Secure Wired and Wireless Networks: Protect Customer Data and Privacy

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In today’s Internet-driven world, the ability to share selected information and concerns about privacy present a double-edged sword. On the one hand, many of us relish the convenience of uploading a vacation or hotel photo for family and friends to enjoy instantaneously. At the same time, when we think that others have posted or used personal information without our consent, our sense of privacy is destroyed.

Two recent Pew Research Center surveys examine these concerns, with a focus on tracking in commercial venues. Americans value their daily privacy but sense that they have little control over personal data collection and use. Consequently, many have low levels of confidence about the privacy and security of their records at various institutions.

Privacy and Security Concerns

Here are some of the survey results from earlier this year:

  • 93% of adults say that controlling who gets their information is important
  • 74% think this is “very important”
  • 19% say it is “somewhat important”

In addition:

  • 90% say that controlling collected information is important
  • 65% think it is “very important”
  • 25% say it is “somewhat important”

 

Permission and Approval for Observation

Permission and “public-ness” are factors that impact perceptions of surveillance. Americans do not want others to observe them without their approval. Specifically:

  • 88% say it is important that others do not watch or listen to them without their permission
  • 67% think this right is “very important”
  • 20% say it is “somewhat important”

Adults, regardless of age or gender, are less concerned about these issues when they are in public spaces. According to the survey:

  • 63% think it is important to “go around in public without always being identified”
  • 34% believe the ability to go unnoticed in public is “very important”
  • 29% say it is “somewhat important” to them

Daily Activities and Steps to Avoid Tracking

When thinking about their activities during a typical day:

  • 9% think they have “a lot” of control over collected information
  • 38% believe they have “some control”
  • 37% say they don’t have “much control”
  • 13% feel they personally have “no control at all”

Some people have changed their behavior to avoid being tracked. At the time of the mid-2014 survey:

  • 91% had not made any changes to their Internet or cellphone use to avoid having their activities tracked or noticed
  • 7% reported that they had made these types of changes in “recent months”

Others engaged in daily attempts to protect their privacy. Specifically:

  • 59% cleared cookies or browser history
  • 57% refused to provide personal information, which wasn’t relevant to a transaction
  • 25% have used a temporary username or email address
  • 24% have given inaccurate or misleading information
  • 23% decided not to use a website when asked for a real name

Advanced measures, such as the use of proxy servers, virtual private networks and encryption, are less common. Only 1 in 10 Americans had adopted these steps to protect their data. In particular:

  • 10% of adults encrypted their phone calls, text messages or email
  • 9% used a service to browse the Web anonymously, such as a proxy server, software or a virtual personal network

Most prefer restrictions on the length of time that institutions can hold their records. Viewpoints vary on this point, however:

  • 50% of adults think that online advertisers who place ads on the websites they visit should not save records or archives of their activity for any length of time
  • 44% feel that the online video sites they use shouldn’t retain records of their activity
  • 40% think that their search engine provider shouldn’t retain information about their activity
  • 40% think that social media sites they use shouldn’t save data about their activity

Most adults, however, seem to accept that credit card companies might retain records or archives of their activity. Only 13% think that credit card companies “shouldn’t save any information.”

Secure Wired and Wireless Networks

To help your facility provide secure wired and wireless networks, Safety NetAccess makes security a top priority. As a leading Internet provider with an “integrity first” philosophy, we serve hotels, resorts, assisted living centers, time-share properties, coffee shops, restaurants, schools and retail stores. Give your customers confidence that you are protecting their personal information, and contact Safety NetAccess.