Do you ever wonder how companies use the personal information you share online? Do you feel like you have control over your personal information on the Internet? If you said, “I don’t know,” you’re not alone. In recognition of Data Privacy Day, Microsoft just released new research for consumers interested in learning more about keeping their sensitive personal information safe on the web.  

According to the new research, gathered from 1,000 U.S. adults, many people are not sure how their data is being collected by companies. Highlights of the research include :

• Forty-five percent said they feel they have little or no control over the personal information companies gather about them while they are browsing the Web or using online services, such as photo-sharing, travel or gaming.

• Only four in 10 said they totally or mostly understand how to protect their online privacy.

• An equal number of people (39 percent) said they turn to friends and family, as well as company privacy statements, as their top source for privacy information.

• Only a third of those surveyed (32 percent) said they pay attention to companies’ privacy reputations, track records and policies when choosing which websites to visit or services to use.

Don’t let the stats scare you. Learn how to keep your personal information safe by taking a few minutes to watch a new video series created by Microsoft called “Privacy in Action.”  The videos, as well as guidance and information about privacy options in Microsoft products and services, are available at http://www.microsoft.com/yourprivacy.