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Survey: Most Americans Do Nothing to Protect their Privacy Online

by Fox Van Allen on May 30, 2014

Girl hides father's eyes from computer screenIf you’re a regular reader of Techlicious, then you know how important it is to protect your privacy online, especially when using social networks. One wrong status message could get you fired, deny your kids entry into college or even let a burglar know when your family will leave your home unguarded on vacation. And yet, despite all these threats, a new Consumer Reports survey shows that 62% of Americans take absolutely no measures to protect their privacy online.

That number is especially frustrating when you consider how easy it is to protect yourself online. Limiting the audience of your Facebook posts takes only seconds, as does turning on your web browser’s “private browsing” option. And choosing not to reveal highly personal information or questionable pictures of ourselves online takes no time at all – just common sense.

Of course, even if you do everything right, your privacy is still at risk through data leaks. Late last year, retailer Target fell victim to an avoidable hack that compromised 70 million credit cards accounts belonging to its customers. And just a few months ago, the Heartbleed scare revealed that sensitive encrypted information, including passwords, was readily accessible to hackers for years on a wide range of popular websites like Yahoo and OKCupid. All told, the same Consumer Reports survey shows 1 in 7 online consumers were notified that their data was breached in 2013, an year-over-year increase of 56%.

For more on the Consumer Reports survey, visit the magazine's website. For more on how to lockdown your personal data, check out these 11 simple ways to protect your privacy.

[Girl hiding dad's eyes via Shutterstock]


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