Americans want to be safer online – but not if they have to do anything

In the wake of non-stop news about identity theft, malware, ransomware, and all manner of information security catastrophes, Americans have educated themselves and are fully leveraging today’s powerful technologies to keep themselves safe… not.

While 67% told Morar Consulting they “would like extra layers of privacy,” far fewer use the technological tools now available to them. That’s the top-line finding of a brand-new survey of 2,000 consumers by Morar on behalf of the worldwide VPN provider “Hide My Ass!”

A key related finding: 63% of survey respondents have encountered online security issues. But, among the folks who’ve been bitten, just 56% have permanently changed their online behavior afterwards. (If you don’t learn the “hard way,” when do you learn?)

According to Morar, there’s still an odd disconnect between the way some people protect themselves offline and what they’re willing to do on the web. 51% of respondents would publicly post their email addresses, 26% their home addresses, and 21% their personal phone numbers.

Rather than continuing to curse the darkness (or the benightedness of users), let’s accompany the next stats with a few candles to light the way…

Only 13% use two-factor authentication (2FA) and only 11% use Virtual Private Networks (VPN); 44% don’t know what the heck VPNs even are. (Bad news for this survey’s sponsor!)

Just 4% use anonymity software such as the Tor network.

But the results aren’t all negative. 69% of respondents say they “consciously limit” how much personal information they share online and on social media.

55% have defended their privacy by asking someone else to delete a post or untag an image. (And, in a finding that’ll make marketers shudder, 60% say they’ve deliberately provided inaccurate personal information on social media to protect themselves.)

Like the great content marketers they are, Morar and Hide My Ass! have spiced up their survey with a nifty set of “personas.” In just 7 questions, you can discover whether your web security profile is more “Cautious Contributor,” “Social Savvy Butterfly,” or “Online Nudist”… more Kim Kardashian, Taylor Swift, or Leonardo DiCaprio.

Image of Desk with online security notes courtesy of