One in Five People Have Killed a Social Media Profile for Privacy | #socialmedia

It wasn’t long ago that privacy didn’t seem to be an issue online, as people shared their thoughts, pictures, locations, and more willy-nilly on any and every social media service. But the privacy scandals of the last few years—featuring big-name companies including Facebook and Google—and constant data breaches have given people a lot to think more to about. That accounts for new data released by DuckDuckGo.

For those who don’t know about DuckDuckGo, it’s a search engine that hangs its hat on being as private as possible—sort of the anti-Google. It also offers browser add-ons and its own mobile browser to further that goal. To quantify how people are feeling about privacy, DuckDuckGo enlisted SurveyMonkey’s Audience platform and surveyed 1,114 people August 2019. (The survey respondents were paid.)

The results were sure to make services such as DuckDuckGo and (another private search, albeit one that uses Google results while masking you) pretty happy. Top of the list: 79.2 percent (plus or minus 2.3) of people have gone into their social media accounts within the last 12 months to adjust their privacy settings. Perhaps more telling is that a full 23 percent (± 2.4) have cited privacy as the reason they deleted or deactivated a social account.

That’s not only on Facebook—that’s across all social media, with 28.5 percent (± 5.5) hitting Twitter, and 30.5 percent (± 5.6) doing the same on Instagram.

The chart at top displays exactly what adjustments people have made in the last year, from setting a profile to private (35 percent) to removing posts (43.1 percent). The chart below shows off steps taken to enhance security and privacy outside of the social media networks. That includes increased use of password managers, activating Do Not Track settings, and more use of VPNs.

The Why Axis chart - DuckDuckGo - Actions Taken to Protect Online Privacy

DuckDuckGo cites its own traffic numbers as “indicative of this shift toward taking action on privacy”: Its traffic has increased 68 percent year to year.

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The company also asked respondents about the importance of privacy when they’re considering tech purchases. 64 percent (± 2.8) said it’s at least very—if not extremely—important. The number goes higher when you drill down to smartphones (74.9 percent), laptops/PCs (78.1 percent), and smart home stuff (77.8 percent).

For more, read the full report at DuckDuckGo’s blog.

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seventy eight + = eighty one