September 25, 2014
Kaspersky Lab released the results of its 2014 Global Consumer Security Risks survey, conducted by B2B International, which covered various concerns and behaviors of the modern Internet user. In fact, according to the results, only a small number of users understand the risks associated with the active use of social networks.
The survey shows that communication through social networks is one of the most popular activities on the Internet. Overall, social media was the third most popular activity after checking email and reading, and it is even more popular among mobile device users – ranking second.
People are often careless with the type of information they share through social media. In Latin America, one in ten users discuss private information with strangers, and 20 percent think they reveal more personal information than they should on social media. Overall, 25% of respondents in the region share information online that they would never reveal in real life. However, losing social media credentials is not a major concern for many, with only 16 percent of respondents putting it on their list of the top three types of information they are most afraid of losing.
At the same time, 78% of those surveyed globally think that they are of no interest to hackers or do not even think about this topic. However, cybercriminals are always on the lookout and are often seen through social media looking for information that the same user inadvertently provides. Information such as an email address can be used to help an attacker hack a password or identify a person’s location. In turn, accessing a user’s account can give cybercriminals the opportunity to send malicious links and files to the victim’s contacts and also steal their personal data.
Statistics show that hackers’ interest in social media is not on the wane. According to data from Kaspersky Security Network, in 2013 Kaspersky Lab products blocked more than 600 million attempted visits to phishing (fake) pages, and more than 35% of these sites mimicked social networking sites. The survey also revealed that 40% of users globally received suspicious messages asking them to follow an unknown link or download a potentially malicious file, and 21% of users received emails allegedly sent by a social network with the intention to get their credentials.
On the other hand, mobile device users are also at risk: 6% of respondents globally said that their social media accounts had been “taken over” by hackers, while among owners of Android-based tablets , this figure reached 13%. Furthermore, the number of victims varies not only based on the type of device used, but also on the region where they live: unauthorized access to social media accounts was reported by 16% of users in China and the Asia region. -Pacific, 19% in Russia, and only 2% of Japanese and 4% of respondents in North America.
To avoid falling victim to cybercriminals on social media, Kaspersky Lab experts advise users to follow several simple rules:
• Use strong passwords for your accounts and disable the auto-complete feature, especially if you log in from your smartphone or tablet;
• Limit the amount of information you share on networks; divide your “friends” into groups so that you can share something personal only with those you really trust;
• Do not download files, or click on links if you are not sure where they came from and why they were sent to you;
• Before entering your credentials, make sure you are not on a fake page created in order to obtain your username and password;
• Try to use a secure connection. If possible, do not enter your username and password when connecting to the first hotspot you find;
• Most importantly, make sure that the device you use to enter a social network is well protected: use a password to access the device and a reliable security solution.
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