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Would Americans want to delete themselves from the internet?

What would it take for you to want to delete yourself from the internet? As users grow more aware of the privacy and cybersecurity threats, some are starting to understand that a smaller online presence is a good thing. In fact, we’ve got the stats to prove it when it comes to American users.

Daniel Markuson Daniel Markuson

Daniel Markuson

Would Americans want to delete themselves from the internet?

A new research survey by NordVPN has revealed interesting stats about US internet users (about 90% of the population). More than half of Americans (55%) would delete themselves from the internet if they could. 47% said they don’t trust the internet, 46% said they have no reason to have their name on the internet, and 42% said they fear that eventually someone is going to hack them. Some went further still – 18% said they wish there wasn’t an internet and 8% said they don’t use the internet.

What are Americans afraid of online?

Most of us love the internet, Americans included. So what is causing Americans to respond this way about the prospect of deleting themselves from the internet? Let’s take a closer look at the survey results.

In a survey of 1,002 U.S. consumers, we found that over half of Americans would want their personal financial information deleted from the internet. Other information people want deleted from the internet include:

  • 26% – Embarrassing moments
  • 26% – Old dating/social media profiles
  • 24% – Unflattering photos/videos
  • 23% – Previous employment history
The first graph showing privacy preferences

However, there was also a flip-side. Not only did we ask respondents what data they’d like to have available online, we also asked what types of data they’d like to find about others.

The second graph showing privacy preferences

What this question helps us all understand is how certain types of data can be targeted by curious friends or colleagues – perhaps not a security risk, but certainly a privacy one.

It was also interesting to see just how much privacy and security are worth for Americans. Out of all of the respondents who said they’d pay for online anonymity, 31% said they’d pay up to $100, 12% would pay between $101 – $500, 8% would pay between $500 – $1,000, and 3% would pay more than $1000 to be anonymous online.

What does this mean?

What this data tells us is that people are beginning to understand just how important online privacy and security are. If you are too, here are just a few beginner steps to staying safe and private online:

  • Share less: Mind what you share online. Manage your social media privacy settings so only your friends and family can see what you post. Even then, consider whether you need to share all of those photos. Maybe some are better shared in person over a nice meal.
  • Use a VPN: Virtual Private Networks make sure your traffic stays private so it can’t be monitored en route to its destination and back. We recommend NordVPN.
  • Use strong and unique passwords: The longer your password the better. At the same time, it has to be something you’ll remember. Reusing passwords is also very risky, as a breach at just one of those sites can put the rest of them at risk. Consider using a password manager like NordPass to keep all of your passwords straight.
  • Opt out of data brokers. Data brokerage companies collect and buy your data. They then compile huge databases and sell them to third-parties. Use a service like Incogni to remove your personal from data brokers.

Online security starts with a click.

Stay safe with the world’s leading VPN

Survey methodology

  • Sample size: 1,002 U.S. consumers
  • Ages: 18+
  • Duration: December 2021
  • Demographics: Age, gender, regions and ethnicities reflecting US demographics
  • Error: +/- 3 percentage points sampling error margin with 95% level of confidence

Daniel Markuson
Daniel Markuson Daniel Markuson
success Patikrintas autorius
Daniel yra privatumo internete entuziastas ir saugumo internete ekspertas. „NordVPN“ tinklaraščio redaktorius Daniel mėgsta plačiai dalytis naujienomis, istorijomis ir patarimais, kad padėtų žmonėms apsaugoti savo privatumą ir apsisaugoti patiems.