Jupiter Research: Most Experienced Web Users Also Most Likely Cookie Deleters
The recent study, "Profile of the Cookie Deleter," follows up on a Jupiter Research study released in April that stunned the online ad industry with the revelation that 40 percent of Internet users delete cookies at least once a month. Both reports were based on the same March survey of 2,337 online adults.
Sixty percent of consumers who have been online for more than five years reported deleting cookies, compared with 34 percent of consumers who have only been online for less than one year, according to the new report. Households with incomes over $60,000 a year also were more likely to delete cookies than less affluent households.
The recent report further revealed that a high proportion of consumers manually erased cookies, as opposed to using software to do so. Fifty-six percent of male respondents and 47 percent of female respondents said they manually rid their computers of cookies. Thirty percent of men said they use cookie-deleting applications, as did 24 percent of women; 31 percent of men and 20 percent of women said they actively block new cookies.
The findings indicate that people who are more experienced in Internet use also are the most motivated to take steps to protect themselves online--regardless of whether those steps are misplaced, said Eric Peterson, the Jupiter Research lead analyst on the report.
"There's a disconnect bewteen tenure and understanding," said Peterson. "Tenure correlates well with interest and motivation and the ability to download anti-virus applications," he said. But he added that online experience doesn't necessarily go along with understanding the inner workings of browsers or online security and privacy.
When questioned about their attitudes toward cookies, about four out of 10 respondents indicated they believed that deleting or blocking cookies protected online privacy and security. At the same time, only about three out of 10 respondents agreed that cookies saved them time online, by rendering it unnecessary to reenter information on Web sites.
Consumers showed a clear age divide when it came to paying attention to privacy or security. Only 33 percent of respondents between the ages 18 and 24 said they paid attention to stories and articles about Internet privacy and security, compared to 62 percent of those ages 45 and older.
After Jupiter Research released its April report on cookie erasures, other similar reports emerged. For example, earlier this month, BURST! Media reported that 38 percent of consumers said in a recent survey that they deleted cookies at least once a month.