Large number of internet users who choose to falsify their online identity reflects growing concerns about data privacy and security. Recent findings fromRSA’s Data Privacy and Security Survey indicate that 41% of respondents tend to intentionally provide fake information about themselves online.
The survey was carried out in France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Over 7 500 consumers participated in the survey.
More than 30% of respondents admitted falsifying their online information due to security concerns. The most commonly falsified information includes phone number, date of birth, email and home addresses, age, and name.
Isabel Hill, Head of R&D at Surfshark VPN explains that such behavior is evidence of widespread internet anxiety: ‘The number of people providing false information about themselves online reveals lack of trust in the internet companies. Businesses around the world want to know everything about their customers and collect enormous amounts of private data. In most countries it is generally impossible for users to opt out, and it frustrates them. That is why users prefer to lie about themselves’.
More than a half of respondents indicated that they are concerned with providing their contact information and feel protective of their communication data, such as messages, emails or phone calls.
42% of the respondents expressed concerns over businesses collecting data on their browsing habits, while 39% of them indicated unease about sharing of their location data. Isabell Hill believes, that these statistics explain increasing sales of privacy protection tools.
‘Results of the survey explain growing interest in virtual private networks (VPNs) as they offer users a solid layer of protection from potential abuse of their private information. A VPN, such as Surfshark, hides user’s IP address and ensures online anonymity’, says Isabel Hill.
By encrypting user’s online activities and hiding its location data from tracking, VPN technology enables protection of private information. It provides a safe gateway to the internet and allows users to regain control over their personal information online.