There is rising distrust in the internet; six in every 10 global citizens believe that social media has too much power. What influence do online tools have on people? And how is the lack of trust impacting their attitude and behaviour online?

CIGI and Ipsos, in partnership with the Internet Society and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) set out to answer these timely questions by conducting a global survey on trends in internet security and trust. Over 25,000 internet users across 25 economies responded to questions about online privacy, the influence of the internet on their lives and factors that cause concern and distrust in online platforms.

The survey covered five key areas: privacy and security, e-commerce, online influencers, Internet of Things and new technologies. The complete data is available online.


The 2018 CIGI-Ipsos Internet Survey reveals that a majority of users are more concerned about their online privacy compared to a year ago. When we look at areas of concern for internet users, the online activity of cybercriminals ranks the highest, followed by other factors such as their own governments.

Global internet users are also experiencing a high level of distrust of social media platforms, search engines and e-commerce platforms, with a majority of users feeling that social media has too much power. Users also admit that social media influences their political views and about one-third feel that it makes their life worse. Many around the globe are changing their behaviours online, a trend with economic and societal implications.Overall, people are choosing to make fewer online purchases, close social media accounts, and in some cases use the internet less often.

If the internet is to be a positive tool for humanity, users need to feel safe online, trust that the internet is properly regulated and feel confident that it is reliable.

This is why CIGI and Ipsos — in partnership with the Internet Society and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development — conducted a survey of internet users from around the world, to better understand how they feel about this vitally important tool. This survey covers five key areas: online privacy and trust, online influencers, e-commerce, the Internet of Things and new technologies.

To explore the full survey results visit

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