Poll: Three-in-four Americans worry about online security

Washington, D.C. - Almost three-quarters of Americans worry about the quantity of personal information available online and more than half feel they cannot trust social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to keep their contact information, buying habits and political beliefs confidential. According to a new poll conducted by Rad Campaign, Lincoln Park Strategies, and Craigconnects, online security concerns rise as Americans get older.

Those older than 65 expressed the least trust in social media, and were most certain their data was being sold and felt most strongly that privacy laws need to be strengthened. Seniors expressed concern at roughly twice the rate of poll respondents younger than 35.

At the top of the list of concerns are tracking cookies. Seventy-three% of respondents said they were concerned about such cookies being placed on their computers without their knowledge, and 36% said they knew for a fact that this had happened to them.

The poll suggested that many Americans do not think it is their responsibility to set limits on their privacy. While 60% of respondents either thought current privacy laws were too weak or weren’t sure, a similar number, 66%, said they either skim through a website’s terms of service (TOS) before agreeing or do not read the terms of service at all.