/ Privacy Research

Privacy is Mainstream: 24% of Us Now Take Significant Actions to Protect Our Privacy

A few months ago, we published research showing significant privacy actions are now mainstream. We've now done some follow-up research to further define this group of people who currently care deeply enough about their online privacy to take significant actions to try to protect it. We found that among U.S. adults, this group now makes up 24% of the population.

This number is based on a new survey we commissioned among 2,025 U.S. adults during October 2017, using SurveyMonkey's Audience platform where the demographic make-up of respondents was controlled to reflect the U.S. adult population.

To qualify as part of this group, respondents had to both express deep concern for their online privacy, and have taken at least one significant action to protect it. Specifically, to gauge deep concern, survey takers had to say that privacy was "Extremely important" in their "next device purchase," and that one of the top two motivating factors to consider switching their search engine is "if it didn't collect any personal data about me or my searches."

Chart showing that privacy options are extremely important for most people when considering buying a new device.

Chart showing factors that motivate people to switch search engine.

For significant privacy actions, respondents had to either "install browser extensions to block web trackers" or enabled the "Do Not Track" setting in their browser.

Chart showing privacy settings that users adjust on their devices.

Nearly one quarter of the population is by by no means a small number and this group is certainly not "niche." Privacy is both mainstream and growing. With increasingly invasive advertising, devastating data breaches, and ramping up regulatory focus, we expect this segment to continue to grow. We find that as the population becomes more educated about online privacy, more and more people join this group that both cares deeply about and significantly acts on their online privacy concerns.

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