Browsing history: many UK adults don’t know it’s viewable by third parties

Avast recently conducted research that revealed misconceptions about privacy while browsing the web. 2 in 5 Brits (43%) don’t know their browsing history could be used to scam them financially, and 44% don’t know it can be legally sold to third parties to target them with ads.

Here are some additional key points from our findings:

  • 47% of UK adults are unaware that their internet browsing history can still be viewed by third parties, even without physical access to their device
  • 44% are unaware that their browsing history can be legally sold to third parties for the purpose of targeting them with advertisements
  • Two-thirds (64%) of Brits admit to hiding some of their browsing history from others, but 32% don’t even know how to delete it
  • Only 39% know how to delete their search history on all their devices, more than half (52%) want to know more about how to protect themselves online
  • 2 in 5 Britons (43%) are unaware that their browsing history can be used by hackers to financial scams

In addition, more than half (51%) of Britons have been the target of a Phishing and 49% feel like they are being followed online.

Brits want more privacy online

While our results revealed that over half (52%) of UK adults said they want to know more about protecting their online safety, 32% don’t know how to delete their browsing history.

Almost a third (32%) of Britons said they would not want anyone to see their browsing history, with their partners and spouses (19%) being the person Britons most want to hide it from. In fact, a significant minority (20%) choose not to keep their browsing history private.

“As a window to the Internet for the world’s 4.6 billion digital citizens, the browser is a prime target for advertisers and cybercriminals, meaning browser security and privacy are absolutely critical to our interactions. daily online,” said Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer. Officer at Avast, a NortonLifeLock company.

Here’s how to enjoy life online, worry-free

Many people just use the browsers that come pre-installed on their devices, without considering other options. Our research demonstrates a clear lack of knowledge about people’s browsing activity being seen and monetized by others, as well as potential security issues that cybercriminals are still trying to take advantage of.

We built Avast Secure Browser to ease the burden of technical complexity so users can experience the web the way they want and leave everything else to security and privacy experts. With our 12 month exclusive offer of Avast Secure Browser PRO for students, it is possible to enjoy all the benefits of a premium and unlimited VPN for a full year for only 99p.


The research was conducted by OnePoll, September 2-6, 2022, among 2,000 UK adults.

Comments are closed.