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71% of Americans Care Deeply about their Online Privacy Amid Recent Privacy Concerns

WP Engine, a leading SaaS content management platform for websites and applications built on WordPress, announced today the results of its WP Engine Online Privacy Study. The survey was fielded by Harris Interactive to 2,100 Americans adults, and developed by WP Engine using the company’s expertise in content management and website hosting. It examines consumer privacy concerns, and found almost every American (99%) cares about their privacy online, with 71% stating they ‘care deeply’ about it.

The platforms that concern Americans most are:

  • Social media networks (i.e. Facebook) - 66%
  • Email - 56%
  • Web browsers - 52%
  • Search engines - 45%
  • Social photo sharing platforms (i.e. Instagram) - 35%
  • Mobile apps - 30%
  • Online dating apps - 27%
  • Instant Messaging apps (i.e. What’s App) – 23%
  • Micro-blogging sites (i.e. Twitter) – 23%
  • Disappearing photo sharing apps (i.e. Snapchat) – 22%
  • Smart wearable devices (i.e. Google Glass) – 18%
  • Online games – 17%

Most Americans Concerned About Financial Privacy The survey also discovered that nearly 3 in 4 (71%) Americans are most concerned about online privacy when they are accessing their bank account or financial data, while more than half (57%) of the nation’s consumers indicated that online shopping was the next greatest threat. Other activities that elicited privacy concern include:

  • When referencing photos of themselves online (27%)
  • When browsing pornography (16%)
  • When browsing social media while at work (14%)
  • Checking out an ex on social media (10%)
  • While looking up new jobs at work (9%)

Almost All Americans Demand Ownership of Their Information

When it comes to ownership of content, almost all Americans (93%) agree they should have full rights to some, if not all, of their information. Family pictures (19%) elicited the highest response from Americans when it came to the types of content they felt they should fully own, followed by online browsing history (17%), shopping history (14%), baby pictures of their child (14%), and baby pictures of themselves (12%). Naked selfies (12%) and personal artwork (11%) were also included among the content those surveyed claimed ownership to.

“With so much personal detail accessible by each other online, it’s more important than ever to be talking about what information is truly respected as private,” said Heather Brunner, CEO of WP Engine. “99% of Americans say they care about online privacy, so it’s understandably concerning when you consider the sensitivity around some of their data being shared—from bank records to relationship status—in some cases across public platforms.”


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of WP Engine from June 19-23, 2014 among 2,100 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact [email protected].

About WP Engine

WP Engine is a leading SaaS content management platform for websites and applications built on WordPress. The company powers thousands of websites and apps built on the WordPress platform delivering a fast, reliable and secure web experience. All levels of users including bloggers, marketers, SMBs and large corporations rely on WP Engine’s platform to keep their websites up and running. The company’s exceptional customer service team specializes in quickly solving technical problems, and creating a world-class customer experience ensuring that each user’s WordPress site continues to perform at its full potential. Founded in 2010, WP Engine is headquartered in Austin, Texas and has offices in San Francisco, California.

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