Digital Literacy
(Photo : Pixabay) People nowadays are more knowledgeable when it comes to the digital world. But how well do people actually know about the technology that they use everyday?

A new survey has found that Americans’ digital literacy depends on the specific topic.

While many Americans can answer questions about phishing scams, other questions were much harder for them to answer.

American Digital Literacy

It is fair to say that technology is already a big part of many people’s lives today, but how much do people really know about technology-related issues?

According to a recent survey conducted by Pew Research Center, the majority of American adults can answer only less than half of a digital knowledge quiz correctly, with only three of the 10 questions being answered correctly by a majority of the respondents. What’s more, the survey also revealed that their knowledge actually varies depending on the topic.

The survey in which 4,272 adults living in the United States answered consisted of 10 questions on various digital topics such as social media and cybersecurity. Generally, researchers found that age and educational attainment are also factors on an individual’s digital literacy, with those under 50 years old and those with bachelor’s or advanced degrees getting higher scores.

Digital Topics

Specifically, the survey revealed that Americans are more well-versed on some digital topics than others. For instance, 67 percent of the respondents knew what phishing scams are, and 63 percent understood what cookies do. Further, 59 percent knew that advertising is the largest revenue source for most social media sites and 48 percent understood what a privacy policy is for.

However, only 30 percent knew that “https://” means that any information entered on the website is encrypted, and only 28 percent could identify an example of two-factor authentication. Surprisingly, only 24 percent of the respondents knew that “private browsing” or “incognito mode” can only hide browsing history from other users of the device, but not from websites, internet providers, or even employers. In fact, 49 percent even admitted that they were unsure about what exactly private browsing does.

Funnily enough, only 15 percent were able to identify the photo of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even if Twitter is one of the social media sites with most users.

“It is important to note that while the share of adults who can correctly answer questions about these issues varies across topics, Americans are more likely to express uncertainty about the topic than give inaccurate answers in most cases,” notes Pew Research Center.

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.