40% of people would ditch social media to guarantee data privacy, study says

June 19, 2019 • Online & Social, Security, Southern Africa, Top Stories

40% of people would ditch social media to guarantee data privacy, study says

A Kaspersky Lab report has has revealed that 40 per cent of South African consumers would give up their social media for privacy.

Fears surrounding protecting digital privacy have made consumers more anxious about the use and distribution of their personal information on the Internet. And a recent report by Kaspersky Lab called ‘The true value of digital privacy: are consumers selling themselves short?’ has revealed that four-in-ten (40 per cent) of South African consumers would give up their social media accounts for the rest of their life in order to guarantee their data remains private.

The report outlines how and why consumers’ personal information is becoming incredibly valuable to them. Social media services, like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, have become a significant part of our lives and according to Kaspersky’s report, 91 per cent of people locally now use them.

In exchange for some data about their users, social media platforms provide people with opportunities to express themselves, communicate with their friends and families, as well as discover news, ideas and trends without even leaving their home.

However, despite these various benefits, some would still opt out of social media if it helped to restore their digital privacy forever.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, at a time when the number of global mobile phone users is rising 2 per cent year-on-year, one-in-five (20 per cent) would be ready to wave goodbye to their handsets altogether to guarantee their data remains private for the rest of their life.

Social media today is at a stage where the quality of the user experience heavily relies on a large amount of personal information. Whether that be financial, location, shopping patterns, eating preferences or relationship status. It is, therefore, perhaps no wonder that a nostalgic feeling of seemingly forever-lost data privacy is at play.

Unfortunately, even sacrificing your entire social media presence wouldn’t be sufficient to protect digital privacy. It’s a process, not a one-time deal that can be bargained for.

“Several years ago, people shared their private information with social media services in exchange for various benefits, without even thinking about the potential threats and their consequences. With a rising number of data leaks around the world, we are seeing a new trend amongst consumers,” says Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky.

She continues, “many prefer not to have certain facts about themselves revealed in public and are paying more attention to the information they share with online services. However, the majority still don’t know how to protect their digital privacy and would give up social media to guarantee their information remains secure. Keeping personal information safe – by regularly updating social media account passwords and using security solutions – will give consumers more confidence in the security of their data online”.

Edited by Jenna Cook

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