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Post-NSA Revelations, Most Users Feel Less Safe

Three-fourths of users say it's their own responsibility to protect their privacy, survey says
Recent revelations of the National Security Agency's vast spying program has made users feel less secure, new data finds.

Some 65 percent of consumers, SMBs, large enterprises, and government agencies in the survey say they feel less safe now knowing that the NSA has access to electronic and phone records, while 26 percent are ambivalent, 4.5 percent feel safer, and 4 percent aren't aware of the NSA program.

They consider government the biggest threat to their online privacy, followed by corporations such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, according to the survey of some 7,900 users conducted by private cloud backup and sharing provider SpiderOak. Nearly 90 percent say Google, Facebook, and private companies should prioritize privacy in their offerings, but 77 percent say they consider their privacy their own responsibility, not that of companies or government.

"People are becoming increasingly aware of how exposed they are online. Whereas historically this was limited in scope to private companies, we have now learned a great deal more about government surveillance and its pervasiveness," says Ethan Oberman, CEO of SpiderOak. "In the end, both the organizations and government programs remain inert, leaving users with little choice but to take privacy into their own hands."

Some 23 percent say privacy should be the responsibility of government legislation or private firms, with about 12 percent placing that on private firms and 11 percent on government.

About half of the respondents say they store data on hard drives, 32 percent in the cloud, and 8 percent on flash drives or CDs and DVDs.

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Editors' Choice
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Shikha Kothari, Senior Security Adviser, Eden Data