Would You Hand Over Your Passwords To A Stranger Online? 13% In The UK Say Yes

We recently conducted a survey in the UK to uncover how open – or not – people are when it comes to divulging their personal information via social media channels. Would you hand over your Facebook password to a future employer? If someone solicited your work login over LinkedIn, would you offer it up no questions asked? You might be surprised by some of our findings. Check out a summary of our survey responses below:

What users are willing to share online

  • More people would be willing to send a password (13.3 percent) or bank account number (12.6 percent) rather than their postal address (7.4 percent) or date of birth (7.4 percent) to someone they didn’t know through a social networking site or email.
  • In total, 32.2 percent would send a password, bank account number of mother’s maiden name to someone they didn’t know.

LinkedIn – false sense of security?

  • People seem to trust LinkedIn more than Facebook and are unaware of the dangers that information on their accounts can pose. A third of LinkedIn users (33 percent) have accepted requests from people they do not know, compared to just 14.64 percent of Facebook users.
  • 71.4 percent of people worry about the amount of personal information online, yet over a third (37.7 percent) of LinkedIn users have completely open profiles or have no idea who can view their profile, compared to 26.2 percent of Facebook users.
  • 45.22 percent of LinkedIn users have supplier information or job role responsibilities available on their LinkedIn account, which are often crucial components of a cyber-criminal’s tailored email.

Low awareness – education needed

  • Although people worry about the amount of information available online, almost two thirds (59.6 percent) would open an unsolicited attachment if it looked relevant, interesting or appeared to be in response to an action they have taken.
  • People seem to have a false sense of security as over half (50.7 percent) believe they are not at risk of cyber-fraud, with 27.57 percent putting this down to them having no valuable information on their social networking sites, while 20.68 percent believe that a good security package on their PC will protect them.
  • Only a fifth of those asked know what spear-phishing is (21.5 percent), and, perhaps unsurprisingly, over half (51.1 percent) have been the victim of a spear-phishing attempt. 11.6 percent of these attacks were successful.
  • Less than a quarter of organisations (24.4 percent) have specific policies, training and/or safe computing measures in place to prevent employees falling victim to spear-phishing and other email scams.

Did you find any of the results shocking? How open are you with your personal information when using social media channels? Sounds off in the comments!

Heather Magee

As a long-time lifestyle and entertainment blogger, Heather is just foraying into the land of internet security and online threats. An avid traveler, skier and obsessive advocate for all things social, you'll usually find Heather with an iPhone in one hand, macchiato in the other, tweeting up a storm.