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One in three have had enough of the Internet

A study by NordVPN found 33% of people globally would choose to delete themselves from the Internet if they could – and privacy is a major factor

While it’s estimated that 63% of global population are online, a new study by cybersecurity company NordVPN finds a third of people (33%) would delete themselves from the internet if they could. 

When asked about the reason, 45% said there is no reason for their name to be on the internet, while 42% said they feel used, because companies collect their data and use it to their advantage. Another 34% said they feel that someone will eventually hack their devices, and 31% don’t trust the internet.

According to respondents from the survey of 10,800 people, half (50%) said that they would most like their personal financial information to be deleted from the internet. Other information people want deleted from the internet include:   

  • 33% – Unflattering photos/videos    
  • 28% – Embarrassing moments 
  • 25% – Old dating/social media profiles
  • 15% – Previous employment history 

“While removing yourself from the internet sounds like a good idea for those concerned with having their personal information exposed to the wrong entities, you have to ask yourself if wiping the slate totally clean is even possible in our  digital-dominant world,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “Our study also found that some would be in favor of a more practical approach because 38% would be in favor of paying to use the internet anonymously at all times.”  

For those who want to be anonymous when online and are willing to pay for it, the study reveals that 27% of people would pay up to US$100, 7% would pay between $101 and $500, and 3% would fork out between $501 and $1,000 to be anonymous. Two percent of respondents said they would pay even more.

The survey found that keeping their personal information safe on the internet is the key to happiness online. As many as 71% of people would most be afraid of having their financial data accessed by a hacker (or malicious third party), while 43% said texts and emails, 35% said “medical information,” 33% said “social media accounts,” and 24% said “sex life”.“While we can hope to remove some information about ourselves online, only better online habits can help people feel safer when they’re on the internet,” says Markuson. “Using more sophisticated passwords, trusted cybersecurity tools (such as a VPN, antivirus, and password manager) and practicing a general awareness of threats will help people protect their most valuable information online for years to come.”

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