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A third of Americans improved their privacy in light of spying leaks


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When you found out about the scope of the US government's mass surveillance efforts, did you improve your online privacy habits? If so, you're in good company. A Pew Research Center survey indicates that about 30 percent of Americans have taken at least one step to protect their info from prying eyes, whether they've toughened up their social network settings or held more conversations in person. About 22 percent say they've changed the way they use technology like email and cellphones.

Pew is quick to add that there's a lot of room for improvement. About 54 percent of respondents think it would be too difficult to find the right privacy tools, and between 40 to 53 percent haven't either used or even considered privacy technology like email encryption or the anonymizing Tor network. Moreover, some of these measures don't help much -- a more complex password won't stop NSA snoops if they directly collect data from the internet services you're using. If the survey is reflective of the broader US population, though, it still suggests that a good chunk of the country now takes digital privacy at least somewhat seriously. Unless you're a surveillance agent, that's a good thing.

[Image credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

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