DigitalizationData security: Internet users consider themselves responsible

Today, the digital association Bitkom published the results of a representative survey on the subject of data security on the Internet. According to the results the vast majority of German consumers consider themselves responsible for protecting their personal data online.

For this study, Bitkom Research, on behalf of the digital association Bitkom, conducted telephone interviews with a total of 1,016 people in Germany over the age of 16 about secure handling of data on the Internet.

These are further results:

  • 86 percent of respondents were of the opinion that they themselves were responsible for protecting their personal data on the Internet. In 2019, 78 percent of consumers held this view and in 2014 only 62 percent.
  • A further eight percent of respondents considered the state and four percent the economy, i.e. Internet providers or hardware and software manufacturers, responsible for secure data online.
  • Consumers trust in the handling of their personal data varied depending on the providers and institutions: Respondents had strong or very strong trust above all in online retailers (53 percent), e-mail providers (50 percent), in new payment service providers like PayPal or Klarna and traditional banks (47 percent) as well as in Internet providers (45 percent).
  • The public sector was deemed less trustworthy in terms of data security: a smaller proportion of respondents had a high level trust in politics (40 percent), public administration (39 percent) and the police (33 percent).
  • Internet users were least likely to trust social media networks (26 percent) and messenger services (23 percent) to handle their data securely.

Susanne Dehmel, member of the Bitkom management, commented: "Users see themselves as having a duty to protect their own personal data. This is encouraging and promotes general data security on the Internet. Personal data is always sensitive and must be secured by both government agencies as well as private providers. Building and maintaining user trust is an ongoing task."

Source: Bitkom

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