Here’s the big takeaway – while 92% of Americans say online privacy is important, only 20% routinely take steps to protect themselves.
Being in the VPN business, we see with our own subscribers that folks download the app but then they don’t turn it on. Of course, there are likely for a variety of reasons for why it isn’t on, but the bottom line is if it’s not on, you aren’t protected. Based on what we were seeing, we decided to find out more by doing some research.
We asked real humans about their privacy protection habits.
We surveyed over 500 frequent business travelers (traveled at least six times a year for business) and found 92% of those surveyed, believe that protecting their privacy is important. Whew – that’s good news. But when we dig a little deeper and ask them who they believe is responsible for protecting their privacy, it suddenly gets complicated.
At least 60% believe the responsibility for cybersecurity is shared or belongs to someone else. From our perspective, the minute the responsibility includes “someone else” is the minute their personal privacy is at risk (see all the breaches of companies in the last few years – look at this astounding table of breaches from USA Today).
Other than the GDPR in Europe, there isn’t much being done to hold companies accountable. In fact, there are actuarial tables that calculate the cost of a fine versus the cost of implementing solutions to prevent a breach and the calculated risk is cheaper than solving the problem (here’s an example of the discussion).
Public Wi-Fi continues to be a threat vector – that means bad guys can get you.
We found 83% of travelers used public wi-fi recently and 40% admit to using it daily. That’s not a bad thing – when you travel – or frankly if you go to a coffee shop, shopping mall or almost anywhere – you are likely to use public wifi to connect. It’s cheaper than using the cellular network and goodness knows, we can’t exist without our phones.
The problem is, you really should do this while using a personal VPN. We found 52% said they had a personal VPN to protect against the risk of being hacked on public wifi, but most don’t use that protection consistently. Get this: 61% reported that they sometimes or never turn it on. They don’t turn it on. So having the app isn’t the answer. Using the app is.
Our resident expert explains why it’s so important to use the VPN.
“When it comes to privacy, each individual is responsible for keeping their personal data secure,” explained Gregory Falco, Ph.D. cyber research fellow at Harvard University and consultant to InvinciBull. “Hackers have become incredibly advanced and creative when it comes to stealing information from individuals and all it takes is one unsecure session for data to be compromised.”
Check out the infographic below for other insights. We’ll be back with a closer look at some of the other findings. And if you have a personal VPN, turn it on! We want your privacy protected.
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