The survey results
NordVPN’s Research Lab team surveyed 8,800 people in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain to determine what they would erase from the internet once and for all.
32% of all respondents would like to get rid of internet trolls, which was the most popular choice globally. British (44.8%), Polish (42%), and Australian (41.6%) users proved to have the lowest tolerance for trolls, while Germans (18%) and French (19.6%) had the highest.
While internet trolls represent the annoying part of the internet, the survey showed that people also care about their personal data. 13.2% would like to delete their name, email, address, and other personal information from the internet. Since this type of data could be used for identity theft and various scams, it’s no wonder that many people feel unsafe.
NordVPN’s survey has revealed that internet users got tired of social media platforms and 9% of respondents would ask Santa to delete them in a snap. These findings illustrate the dark side of the internet, which at times can be frustrating, tiring, and risky.
Key facts and impressions
- According to the survey, people would like to delete things posted by someone else rather than something they had posted themselves (6.5% to 4%). This was the most pronounced in France and Spain.
- Millennials were among the most concerned about deleting things online, while older generations didn’t seem to bother about their digital presence. This could also be because millennials have much more information posted online.
- Younger groups were also concerned with their online presence. For example, 14.4% of 18–24 year olds in the Netherlands would like to delete a picture from the internet, while only 2% of Dutch people over 65 cared about it.
- French youths (18–24 years old) have a negative attitude towards streaming platforms with 9% of them wanting Santa to delete them from the internet. No youngsters in other countries shared a similar sentiment.
- Gender difference also played a big part in the survey, as 8% of women would like to delete intimate messages, compared to 6.8% of men. Spain (9.5%) and Poland (9.6%) were among the countries that were most concerned about intimate messages.
- Households with children were more concerned about things related to their family, whereas those without children were more likely to delete social media platforms.
5 tips to improve your digital life
The survey has revealed that many people are not satisfied with the current internet situation. They worry about their online privacy, things others post about them, internet trolls, and many wouldn’t think twice when choosing what to delete forever. Here are a few tips to improve your digital life.
Don’t overshare on social media
Always think about the things you post on social media and how it could affect you in the long term. Sharing too much personal information could also put you at risk, as bad actors might stalk you and orchestrate a social engineering attack. It’s also a good idea to go through your social media settings and limit who can see your posts.
Use encrypted messaging apps
Since messages hide the darkest secrets of our lives, it’s best to mitigate the risk of somebody intercepting them. Choose messaging apps with end-to-end encryption, so the contents of your conversations remain private.
Avoid giving out your personal information
Various services, online retailers, and websites ask us for personal data and most of us share it without raising an eyebrow. However, we can’t be certain how this sensitive information will be stored and who will have access to it. Create a separate email for online registrations and share as little data as possible.
Don’t feed trolls
Internet trolls post provocative comments to annoy people, to start arguments, or just to express hate. It’s easy to identify these users on social media, internet forums, and comment sections. The best strategy to fight trolls is evading their comments and not getting involved in meaningless arguments.
Use a VPN
A virtual private network redirects your internet data through an encrypted tunnel and hides your IP address, thus improving your online privacy and security. This means that neither your ISP nor random snoopers can see what you do online and what websites you visit. With one NordVPN account, you can protect up to six devices: laptops, smartphones, tablets, and more.