Advertiser tracking concerns second only to hacking for web users, says Mozilla survey

Mozilla surveyed 30,000 internet users as part of its comprehensive survey

Hacking is a lead concern for web users, but it is closely followed by advertiser tracking, an issue the marketing industry may have to address if it wants to continue to deliver ads to these individuals.

Internet company Mozilla has polled 30,000 of its users across France, Australia, Germany, Canada, the US and the UK about the state of the web, encompassing everything from security concerns to online protection – revealing a sizeable cross section of the digital-first public.

The survey revealed that 80% of respondents were most scared of being hacked by a stranger, losing control of their data and devices. Six in ten of the respondents admitted concerns around advertiser tracking – a practice aided by cookies and their much-loathed successor the super cookie.

Some 40% of respondents feared online harassment, while 7% didn’t want their family and friends accessing their accounts.

Less than tenth (8.9%) of respondents said they know how to protect themselves online, and a quarter admitted they have no idea where to start when it comes to protection. A third said they have no control on how their data is used online, while only a tenth said they have total control.

On where to learn about protection and privacy, a resource which is clearly needed if the results of the poll are anything to go by, only 13% said they would trust privacy information given by the government. The figure dwarfed the 5% who trust information propagated on social media. Nonprofits were the most trusted source at 56%.

On why it held the survey, the company said: “Mozilla recently set out to learn more. We want to know how people feel about issues like privacy, encryption, tracking and security online. And we want to act on our learnings, so we can help build a healthier Internet.”

The company recently rolled out a rebrand that reflects its push beyond that of just a web browser, a move that was characteristically transparent with the company taking on board comments from the public.

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