Had enough of the internet? Over third of people globally would delete themselves if they could


45% said there is no reason for their name to be on the internet, while 42% said they feel used because companies collect their data and use it to their advantage.

While it’s estimated that 63% of global population are online, a new study by the cybersecurity company NordVPN has found that more than a third of people (33%) would delete themselves from the internet if they could. When asked about the reason, 45% said there is no reason for their name to be on the internet, while 42% said they feel used because companies collect their data and use it to their advantage. Another 34% said they feel that someone will eventually hack their devices, and 31% don’t trust the internet.

According to respondents from the survey of 10,800 people, half (50%) said that they would most like their personal financial information to be deleted from the internet. Other information people want deleted from the internet include:

  • 33% – Unflattering photos/videos
  • 28% – Embarrassing moments
  • 25% – Old dating/social media profiles
  • 15% – Previous employment history

“While removing yourself from the internet sounds like a good idea for those concerned with having their personal information exposed to the wrong entities, you have to ask yourself if wiping the slate totally clean is even possible in our digital-dominant world,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Our study also found that some would be in favor of a more practical approach because 38% would be in favor of paying to use the internet anonymously at all times.”

Also Read: Why Digital Experience Monitoring is Important for Cybersecurity

For those who want to be anonymous when online and are willing to pay for it, the study reveals that 27% of people would pay up to 100 USD, 7% would pay between 101-500 USD, and 3% would fork out between 501-1,000 USD to be anonymous. Two percent of respondents said they would pay even more.

To know or not know – that is the question!

The survey found that keeping their personal information safe on the internet is the key to happiness online. As many as 71% of people would most be afraid of having their financial data accessed by a hacker (or malicious third party), while 43% said texts and emails, 35% said “medical information,” 33% said “social media accounts,” and 24% said “sex life.”

“While we can hope to remove some information about ourselves online, only better online habits can help people feel safer when they’re on the internet. Using more sophisticated passwords, trusted cybersecurity tools (such as a VPN, antivirus, and password manager) and practicing a general awareness of threats will help people protect their most valuable information online for years to come,” said Daniel Markuson from NordVPN.

Methodology: The survey was commissioned by NordVPN and conducted by the external company Cint on May 16-24, 2022. The survey’s target group was residents of France, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Japan, and South Korea aged 18+ (nationally representative), and the sample was taken from national internet users. Quotas were placed on age, gender, and place of residence. 10.800 people were surveyed in total, made up of 800 people from Spain and 1000 people from each of the remaining countries.

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