Online Media report an interesting survey by InsightExpress into users and cookies. As part of the study they asked people to remove cookies and then asked them whether they had been successful. They also measured whether people had actually removed the test cookie. The answers show that many people are deluding themselves and that competence is low. InsightExpress also conducted the same test in 2005 and it seems people are getting more confident about their ability and less able!
The study showed that more people claim to be aware of cookies (up from 77% in 2005 to 85% in 2007), but only about a third consider them important, the same as in 2005.
- Claimed to have been successful at deleting cookies 59%
- Actually successful at deleting the cookie 35%
- Claimed to have been successful at deleting cookies 63%
- Actually successful at deleting the cookie 28%
This study should remind us that people are a lot less familiar with the Internet than we might assume. For example, when designing online surveys we should not assume people can necessarily close windows, maximise window, download plugins etc.