[HOT] : NordVPN survey: 79% of French people fear being monitored online

A new study conducted by the cybersecurity company NordVPN reveals that 79% of French people fear being tracked online and 50% think they are followed almost permanently. Yet experts say users make themselves vulnerable by accepting cookies, using public Wi-Fi, and even owning a smartwatch – and these are just a few examples.

“Cyber ​​criminals aren’t the only ones interested in your data. Social networks, ISPs, websites, third-party organizations and government institutions regularly collect users’ personal data and their browsing habits for marketing or other purposes. They frequently use cookies to track your fingerprints, ”adds Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

51% of French people think they are being watched by cybercriminals The majority of French people believe that they are mostly watched by cybercriminals (51%) and social media giants like Facebook (47%). Unsurprisingly, then, they also believe that Facebook (71%), Instagram (35%) and Google Maps (33%) collect the greatest amount of data from their users. Ironically, two of these three apps are owned by the same company. It should be added that more than half of French people (61%) believe that applications require more information than necessary.

The French are also concerned that brands or advertising agencies (42%), the government (35%) and information and ad aggregators, like Google (35%), track their activities online.

The French are especially afraid that their banking or financial data will be hacked

This survey shows that the French are especially worried that their banking or financial information (64%) as well as their passwords (53%) are hacked. They are also afraid of hacking their emails (28%), their personal or intimate photos and videos (20%) and their social media accounts (19%).

While the French fear their bank details being hacked, nearly a third of them (28%) save their bank details on different devices, which is very dangerous. “Entering your credit card details every time you buy something online can seem repetitive and a waste of time, but it’s the right thing to do. The internet is not a safe environment and you should not entrust your data to third parties under any circumstances, ”says Daniel Markuson of NordVPN.

How are the French monitored?

The French use their smartphones all day, every day: to work, relax, get in touch with their friends or do their shopping. This is surely the reason why 84% of French people believe that their mobile phone is the best tool to monitor their online activities, followed by laptops or desktops (respectively 79% and 74%), and tablets (64% ). In addition, connected home devices are not really seen as surveillance tools: they have been judged as the least suspect.

The fact that a third of French people (33%) feel they are being listened to by their devices again confirms fears of spying by connected devices.

Regarding the use of their data online, the majority of French people think that it is sold to other companies (67%) and used for targeted advertising (66%). While believing that it is the cybercriminals who monitor them the most, French internet users also assume that they analyze their data to steal their identity (44%).

This study also revealed that a fifth (21%) of French people “always” accept cookies and that 25% do so “unless they seem suspicious”. Only 6% accept them “never”.

“Another aspect that users often get tricked into is accepting cookies: they can track and collect data from your browser and send it back to the website owner. If you do not refuse third-party cookies, the website may sell your browsing data to third parties, ”comments Daniel Markuson of NordVPN.

Wi-Fi allows internet users to connect in exchange for valuable credentials

When you connect to a “free” Wi-Fi network, there is a good chance that it is managed by a third-party provider. This allows you to log in in exchange for your valuable login credentials, such as your email addresses, social media profiles, and phone numbers.

“What might surprise you is that some hotspot connection providers go even further in collecting data and discreetly follow the comings and goings of millions of users, even after they have left the premises” , reveals Daniel Markuson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

The French tend to connect to their personal emails (45%) and use social networks with automatic connection (39%) when they are on a public Wi-Fi network. In addition, a large percentage of Internet users use it to log into other accounts (31%) and work-related resources (23%).

“We are always more or less watched when we surf the Internet. In order to minimize this phenomenon, you should use a VPN, which will mask your IP and location. Also choose browsers that respect your privacy, forget about Google, which stores a lot of information about you. Be safe online, adopt good cyber hygiene habits to stay safe, ”adds Daniel Markuson.