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Most Internet Users Have Privacy Concerns About Their Online Searches

Friday, January 07, 2011

Most Internet users like the search engines available to them but worry about the privacy of their searches online. However, those who use the Internet most frequently express a lower level of concern.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Adults who regularly use the Internet are at least somewhat concerned about the privacy of their online searches, with 40% who are Very Concerned. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t share that concern, but that includes just three percent (3%) who are not at all concerned. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Americans who use social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Twitter express a similar level of concern about the safety of their personal information on these sites.

Among those who use the Internet every day, just 37% are Very Concerned about the privacy of their searches. That figure jumps to 47% among those who go online several times a week and 59% who use the Internet once a week or less. 

But 89% of those who regularly go online rate today’s Internet search engines as good or excellent in terms of finding the information they need.

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The survey of 740 Adult Internet users nationwide was conducted on January 4-5, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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