Online Safety: The Truth About Social Media Identity Theft

A New Study from the Ponemon Institute Reveals How Online Safety Behavior Leaves Consumers Vulnerable to Identity Theft.

Although more than 80% of study respondents expressed concern about their security while using social media, more than half of these same individuals admitted they do not take any steps to actively protect themselves. This data clearly demonstrates that while people may acknowledge that security is important, many do nothing to protect their information online.

Other key findings from the survey include the following:

  • Approximately 65% of users do not set high privacy or security settings in their social media sites.
  • More than 90% of users do not review a given Website’s privacy policy before engaging in use.
  • Approximately 40% of all respondents share their physical home address through social media applications.
  • Surprisingly, people who have been victims of identity theft are just as likely to be lax in securing their personal information online. Study results from identity theft victims and non-victims are virtually identical.

“The study results are extremely telling, especially about measures that users take, or fail to take, in order to protect their identity while using social networks,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “I was surprised that those who had experienced identity theft in the past weren’t taking stronger measures to protect their identity. No matter who you are, if you want to increase social networking safety, you must take the necessary steps to protect your information.”

The best way to protect you and your children from Online threats is to educate yourself about Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other online social networking utilities.  We recently published the Facebook Safety Survival Guide (with Parents’ Guide to Online Safety) with that exact goal in mind.

Social networking is immensely powerful and is here for the long run, but we must learn to harness and control it. So whether you need to help protect your own online presence, or the reputation and sensitive data inside of your business, or to bulletproof your kids from some of the harmful forces on the web, the Facebook Safety Survival Guide should get you started.

John Sileo is the award-winning author of Stolen Lives, Privacy Means Profit and the Facebook Safety Survival Guide. His professional speaking clients include the Department of Defense, the FTC, FDIC, Pfizer, Prudential and hundreds of other organizations that care about their information privacy. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.


Posted by Identity Theft Speaker in Identity Theft Prevention, Online Privacy and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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