Social Media Users Unwilling to Sacrifice Social Presence for Security (Infographic)

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment


Users are often blamed as the corrupting factor in password and security systems online. While there have been high profile systemic problems, like poor or non-existent encryption, user behavior is still a defining factor in most leaks and breaches. A report from Hide My Ass!, a VPN solutions provider, shows that users want security but they’re bad at achieving it themselves.

Danvers Baillieu, the chief operating officer of Hide My Ass!, said in a release:

Even with the NSA revelations and a seemingly endless onslaught of celebrity hacks and public data breaches, Americans still turn a blind eye to their vulnerability online. While many people say they want to protect themselves online, it is difficult for them to sacrifice things like their level of social presence. For too many, the gratification of a ‘like’ severely outweighs the investment in building a digitally secure life. When it comes to choosing either security or convenience, the latter almost always wins.

However, 63 percent of respondents have experienced security issues online, and 56 percent have attempted to make permanent changes after such an event. But the problems persist, as 24 percent of those surveyed use unsecured public wifi to browse. Only 16 percent use privacy enhancing browser plugins, 13 percent use two-factor authentication, and only 11 percent use VPNs.

A shocking number are also willing to share personal details online. While two thirds of people say they would shed documents with personal information on them, 51 percent are happy to post their email online, 26 percent are comfortable sharing their home address, and 21 percent would share their personal phone number.

This isn’t the case for all users. HMA has identified a number of types of users, such as the Digitally Enlightened and the Cautious Contributor, whom operate very differently online. For details breakdowns of all these user types, and their behaviour, view the infographic below.

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