Brits are starting to regret over-sharing in the social media age — a third of them would delete themselves from the internet if they could, research by cybersecurity company NordVPN has revealed.
Nearly everyone is online these days. But 33% would delete all traces of their identity from the web if they had the choice, NordVPN’s survey shows.
With internet users becoming increasingly commercially aware, tensions are beginning to run high.
Nearly half (46%) of respondents said they felt used by companies collecting and exploiting their data. A similar number (43%) felt there was no reason for their name to be online at all.
A third (35%) said they don’t trust the internet and three in ten (28%) believe it’s only a matter of time before someone hacks their devices.
Even if they don’t want to be deleted entirely, there are certain things Brits would rather remove.
- 36% — Unflattering photos/videos
- 25% — Embarrassing moments
- 25% — Old dating/social media profiles
- 16% — Previous employment history
Some people would even be willing to pay to remain completely anonymous online. A quarter (26%) of Brits would pay up to £100, 4% would pay between £100 and £500 and 2% would fork out between £500 and £1,000, with a further 2% prepared to pay even more.
Marijus Briedis, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN, said, “We put so much information online now, it’s virtually impossible to remove your online identity entirely. What this research reveals is that people are now much more aware of how valuable their data is and who wants to exploit it.
“For most people, having a digital footprint is no longer a choice. Adopting good online habits is the key to safeguarding your data and staying safe on the internet.
“Using more sophisticated passwords, anti-virus tools and virtual private networks will drastically reduce your chances of being targeted by cybercriminals.”