Millions of Britons risk online privacy by not reading cookies or terms and conditions

Great British Bake-Off presenter Prue Leith has teamed up with antivirus developer Avast to educate people about digital cookies

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Prue Leith makes educational video about digital cookies

Millions of Brits risk their online privacy by not reading cookies and terms and conditions.

A survey of 2,000 British adults found that more than one in three (36%) admit they rarely or never read Ts and Cs online before accepting them.

And of those who do, 38% spend 30 seconds or less browsing.

Almost a third (31%) just don’t feel like reading the fine print, while one in four (26%) say they don’t have the time.

It also found that 85% have accepted cookies on a website without reading the policy or making any changes, and 62% have accepted without knowing what they agree to.

Over two-thirds of Britons fear they are jeopardizing their online privacy by accepting cookies without reading them


David Parry/Avast)

The research was commissioned by Avast, which teamed up with backstar Prue Leith to educate internet users about digital cookies.

She has created a limited edition of her chocolate chip cookies that are free to order online and come with hints, tips and tricks on how to handle the digital kind of cookies.

Prue Leith said, “While recent times have highlighted the importance of being connected online, making sure people feel safe while doing so has never been more important.

“Many people of all ages, but especially my generation, are not that familiar with certain aspects of the internet and of course that includes digital cookies.

“This can prove to be a barrier to taking advantage of all that being online has to offer. So I’m really excited to be working with Avast to help people understand what cookies are and how they work.”

The survey also found that half (50%) of adults are “fed up” with being prompted to accept cookies when landing on a website.

However, 30% find it helpful that cookies remember information such as passwords and settings.

But 29% are confused by cookie policies, and 70% even believe websites are intentionally trying to confuse them with the language they use.

However, over two-thirds (68%) felt they could compromise their online privacy if they accepted a “cookie policy” without reading it.

As a result, three quarters (75%) think internet users should be better informed about what is included in cookie policies.

Prue Leith sells a limited edition of her chocolate chip cookies that come with online safety warnings and tips


David Parry/Avast)

It also found that 37% of respondents polled via OnePoll have accepted “Terms and Conditions” or “Cookies” only to later find that they had agreed to something they wish they had not done.

And 69% worry their online privacy is at risk, while four in ten think it’s now easier for websites to collect your personal information.

Jaya Baloo, Chief Information Security Officer at Avast, said: “Avast believes online privacy and digital freedom are fundamental human rights.

“However, the Internet is often complex and difficult to navigate due to confusing terminology and functionality.

“Our research clearly shows that many people don’t really understand cookies, how they work and what effects they have.

“By being educated and informed about how digital cookies and online terms of use work, users can take the necessary steps to enjoy a better online experience and take advantage of everything the internet has to offer without worrying about privacy and having to do tracking.”

To learn more about the campaign and nominate someone you think could benefit from a free box of Prue Leith’s cookies, complete with internet tips, Visit here.

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Fry Electronics Team

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