A study of 5000 consumers worldwide, including 381 in Australia, shows that consumers have multiple devices (phones, tablets etc) which are frustrating to manage and are concerned at the increasing invasion of privacy.
Melbourne, 5 September 2013 – Consumers’ progressively fragmented technology ownership is leaving them open to increased confusion and privacy exposure, according to global research from AVG Technologies, the provider of Internet and mobile security, privacy and optimisation to 155 million active users. (Australian stats at end of this release.)
The study, which questioned almost 5,000* consumers across eight global markets including Australia, showed that while consumers are being offered more ways and opportunities than ever before to connect online, frustrations with the management of multiple devices and the increased invasion of privacy is threatening to overshadow the achievement.
Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG Technologies AU, said: “Our research showed that while more than seven in ten people (72 percent globally and 69 percent in Australia) expect technology to become more helpful over the next five years, almost as many (69 percent globally and 73 percent locally) felt that it would also become more intrusive.
“This is certainly not the original vision of those who created the Internet. And with particular concerns being raised about data sharing, there is a clear question over just how long consumers will be willing to put up with the current status quo.”
In the wake of recent high profile news stories about companies and, allegedly, national Governments using the Internet to gather vast amounts of personal data from consumers’ devices, nearly half of respondents (46 percent globally and 49 percent in Australia) admitted to both increased concerns about their privacy and a higher distrust of companies and their ability to protection individual’s personal data.
“That Australian respondents were influenced to the same degree as their northern hemisphere counterparts is perhaps indicative of the one world that we now live in,” McKinnon said.
88 percent of those asked globally (and 90 percent in Australia) were not happy about providing their personal information in return for a service, with most tolerating it because they had to (38 percent globally and 34 percent in Australia), or limiting the amount of information they were willing to give (36 percent globally and 43 percent in Australia). Additionally, almost eight in ten had stopped an application or program download in the past because it asked for access to information, indicating a strong sense of unease at the amount of personal data consumers are being asked to forfeit.
Paired with privacy concerns, the sprawl of connectivity is adding further pain points to consumers’ digital lives. Most respondents (59 percent globally and 61 percent in Australia) said they used more than three different personal devices and multiple operating systems at home. But less than half (44 percent globally and 41 percent in Australia) had taken steps to ease the burden of managing their devices by connecting any of them together. The resulting impact includes task duplication and increased technical issues.
“With our research highlighting consumers’ struggle to manage their whole device ecosystem, making it simple for them to keep track of where and why their data is being used has never been more vital. AVG is committed to enabling a seamless connected experience that ensures consistent protection for consumers’ online identities no matter which device they are using,” continued McKinnon.
“Today, trust and privacy are intrinsically linked and the whole industry needs to be careful to be as transparent as possible or risk irreparably eroding the trust of their most important audience. AVG will continue to make products that allow our customers to get the best out of all their devices when it comes to security, privacy and performance.”
For further information about how AVG is simplifying the protection and security of its customers or to learn more about AVG’s newly released 2014 product range please visit www.avg.com.au.
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In August 2013 an online survey of consumers was undertaken across Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, the UK and the USA. It received 4,927 responses, including 381 from Australia. The survey was set up using Qualtrics and respondents were from Qualtrics’ online panel.
AVG Technologies’ Privacy Research Report
Australian Research Synopsis
According to the latest research from AVG Technologies, irrespective of age, 69 percent of Australian consumers (72 percent worldwide) who participated in the survey believe that technology will become more helpful; yet almost the same number, 73 percent (69 percent worldwide), were concerned that it will become more invasive as the digital world continues to develop.
Set against this tension were findings that almost half (49 percent of Australians and 46 percent globally) said the recent news from the US on the NSA and PRISM (which concerns the US Government collecting civilians’ telephone and internet data for anti-terrorism efforts) had changed their attitude towards privacy and made them more concerned about the issue. This news had also made 49 percent of Australian respondents express less trust in companies to safeguard their information, a figure even higher than the 46 percent of respondents in the northern hemisphere.
The survey also asked people about their experiences of using the latest technologies – including PCs, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, smart TVs and games consoles – and what, if any, frustrations they encounter in their connected lives.
On average globally, people had three connected devices in their homes and used three different operating systems in their daily lives. In Australia, 24 percent of respondents are using three connected devices in their homes while 13 percent are using four connected devices.
Connectivity and privacy
• There are still a significant number of Australian users - 22 percent - who are either unaware of the privacy settings for social networks and their personal devices, or do not activate them because they believe it’s too complex a task.
• Half of the total respondents do give personal info online in exchange for services but 31 percent Australia and 38 percent worldwide do so reluctantly to receive a service. 43 percent of Australians (greater than the worldwide figure of 36 percent) say there is some information they will never give, no matter if they want a service.
• Australia matched the global average with 79 percent of people surveyed having stopped an app download because it was asking for access to something they didn’t want to give.
• In Australia, 51 percent of parents who have children old enough to use the internet (compared with 58 percent worldwide), were uncomfortable with their children sharing personal information online in exchange for information.
Connectivity and trust
• 49 percent of people in Australia, and 46 percent globally, are more concerned about privacy after the recent news coverage about government agencies keeping track of citizens through PRISM technology.
• 49 percent of people in Australia, and 46 percent globally, are less trusting that companies are keeping their personal data in a secure manner.
Connectivity and simplicity
• Like their global counterparts, almost half of the Australian respondents (48 percent globally), feel that technology has had a positive impact on relationships with family and friends.
• Irrespective of age, 69 percent of Australians believe technology will become more helpful in the next five years. On the downside, a similar number (73 percent) expect it also to become more invasive.
• 59 percent of Australian and 48 percent of global 25-34 year olds use four or more devices to stay connected.
• In the 65+ bracket, 15 percent in Australia and 18 percent globally respondents are using four or more internet enabled devices .
• Worldwide, 47 percent perceive slow or unreliable Internet to be the major time waster. The top three time wasters ranked by Australian respondents are:
- slow running devices (53 percent)
- unreliable Internet connection (52 percent)
- too many passwords (35 percent)
• When encountering a problem with a connected device, the greatest issue for Australian respondents (42 percent) is they suffer a program crash or an app freeze, and a third (32 percent) complain of devices running slowly.
AVG Technologies AU
About AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG)
AVG is the leading provider of software services to secure devices, data and people. AVG’s award-winning consumer portfolio includes internet security, performance optimization, location services, data controls and insights, and privacy and identity protection, for mobile devices and desktops. The AVG Business portfolio, delivered through a global partner network, provides cloud security and remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions that protect small and medium businesses around the world. For more information visit www.avg.com.
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