New Poll Reveals That Rise in Social Media Use Leads to Rise in Distrust Online

While 80% of Americans now say they are using social media daily, a whopping 96% don’t have a lot of trust that social networks will protect their privacy and data. What’s up with that?

In 2014, we conducted a survey to learn about people’s social media usage and whether they trusted social networks to protect their data and privacy. We recently conducted another national poll on this topic to see how things have changed.

The deal is, use of social media is up, but so is distrust. And many people don’t think our current privacy laws are strong enough.

We organized the data into an infographic, which you can check out here.

Key findings also include:

  • Only 7% of Millennials have a lot of trust that social media sites will protect their privacy and personal information. Their trust of social media sites is down 9% from two years ago.
  • Adults 65+ have the least trust;
  • Of those who use social media the most — at least 4 social media sites — only 14% have a lot of trust in them;
  • Most of the best-known social media sites are seeing increased usage since 2014, according to responses to survey questions about which sites people use.

The online privacy threats that Americans are most concerned about include:

  • Downloading a virus or malware (80%);
  • Identity theft (75%);
  • Tracking cookies placed without consent (72%);
  • Too much personal information being made public (71%).

Check out the full infographic here.

The poll’s margin of error is plus/minus 3.07% at the 95% confidence level. Millennials are defined as people ages 18–35.