March 29, 2018 / 2:45 PM / a year ago

Poll: Are Americans taking steps to protect their data after Facebook scandal?

(Reuters) - In the wake of the scandal sparked by Facebook’s handling of 50 million users’ data, Reuters polled Americans about how they are protecting their privacy online.

Computer screens display the Facebook sign-in screen in this photo illustration taken in Golden, Colorado, United States July 28, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo

Here are some of the poll’s key findings:


The poll found that many Americans have not taken steps to protect their information.

** 86 percent said they have not changed their login credentials on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms.

** 78 percent have not switched to “private mode” on their browser.

** 96 percent have not turned to more secure, encrypted apps like Signal and WhatsApp.



About 17 percent of adults, or about 1 in 6, said they protect their identity by placing tape over the camera on their computer or device.


Facebook remains the most popular social media network in the United States by far. More than half of adults said they access the site continuously throughout the day. Other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat do not come close.


The Reuters/Ipsos poll asked Americans who do not use Facebook regularly why not?

Within that group, 30 percent said they do not find it that interesting or useful, 16 percent said they are concerned about their privacy and do not want to share personal information with strangers. Only 4 percent said they are afraid their account will get hacked.


The poll of 2,237 U.S. adults was conducted between March 21-23 and has a credibility interval, a measure of accuracy, of 2 percentage points.

Reporting by Maria Caspani; Editing by Chris Kahn and Bill Trott

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