The study shows that the world’s online privacy and cybersecurity awareness is declining.
Americans are 2nd in the world in terms of cybersecurity and internet privacy knowledge, according to new research by the cybersecurity company NordVPN. They performed best in recognizing various online risks and how to avoid them (76%), and worst in questions related to practices and tools to stay safe online (53%).
The annual National Privacy Test (NPT) is a global survey aimed to evaluate people’s cybersecurity, online privacy awareness, and educate the general public about cyber threats and the importance of data and information security in the digital age. It gathered 26,174 responses from 175 countries this year.
“By engaging in the National Privacy Test, we aim to cultivate a community of privacy-conscious individuals who actively champion data protection. This initiative aligns with our vision to build a safer, more resilient digital landscape for now and future generations,” says Marijus Briedis, chief technology officer (CTO) at NordVPN.
However, results show that the world’s online privacy and cybersecurity awareness is declining every year.
Americans create strong passwords but fail with tools that protect digital privacy
Research shows that Americans are good at creating strong passwords (95%) and dealing with suspicious streaming service offers (96%). They also know what kind of sensitive data they should avoid sharing on social media (92%), or the risks associated with saving their credit card details on their browser (88%).
However, only 3% of Americans are knowledgeable about online tools that protect digital privacy, and only one out of 10 know what data ISPs collect as part of the metadata. It seems that the “Joan is Awful” episode from Netflix’s show Black Mirror didn’t have the intended effect — only a third of Americans know the importance of reading terms of service for apps and online services.
Online security and privacy can be improved
Briedis from NordVPN provides a list of steps people should follow in order to increase the privacy and safety of their online presence:
- Use strong and unique passwords.
- Use multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Update your software regularly.
- Always use a virtual private network (VPN).
- Review and adjust privacy settings on social media platforms or mobile apps.