Every day, there is fresh news of a major security breach at a popular online retailer, social media site or even a consumer credit agency. According to statistics, it’s likely that you or somebody you know has been the victim of some sort of online fraud or identity theft in the past year.
What’s crazy is that more than 60% of internet users think they’re already secure online.
How is that possible?
With this in mind, what is the reality of risk for you online, and what can you do today to mitigate that risk?
Check out the infographic below to learn more.
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Stop making excuses. Check out this list of the best VPNs and start encrypting the data you send over your home network as well as everything you do on public networks.
Online Security Statistics and Facts
According to Pew Research, an alarming number of people think that they are perfectly secure online.
- 61% of people think their personal data is secure or somewhat secure already.
- 21% of people couldn’t figure whether their online data was secure or un-secure. Most weren’t even aware of why https is more secure than http URLs.
- 18% of people thought their data was insecure online.
Now, compare that with the following data from a survey taken of adults in the U.S.
- 64% of respondents said that they had experienced some sort of fraud in the past year.
- 41% of US adults have been subject to credit card fraud
- 50% of US adults have had some part of their identity stolen (email, passwords, SSN).
- 29% of US adults have had their social media hacked.
- 14% of adults have experienced bank fraud.
Global Usage of VPNs
While there are many ways to decrease your chance of online fraud, such as checking if you have a strong password or even setting up 2-factor authentication, the first and easiest step you can take is to begin using a Virtual Private Network or a VPN.
Not sure what I’m talking about? You’ll want to read further about what a VPN is.
Interestingly, while use of VPNs is extremely high in countries like Indonesia (22%), Thailand (18%) and even Australia (18%), it’s extremely low in countries like the United States (only 5%) and the United Kingdom (again, only 5%).
This number is slowly increasing as people become aware of their need to be more vigilant about online security, but it’s still too low.
Common Uses for a VPN
VPNs can be used for a number of different reasons, not just tighter security when you’re accessing the internet on a public network.
For example, you may use a VPN if you want to:
- Watch Geo-Restricted Content: A lot of content is blocked or limited based on where you are in the world. That’s why it’s impossible to watch Netflix in China without a VPN, for example.
- Access Blocked Websites at Work/School: Some work and school networks block access to outside websites, and a VPN allows you to access them.
- Bypass Censored Internet: In countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other, heavy censorship can only be bypassed with a VPN.