Which digital services raise red flags for Internet users?

Read time 2min 10sec

The majority of users are worried about the security of popular mobile operating systems and Google’s privacy level.

This was revealed by Kaspersky, who analysed anonymised data voluntarily provided on its Privacy Checker website, with the aim of exploring which services and platforms users are most concerned about regarding privacy and security of personal data.

Surfers of the Web leave digital footprints as they use online services. According to the security giant, the correct privacy settings within these digital services can help lower the number of traces online, and help them take better control of their information.

The data was obtained based on anonymous data on visits to the Kaspersky Privacy Checker website between December 2019 and August 2021.

Kaspersky examined which services and platforms users most opened the security setting instructions for, and the results showed the most popular requests for privacy were Google settings on Android (11.1%), security rules for Android OS (7.3%), and WhatsApp settings on Android (5.9%).

The numbers highlight that users are greatly concerned about the privacy offered by TikTok.

In terms of social networks, users most frequently viewed the Facebook security pages on various platforms (15.7%), followed by Instagram with 9.9%. TikTok took third place with an 8.1% share of requests for security settings.

Kaspersky has also prepared a short checklist to help you protect your personal information on all platforms:
  • Public cloud storage is not the best place to store private information, such as passport scans or a list of passwords. The better option is to keep this data in an encrypted archive.
  • Private browsing, like in Kaspersky Internet Security, can help to avoid Internet tracking.
  • Keep main email addresses and phone numbers private. It is a good idea to create an additional email account and purchase an additional SIM card to use for online shopping and other situations that require users to share their data with strangers.
  • Review permissions for mobile apps and browser extensions. It’s better to avoid installing browser extensions unless they are really needed.
  • Secure phones and computesr with passwords or passcodes. The safe option is to use passwords or biometric authentication to lock phones, tablets, and computers.

Considering its monthly active audience is four times smaller than Facebook’s, with 689 million versus 2.9 billion, the numbers highlight that users are greatly concerned about the privacy offered by TikTok.

When it came to messenger services, users are most worried about WhatsApp, which had a share of requests about its security policy at 13.9%. VK, the Russian social network also found its way into the top global queries, at 7.7%.

Sergey Malenkovich, head of social media at Kaspersky, says the majority of everyday actions users take on the Web can lead to the accumulation of a digital footprint, includingIP addresses, comments, photos and geotags, or biometric data inferred from those photos.

“The visitor statistics in the Privacy Checker project show that users have begun to take an active interest in the privacy and security of their accounts and are looking to reduce their footprint where possible. The high share of TikTok-related requests indicates both interest in the platform itself and user concern about some of the brand’s data collection practices, which have recently been highlighted in the media,” he adds.

Detailed information on account privacy settings can be found on the Kaspersky Privacy Checker web site.

See also