims of hacking and of online identity theft. Thus, most of them are now more conscious when getting visible online.
The survey even had more specific findings. 21% of respondents have had experienced compromised accounts on email or social networks. About 12% of them have experienced being harassed or stalked online. Up to 11% have reported stolen personal information, while 6% already lost money due to online scams.
About 6% of the respondents had incurred damaged reputation due to online events. About 4% of those Internet users have feared of physical danger due to online controversies.
Security concerns on Facebook
In an earlier and separate study by the Carnegie Mellon University, it was found that many Facebook users are less cautious when using the social networking site. According to that research, many Facebook account users tend to continue sharing personal information despite the growing concerns over dwindling privacy across the social media.
That was based on a seven-year research that was concluded and was published in March. That earlier study found that the amount of data that people are publishing online via Facebook has changed over time. Those changes were based on the different features that were introduced by the social media Website.