A study from cybersecurity company NordVPN found that of the 1,000 Canadians polled in May, nearly half (48%) feel used because companies exploit their data; 47% fear that someone will hack their devices; 44% says they have no reason to have their name on the web; and 33% simply don’t trust the internet.
The majority of respondents (60%) said they would like their personal financial information to be wiped from the net.
Unflattering photos and videos (38%), embarrassing moments (33%), old dating or social media profiles (28%) and previous employment history (20%) also made the deletion dream list.
“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,” said Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN.
He added that 44% favoured a more practical approach, and were willing to pay $150 to $1,500 to use the internet anonymously at all times.
Keeping personal information safe on the internet is the key to happiness online, the survey found.
“While we can hope to remove some information about ourselves online, only better online habits can help” make people feel safe while on the internet, Markuson said.
“Using more sophisticated passwords, trusted cybersecurity tools and practising a general awareness of threats will help people protect their most valuable information online for years to come.”