REPORT: Most Users of Facebook, Other Social Networks Blissfully Unaware of Security Risks

By David Cohen 

HackingVictim650Despite warning after warning after warning, 78 percent of online users aged 16 and above who responded to a recent survey by online security firm Kaspersky Lab do not believe cyber-criminals are interested in targeting them, or are not sure.

Kaspersky Lab also found that:

  • 10 percent of respondents share private information with strangers on social networks.
  • 15 percent share information online that they would not disclose in real-life.
  • Only 18 percent believe they reveal more personal information than they should on social networks.
  • Just 7 percent included social network credentials on their lists of three types of information they would not want to have stolen.
  • 40 percent have received suspicious emails or social media messages with unknown links or potentially malicious files.
  • 21 percent have received emails claiming to be from social networks, requesting passwords and other personal credentials.
  • 6 percent of overall mobile respondents have had their social network accounts hacked, and that figure rose to 13 percent for users with Android tablets.
  • 19 percent of respondents from Russia have been hacking victims, along with 16 percent from China and the Asia-Pacific region, while that figure dropped to 4 percent for North American respondents.

Kaspersky Lab offered the following rules for security-conscious users of Facebook and other social networks to follow:

  • Use strong passwords for accounts and disable the auto-complete function, especially if logging in from your smartphone or tablet.
  • Restrict the amount of information shared on any networks; divide “friends” into groups so that information can be shared with only those really trusted.
  • Do not download files, and do not follow suspicious links from unknown senders.
  • Before entering credentials, make sure it is not a fake page created in order to obtain user names and passwords.
  • Try to use a secure connection if possible, and do not enter login and password when connecting to a hotspot over public Wi-Fi.
  • Make sure the device used to enter a social network is well-protected: Use a password to access the device and a reliable security solution.

Readers: Did any of the findings by Kaspersky Lab surprise you?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.