Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Consumer Reports study reveals social network users post risky information

"Fifty-two percent of adult users of social networks such as Facebook and MySpace have posted risky personal information online, according to the 2010 Consumer Reports State of the Net survey. And many haven't used their service's privacy controls to protect themselves.

According to findings from the survey cited in the Consumer Reports investigation, Social Insecurity, 23 percent of the users of Facebook, the largest social network, either didn't know that site offered privacy controls or chose not to use them.

Other findings from the survey, which was conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center:
* A projected 1.7 million online households had experienced online identity theft in the past year.
* An estimated 5.4 million online consumers submitted personal information to e-mail (phishing) scammers during the past two years.
* Among adult social network users, 38 percent had posted their full birth date, including year. Forty-five percent of those with children had posted their children’s photos. And 8% had posted their own street address.
* An estimated 5.1 million online households had experienced some type of abuse on a social network in the past year, including malware infections, scams, and harassment."  
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