Kaspersky analysed anonymised data voluntarily provided by visitors of Privacy Checker, a website that contains helpful advice on privacy settings for various Internet services and platforms. The results show which security settings (tight, medium, or relaxed) for each service or platform that people frequently look for. According to data, TikTok users are most interested in tight security settings across all the services – the share of such requests is 71%. Meanwhile, iPhone owners are most worried about online safety in comparison to other platforms – more than half (53%) of requests refer to the strictest security settings.
Increased digital awareness trend is encouraging customers to take greater care of personal data and digital traces on the web. The use of various privacy settings on services and platforms ensures a high level of protection for accounts and personal information but also to control the number of digital footprints.
The data was obtained from anonymous visits to the Kaspersky Privacy Checker website between December 1, 2019 and November 15, 2021. Kaspersky social media experts analysed which services and platforms users opened the security instructions for most. Currently, the medium-level setting is the default on the Privacy Checker platform.
As for digital services, TikTok users weren’t alone in searching for tight security tips. The Russian social network VK is in second place – the share of requests for the highest level of safety is 48%. Third place is taken by Instagram – 42% of queries related to the tight settings. At the same time, Facebook’s safety level is the least worrisome – its share of requests for strongest security tips is 33%.
It turns out that iPhone owners are more concerned about data protection across mobile platforms. More than half (53%) of all queries are searches for the highest security level, while the percentage of medium requests is 42%. Meanwhile, 57% of Android users search for settings for the medium level. Only 39% are interested in the strongest security tips.
As for desktop platforms, more than half of Mac (59%) users are interested in the medium settings, while Windows’ share is less at 41%. Owners of Mac devices are looking for tight security tips less than owners of Windows devices – 33% versus 41%.
After analysing all requests, it also turned out that Android is the most popular platform among users looking for security tips on the Privacy Checker Website; their share is 67%. Thus, the share of requests for iPhone is only 11%, and 4% for Mac. Almost a fifth (18%) of all queries also come from Windows.
“When using online services and platforms, users inevitably leave digital footprints. These can be geolocations in photos, IP addresses, etc. Today, digital consciousness is gaining popularity among users, because they have begun to pay more attention to the security level of personal information that is stored online. Using platforms like the Privacy Checker helps them to better understand the means to protect their personal data, as well as keep devices and accounts secure,” comments Sergey Malenkovich, Head of Social0Mmedia at Kaspersky.
In addition, Kaspersky has also prepared a short checklist to protect personal information on all platforms:
- It will be safe to check the link before clicking. Hover over it to preview the URL and look for misspelling or other irregularities. Even if a message or email came from a best friend, remember their accounts could also have been hacked. Remain cautious in any situation. Even if a message seems friendly, treat links and attachments with attention.
- Private browsing in software such as Kaspersky Internet Security, can help you to avoid Internet tracking.
- Use a different password for each service. That way, even if one of your accounts gets stolen, the rest won’t go with it.
- It can be quite hard to memorise long, unique passwords for plenty of services/ platforms, but with a password manager you can remember just one master password.
- iPhone users have some privacy controls provided by Apple, and users can block app access to photos, contacts, and GPS features if they think those permissions are unnecessary.
- Android users should carefully check apps permissions. The secure option is to prohibit unnecessary rights when installing a new app. The more permissions an app has, the more it can do on a device and the more data it can collect about the user. Additionally, a safe choice is to install a reliable security solution, to ensure a comprehensive defense.
- Secure your phone and computer with passwords or passcodes. The secure option is to use passwords or biometric authentication to lock phones, tablets, and computers.