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Concerns About Online Safety in Great Britain Mirror US More Than Europe

Cybercrime more of a worry than data privacy

July 19, 2017 | Retail & Ecommerce

Internet users in Great Britain are noticeably more aligned with their US counterparts when it comes to online safety concerns when compared with peers in Germany, France and the Nordics, according to a recent study by YouGov.

In late May 2017, YouGov, along with Germany-based business newspaper Handelsblatt, polled adult internet users in the US and across Western Europe. It found that 64% of respondents in Great Britain and 59% of those in the US were most concerned about cybercrime, such as having their money or personal information stolen.

Cyberattacks against their respective countries ranked second for internet users in both nations, chosen by 58% of those polled in Great Britain and 49% of US respondents, YouGov found.

Leading Concerns About the Internet Among Internet Users in Select Countries, June 2017 (% of respondents)

Concerns about those issues were much lower among respondents in France, Germany and the four Nordic nations—Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden—studied. For each of those countries, less than a quarter of respondents said cybercrime was their biggest online safety concern.

Instead, children accessing inappropriate content online was the leading worry among respondents from Denmark (66%) and Sweden (58%), and was tied for first among those polled in Germany (54%), YouGov found. By comparison, only 23% of US respondents and 43% of respondents in Great Britain cited that as a major concern.

Personal data collection was the biggest issue among respondents in Finland (68%), Norway (64%), Germany (54%) and France (48%)—rates markedly higher than the 35% of respondents in Great Britain and 30% of US respondents who said the same.

Concerns about internet security appear to be more than just talk—they’re influencing online behavior, with studies showing attitudes toward issues like personal data collection and cybercrime hampering internet users’ uptake of digital innovations.

A recent study by used virtual digital assistants was because they were concerned that their user data was being shared with device operators.

Cliff Annicelli


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