As the Internet continues to play a major role in our everyday lives, the amount of data generated, collected and stored by companies is growing at an unprecedented rate. From personal finance and health to shopping habits and location data, consumers share sensitive information with organizations daily. For many people, protecting this data from unauthorized access and misuse has become a top priority.
A surprising 47% of adults have taken action by ending relationships with companies due to their data privacy policies, according to Cisco's 2021 Consumer Privacy survey, carried out in 12 countries.
33% of respondents left social media platforms, 28% left internet providers, 23% left phone companies, 19% a retailer, 19% a credit-card provider, and 18% banks or financial institutions over their data privacy policies.
This trend is pressuring businesses to reevaluate their approach to data privacy. People want transparency and control over their personal information, and an increasing number will act to protect it. Nearly half (46%) of Cisco survey respondents feel they are unable to effectively protect their data today.
"Privacy Actives" are people who take action to protect themselves and their data. Over the past three years, Cisco has been tracking this segment of consumers – people who say they care about privacy, are willing to take action to protect it, and most importantly, have already acted by switching companies or providers over their data practices or policies. Among 2021 respondents, 32% met the test for Privacy Actives, up from 29% the previous year.
The Privacy Actives respondents:
One of the best and easiest ways to protect your personal information and online privacy is to use a VPN when connecting to the internet. Not just any VPN, but one legitimate app, such as Bitdefender VPN, which offers customers straightforward service and privacy policies.