Sharing information or photos on social media like Facebook and Instagram has become a second nature for many.
However, Kaspersky Lab’s research shows how much personal data people share.
Research shows that most (93%) share their information digitally, with 70% of them sharing photos and videos of their children and 45% sharing private and sensitive videos and photos of others. These habits are worse among younger user ages, which make a large number of personal information accessible to strangers.
The figures are alarming, as nearly half (44%) Internet users publish their information, but once the data has become public, they can travel far beyond the control of their owners.
One in five admits sharing sensitive data with people who do not know well and with strangers, limiting their ability to control how their sensitive information will be used. Thus, people are exposed to the risk of identity theft or financial attacks by communicating financial details and payment details (37%), scans of their passports, driving licenses and other personal documents (41%) or passwords (30%).
The findings are part of Kaspersky Lab’s: “My Precious Data: Stranger Danger” report on human data sharing habits.
Research has shown that people do not only share data, but they also share devices that store their valuable data. In fact, one in ten (10%) has shared the PIN to access his device with a stranger and one in five (22%) has left his devices unlocked and unattended in front of strangers. In addition, almost a quarter (23%) gave his device to another person to use it for some time.
“Excessive sharing of personal data with people and businesses is a really dangerous habit,”
commented Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business, Kaspersky Lab.
“In today’s online world, exchanging information with others has never been easier and, in many ways, that’s why the Internet has been created. But by revealing important and sensitive information to others at the touch of a button, you lose control as you can not be sure where this data goes and how it will be used. Users literally deliver their valuable data, even the devices that store them, in the hands of others!”.
Research also shows that young people are more likely to share their personal and sensitive photos with others. In particular, 61% of 16-24 year olds admit to having done so, compared with just 38% of those over the age of 55.
This pattern extends to financial information, while two-fifths of young people share financial details and payment details (42% of people aged 16-24) with others, compared with just 27% of those over the age of 55.
“While it is unrealistic to expect Internet users to stop sharing photos, personal information and other information with each other, we urge people to think twice before sharing important information publicly on the Internet. We also encourage all Internet users to implement security measures to protect their data and privacy if their devices or data fall into the wrong hands”,
continues Andrei Mochola.
For more information on the survey, you can see the analytical report here.
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