Okay, that’s probably not the case. But if it is, knowing more about what a VPN is and how it can help you browse the web securely will ensure you have some privacy online.
A VPN, which stands for virtual private network, allows users to create a secure connection to another network when browsing the internet. This connection adds security and confidentiality to private and public networks, like WiFi hotspots and company servers.
When a VPN is in use, your connection is encrypted making it so the government, your internet service provider, or any third-party hackers, aren’t able to track, monitor, or hack your activity.
With a wide variety of VPN software on the market and the increasing importance to keep personal information secure, VPNs are becoming more and more popular, no matter where in the world you are.
Whether you’re streaming a new movie, connecting to your company server when traveling abroad, or using a public international connection, a VPN is bound to give you peace of mind when browsing.
With these VPN statistics, you’ll have a better understanding of the state of VPN use in 2020, how we browse the internet, whether or not we feel our data is secure, who is most likely to use a VPN, where VPNs are the most popular, and more.
The more information we have about VPN use and how it protects our online identity, the better.
Internet usage statistics
For most of us, not a day goes by without using the internet in some form or fashion, but these stats provide even more insight as to how and why.
In 2020, there were 4.1 billion internet users, 3.2 billion social media users, and 5.1 billion mobile phone users (The Best VPN).
“More than 26% of all internet users rely on VPN services.”
In 2020, 42% say they access social media to stay in touch with what friends are doing. 41% say it’s to stay up to date with news and current events (The Best VPN).
The breakdown of internet traffic by device is 52% from smartphones and 43% from laptops and desktop computers (The Best VPN).
On the scale of internet freedom, which is the right to internet access and having digital freedom, with 100 being the best, Iceland had the highest score with 95. China scored the lowest with 10 (VPN Mentor).
Personal data security statistics
Whether it’s the fear of falling victim to identity theft or getting a credit card stolen, below are some statistics regarding how we feel about our personal data.
45% of Americans are more worried about their online privacy today than they were a year ago (Pew Research).
74% of Americans have limited their online activity due to privacy concerns (VPN Mentor).
93% of data breaches could have been avoided through fundamental data security efforts (Online Trust Alliance).
When asked about the major concerns related to online privacy, 63% are most concerned with identity theft, while 45% said banking and credit card fraud (VPN Mentor).
There were 150 million attacks on mobile devices in the first half of 2018 (VPN Geeks).
92% of public WiFi users on mobile devices ignore security warnings from their phones (VPN Mentor).
43% of people globally feel they lack control over their personal information (McAfee).
When asked “are you concerned about your government spying on you”, the countries with the most “yes” answers were the United States and China, both at 80%. The country with the least amount of “yes” answers was Tunisia in Northern Africa (VPN Mentor).
More than 91% of Americans believe that they have lost control over how their personal information is collected (Pew Research Center).
31% have reported a data breach of a household device (VPN Mentor).
“95% of Americans are concerned about how companies use their data.”
VPN use shows no trend of slowing down. These statistics show how VPN use is growing.
In 2016, the VPN global market was $15.4 billion. In 2018 it grew to $20.6 billion (Statista).
From 2017 to 2018, the number of VPN users grew by 165% (Statista).
The VPN market is estimated to be $31 billion in 2021 and $35 billion in 2022 (Go Globe).
Privacy is the best policy
There’s no denying that the use of VPNs is going to become more and more popular, especially as opportunities to work remotely increase in varying industries.
No matter if you’re working from home or streaming in another country, make sure you browse the internet with as much privacy as possible. And of course, to make whatever you’re doing on the world wide web stay a secret.
Take a deeper look into the world of virtual private networks when you learn all about how to set up a VPN.
Mara is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. In her spare time, she's typically at the gym polishing off a run, reading a book from her overcrowded bookshelf, going on walks with her rescue dog Zeke, or right in the middle of a Netflix binge. Obsessions include the Chicago Cubs, Harry Potter, and all of the Italian food imaginable. (she/her/hers)