According to the results of a survey from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nearly half of all Americans (41,000 homes) have scaled back a normal online task as they were worried about security fears regarding lack of online security and privacy.
There was a survey on about 41,00 homes, of which 26 percent avoided online shopping, a similar amount of people decided not to post anything on social networks while 29 percent skipped online finances. The situation has become so worse that 19 percent of people didn’t even agree to offer controversial opinions online.
“Privacy and security concerns deterred each of these important activities in millions of households, and this chill on discourse and economic activity was even more common among online households that either had experienced an online security breach or expressed two or more major concerns about privacy and security risks,” according to the NTIA’s report.
The concerns are practical. Survey results show that 63 percent of the users are tensed about possible identity theft, 45 percent about fraud, 23 percent were worried about online services copying their data, and 18 percent were worried about government data collection. About 13 percent were tensed about personal safety.
In order to identify the exact reason behind those fears, NTIA wants to conduct further studies. As there’s already mistrust among the people of internet policy and privacy, researchers think the US government should follow some policies that will promote trust in their minds, such as requiring a minimum level of privacy protection and pushing for strong encryption. These may help people feel more comfortable about their internet usage.
But as for now, most people are taking cautionary measures when it comes to using the internet, and though this may sound out of place in 2016, with the internet of things promised to make life better for everyone, for many, mistrust of the internet is not a bad thing.