Safer Internet Day: How do ad-filtering users really feel about privacy?

Safer Internet Day: How do ad-filtering users really feel about privacy?

Users, Privacy, Kathrin Jennewein, 09. February 2021

Basic tips and tricks to improve online privacy

Every year on the 9th of February we celebrate Safer Internet Day. eyeo is a company striving to protect user choice, privacy and security. We created a suite of products that can help you stay private and safe on the internet and surf the web the way you want to do it. Whether it’s your privacy while surfing the web or blocking ads with Adblock Plus.

To learn more about our customers’ needs, we started an anonymous survey asking them about their behavior on the web concerning privacy and security. It turns out they are quite keen on keeping their online journey safe and private, which doesn’t necessarily surprise us.

But who are those users and what’s their take on security and privacy?

First of all, they are suspicious. Over half (52.6%) think it’s not possible to stay completely private on the internet. The other half is split with 23.7% believing that it’s possible to keep personal information completely private on the internet and another 23.7% thinking it might be possible. While it can be hard or even impossible to reach full privacy and anonymity on the web, you can improve with a little investment, such as choosing to disable tracking in your ad blocker.

Another option is disabling (or even better, covering) your webcam. 38.4% of the participants in our survey cover their webcam, while 34.4% don’t and 27.2% answered that they don’t have a webcam. People like the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg or the former FBI director James Comey cover their webcams.

Not everyone likes cookies

Cookies are meant to make your online journey smoother and more convenient. Cookie banners were an attempt to combine convenience, privacy and user choice, but these days many people are nothing but annoyed by the little pop-ups. In the recent past, many companies have started to implement more complex cookie banners where users need to click several times if they don’t want to “Accept all cookies”.

But even under those circumstances, over 75% of the users in our survey take their privacy seriously and don’t accept all cookies. It’s just a bit less than 25% accepting them all.
We all agree that those consent managers and cookie banners are not the best solution for a user and are even annoying, but keep in mind – they’re intended to respect your privacy. And who knows if there will be a solution in place soon to get rid of the cookie banners all together. Google will be phasing out 3rd party cookies within the next two years.

Ways to surfing the web more privately

So, we can conclude that privacy on the internet can be a tricky thing, but there are some tools and behaviors that can help protect you online. Use an Adblocker, we prefer Adblock Plus. Cover your webcam and don’t click on “Accept all cookies”. To ensure your security, do regular backups, use antivirus software and install your updates timely. Of course this is not perfect, but you will be on a good track to more privacy and security on the internet.


Photo by Lianhao Qu on Unsplash