Internet Privacy Statistics in 2020 (And What They All Mean)

Internet privacy is a big issue today. While there is some debate around whether or not we need to regulate tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon, it’s widely agreed that we need to take steps to protect our information online.

34 percent of internet users in the United States feel that their data is ‘very vulnerable’ to hackers. (Source: Statista, July 2019)

There is a large group of people in the United States who feel that their data is at risk of being hacked, but many of these people have no clue how to combat that problem. Ghostpeek wants to help educate people about the best ways to protect their data from hacks and data breaches.

Over 83 percent of the top 100,000 websites have Google Analytics running on their sites. (Source: BuiltWith, September 2019)

Most websites are collecting information about the people visiting the site. Perhaps more concerning than the websites and the people that run them having your data is the fact that Google also gets access to this data. Google’s massive databases full of user behavioral data gives the company the ability to predict people’s behavior with surprising accuracy. There are a number of independent analytics tools that can give you insights about your visitors without sharing that data with a tech giant like Google.

70 percent of U.S. adults say it is at least ‘somewhat likely’ that the government is monitoring their phone calls and emails. (Source: Pew Research Center, September 2017)

Not only are people paranoid about criminal hackers collecting their information, but people are also worried about governments and surveillance agencies monitoring their internet communications. The internet is intended to be a place for people to communicate freely and openly share their ideas. However, if people can’t communicate privately, they won’t be as willing to speak openly and honestly.

86 percent of people have tried to remove or decrease their digital footprint on the internet. (Source: ASecureLife, September 2014)

This statistic was one of the more surprising ones for us. It can feel like internet privacy is only important to privacy and free speech advocates, but this statistic blows that out of the water. Nearly 9 out of 10 people have made some attempt to hide some information online. This trend isn’t going away as more and more information about people becomes publicly available online.

By 2021, there will be 13 networked devices and connections per person in North America. (Source: MediaPost, June 2017)

Today, most people have a computer, a smartphone, and a few other connected devices. The number of devices per person will continue to increase because more and more devices are finding ways to integrate the internet into their functionality. With more devices there will be more vulnerabilities for hackers and criminal organizations to exploit.

In 2018, there were 1,244 data breaches in the United States which exposed 446.52 million data records. (Source: Statista, August 2019)

It’s hard to understand how common that data breaches are, and just how often they occur. Because many of the companies that are targeted by hackers have millions of users, the results of a breach are dire. If Google were to be hacked, it wouldn’t be out of the question for billions of records to be hacked.

Ecommerce sales are expected to reach $3.45 trillion for 2019. (Source: Website Hosting Rating, August 2019)

People are more comfortable than ever with spending money online. This presents big opportunities for bad actors to either hack into databases of financial information or to create “fake” shopping sites that are really just ways to collect people’s private information. People need to take steps to verify that the sites that they are spending money on are legitimate.

Cybercrimes will cause $6 trillion in damages annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2018. (Source: Website Hosting Rating, August 2019)

Cybercrime is a huge industry, as unfortunate as that sounds. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly innovating to find new ways to hack people’s devices. Because things like banking and investing have made their way into the virtual world, hackers can now steal money by just cracking a user’s password.

1 in every 131 emails contains some type of malware. (Source: Website Hosting Rating, August 2019)

The average office worker receives about 90 emails per day. If this is you, you could be receiving a malware email every other day. You should beware of email with links or attachments, as those may contain malware or viruses. Another way that emails can exploit you is with phishing attacks. These emails often appear to be from a reputable company or someone you may know, but they are actually from someone trying to get you to share your private information with them.

56.4 percent of websites currently have HTTPS enabled by default, up from 42 percent one year ago. (Source: W3Techs, November 2019)

Websites are taking security seriously and using HTTPS to make it more difficult for hackers to collect information about your browsing on their websites. Encryption is essential for any website that is collecting payment information. Without SSL (HTTPS encryption), people can monitor network requests and see information like credit card numbers and passwords in plain-text. More websites have added HTTPS in the past year, but this encryption needs to become standard and should just be enabled when someone launches a website.

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