Privacy is something that we often take for granted, even here at Hypertext and perhaps we shouldn’t.

Kaspersky Lab has today shared some rather alarming data with us that takes a look at how well South Africans understand privacy and how to protect it.

The worrying aspect of the data is that 42 percent of the South Africans that participated in Kaspersky’s survey (which includes responses from 11 887 citizens from 21 countries) did not know how to protect their privacy. This is much higher than the 32.3 percent of total respondents who have no idea how to fully protect their privacy online.

The cybersecurity firm says that often, users feel powerless toward digital privacy issues. Kaspersky Lab calls this privacy fatigue and it often leads to folks oversharing online and making themselves an easy target for cyber crimes.

“The increase in data breaches, coupled with the difficulty in managing online personal data, leads to consumers feeling a loss of control and making them weary of having to think about digital privacy,” head of consumer product marketing at Kaspersky Lab, Marina Titova says.

Perhaps more worrying than those who don’t know how to protect their privacy online is the four percent of South Africans who have simply given up on protecting their privacy.

Ignoring your privacy online is akin to ignoring a criminal at your window – it’s not likely to end well for you.

Consequences of a data leak range from financial loses, cyberbullying, and even reputational damage and folks should really think twice about what they share online.

Think about your Facebook profile for example. Take a look at what information is public and consider how that information could be used against you. Is this extreme? Perhaps, but cybercriminals will target you if you present yourself as an easy target.

Kaspersky advises that we take a long hard look at our online presence and make use of tools that are available to protect ourselves.

“Whilst there is no silver bullet, there are plenty of ways for them to reduce their risk. This starts with basic digital hygiene but encompasses using advanced tools and technologies to help them get their digital privacy in order,” Titova adds.

These “advanced tools and technologies” include things such as password managers, cloud security and more. To reiterate what Kaspersky Lab says, there is no silver bullet.

Protecting your privacy takes a bit of work, but the same goes for real life and with 89 percent of the 11 887 people surveyed going online several times a day, we should all be taking our online privacy a bit more seriously.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]