web analytics

Which Type of Internet User Are You?

A survey commissioned by MasterCard might give you some idea. The credit issuer collected response to over 50 questions from 9,029 regular Internet users (those who surf Internet at least once per week) from nine countries. According to the collected responses, there are actually five types of people on the Internet:

Passive Users: 20%


These people are completely convinced of the true value of the Internet and they focus more on offline life rather than online life. Also, they are not willing to take much risks, both online and offline. These people are mainly male and less likely to be married.

According to the survey, passive users have no idea about target marketing, neither do they know how to manage Internet privacy—they are more willing to expose their privacy information, but they also hope to gain something through “selling” personal data. This is evidenced by the fact that they often use mobile Internet Apps of mobile bank, and software based on location instead of social media Apps. Hence, they are more likely to shopping online using mobile devices. Although MasterCard is not saying, but it should be known that these guys tend to spend most of their time online for adult contents.


Proactive Protectors: 17%


Proactive Protectors pay more attention to online privacy and who make profits with the information. They are the oldest in the five types, with an average age of 39, and the best educated (60% college graduates) and most employable (58%).

How do Proactive Protectors value privacy protection? 76% of them routinely clear their browse cookies, 82% of them are aware that merchants can process target marketing by recording their search and browse history, 90% of them note that they will not share their personal information until learn how these information will be used. Now you can guess that these guys are the geekiest on the Internet—they barely use social media that seems to have little value, and they do online shopping solely to save some time, anyhow, they don’t want to “sell” personal information.

Solely Shoppers: 21%


Like the name implies, these folks are great bargain hunters, using the Internet as a tool to compare prices against brick and mortar shops. Even if they are in brick and mortar shops, 50% of them would take out their mobile devices to check out better purchasing strategies. To some sense, these folks have little use for the Internet. News, entertainment, social interactions? Come on. Just show them show some deals to them. Interestingly, these folks are the juiciest targets for Internet marketers while they are the most clueless—although they are addicted to the deals and promotions, they are completely unaware of how Internet marketers use the data to target them.

Open Sharers:21%


I don’t need to tell you who these guys are, because you already know almost everything about them, because they share everything about them on the Internet every day. The statistics shows that they are younger (average 32 years old), college graduates (61%), use Twitter daily (45%), own more smartphones (83%), and are more likely to use the “sign-in” features for mobile devices to exchange promo codes. Compared with passive users, these guys’ life are much more enjoyable.

On the other hand, these people are pretty aware of target marketing, expect to get something in return for sharing data, and are savvier than most in terms of privacy.

Simply Interactors:21%


From the point of view from these people, social network is the Internet, therefore, they spend all day posting cat videos and inspirational sayings to their walls. Simply interactors are more likely to be female (55%), and around one third less likely to have a smartphone or tablet. Only 46% of them hold a full time job, which is the lowest in all five types of Internet users—probably this is why they can spend so much time on Facebook. These users are much savvy about social networks than average users, but they are fall behind everywhere else, including the awareness of data sharing and privacy issues.

Editor’s note: After you have determined which type of Internet user you are, you should be noted that this is a survey about Internet users’ attitudes towards data and privacy. The result reveals that most of the Internet users realize the importance of their safety of Internet privacy—64% of the participants are aware that their data has value to merchants; 55% of them like being sent orders tailored to their interests; 60% know how to change the privacy settings for their browser. Only one third approves of online tracking, even if they are seeing “more interesting” ads.

That is to say, netizens are not that careless or vulnerable.  Although people go online for different reasons, almost all of them see the value of the data they are generating, and they wish to be compensated in some fashion. Internet merchants and advertisers should realize these things, sooner rather than later.