Millions of Britons would be embarrassed if others saw their internet search history for fear of looking silly, stupid or mean.
A study of 2,000 adults found that 17% would be ashamed if their friends and family knew what they were looking for online, with 40% worried about sharing their stupid thoughts.
Another four in 10 don’t want others to see their story as inappropriate, while 37% say it reveals a side of themselves they don’t want to share.
Others would be red-faced if people knew about their mental health issues (26%), lack of knowledge (25%) or physical issues (15%).
Exactly half of those who don’t want to share their Internet habits would be very reluctant to show it to their parents.
A spokesperson for ExpressVPN, which commissioned the research, said, “The internet has become our best friend, but it’s important that we treat it with care.
“Our research shows that much of the country is more open to the internet than to its own family, for one reason or another.
“People deserve online privacy, including from spy companies, and therefore shouldn’t have to worry about having their search history exposed.”
While parents are ranked as the people Brits would be most embarrassed to have their search history unfiltered, partners follow close behind at 40%.
The research, conducted by OnePoll.comrevealed that 38% would be very embarrassed if their friends saw what they had searched for online.
Meanwhile, colleagues followed with 20%.
Among the most common topics the nation would rather research, than ask friends or family, is finding out the meaning of certain words or wanting to know weight or height conversions (30% respectively ).
While a fifth would rather turn to the Internet for recipes (22%).
But the nation still values relationship advice from friends and family, as only one in 50 looks online rather than asking loved ones.
And only one in 10 will search for advice on sex, while only five percent will search for how to date.
The top reasons cited for choosing the digital sphere over loved ones include online search speed (57%), confidence in getting the right answer (41%) and the internet knowing more than friends or family ( 39%).
An ExpressVPN spokesperson added, “Every day, millions of internet users give big companies the chance to see what they’re doing online – and they don’t even know it.
“Using a VPN can be a useful tool to ensure that companies cannot see, record or sell records of your online activity, such as the websites you log into or the apps you use. use.
“By taking control of what we let others see about our online behavior, users regain power, quickly and efficiently.”
Topics searched by Britons online:
1) Know the weather
2) Look for directions
3) Discover the meaning of certain words
4) Weight or height conversions, e.g. centimeters to feet, kilograms to stones
5) How to prepare a particular meal or drink
6) Diagnose physical illness
7) Advice on finances
8) Where to go on vacation or vacation
9) Cures for a physical condition
10) To know when a film starts in the cinema
11) Best places to eat
12) To know the public holidays
13) To find out how old celebrities are
14) To find out what time a sporting event starts
15) To know what time it is in other countries
16) Policy Questions
17) Ask for sex advice
18) Remedies for Mental Condition
19) Best places to drink
20) Diagnose Mental Illness