What Are Consumers Doing to Keep Their Personal Data, Well, Personal?

People are implementing conventional and unconventional means

As consumers continue to worry about their personal data—and how it's being used by marketers—a new survey by Blue Fountain Media found that many are taking various measures to ensure a more secured online experience.

Some of these steps are somewhat conventional: More than half of US internet users polled said they regularly clear their cookies or web browser history, and another 44% said they refuse to provide information or opt out of cookie use.

Others were less conventional. Roughly 17% reported signing up with a security company that keeps their information safe, and 5% said they ditched Amazon's Alexa because of its enabled microphone.

It's important to note that Blue Fountain Media's study is just one of many that illustrates what people are doing to keep their personal data, well, personal.

“Study after study shows that when it actually comes to taking concrete steps to secure their data that involve lots of effort—changing passwords, two-factor authentication, secure Wi-Fi—they often don't do it because it isn't convenient,” said eMarketer principal analyst Victoria Petrock.

In a March 2018 Thomson Reuters survey of US internet users conducted by Ipsos, a good number of respondents (22%) said they switched to "private mode" on their browser to protect their digital privacy, while 17% said they placed tape over the camera on their computer, phone or smart device when not using it.

Still, more than half of respondents said they did not perform any of these actions.