Are users willing to divulge personal info on Social Networking ?

Twitter SpamIf you looks around the LIKE button and Twitter birds are now symbols that can be seen everywhere. From a restaurant menu to a bookshop poster to a music concert to airlines.

However not everything is sweet and rosy on the Social Networks.

A survey by Harris Interactive for February-March 2012 reveals some very interesting stats about Social Networks and personal data…

  • 27% of users reported that they had received suspicious links and attachments which were sent in messages on social networks or via email.
  • 55% of respondents confirming they were familiar with threats which social networks may present
  • 56% of users do not post important personal data such as their phone number or home address on their social network pages.
  • 63% of respondents will not add people they don’t know personally to their friend list
  • 68% try not to follow links received from people they have never heard of
  • 47% of users regularly communicate in social networks using their smartphone
  • 46% use their tablet to access Social Networks

An article posted on BGR confirms that According to Mark Risher, chief executive officer of anti-spam software company Impermium, spammers are responsible for creating as much as 40% of the accounts on popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter

So in summary:

The issue is that even though people are indeed aware of malicious links we all make mistakes (see my post about the trick I pulled at the Security Summit).

Clicking on bogus links is a serious security issue compounded by the fact that unlike desktops that have some protection such as Kaspersky Internet Security mobile, mobile phones and tablets are not secure and we usually don’t have any anti-virus or anti-spam protection on these devices. We also don’t tend to “patch” these devices (ie update them to the latest software like we do with our Windows machines) and so these mobile devices remain open to abuse from both Spammers and Hackers rely on these to be able to steal information.

Other info: Could SPAM bring down Pinterest ?

The full report on the survey by Harris Interactive for February-March 2012 is available at:

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