Consumers Don't Know How To Protect Online Privacy

Virtru, a digital privacy company, in conjunction with Harris Interactive, released the findings of new research conducted in December 2013 to determine attitudes and behaviors related to email usage and privacy. According to the report, 73% of Americans online are concerned about the privacy of their email communications. Among those who have not taken any steps to protect their privacy online, 38% said they don't know how and 46% don't know where to begin.

 The study reports how concerned individuals are about email privacy, and what tools would be useful in helping to control and protect personal information online. Key findings include:

  • 75% of those who send emails are at least somewhat concerned that when sending an email their personal information will be read by organizations or individuals other than the intended recipient
  • Only 14% of online adults shared they are not at all concerned that email providers like Google and Yahoo! use content of their private messages for targeted advertisements. 56% of online adults said they were extremely/very concerned/concerned with this practice
  • 34% of online adults said that they had taken steps such as using a secure email provider, encrypted technologies, or installing a secure browser to protect their privacy online.

Since Virtru is a company providing private online communication solutions, the study asked what security features the respondents would find most valuable. Ability to see from where emails had been forwarded topped the list of 51% of the respondents. Followed by:

  • The ability to recall a sent message (48%)
  • The ability to restrict the forwarding of messages (45%)
  • The ability to set expiration dates to messages (36%)

 John Ackerly, Co-Founder and CEO of Virtru   "… our technology will… (allow) individuals to determine the scope of how their digital communications are viewed and shared… restoring… confidence in the security of their private information…"

 N.B.The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among US adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

 For additional information from Virtu, please visit here.



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