Sharing: The bane of marriages and careers

  • 16% shared a secret about themselves, 8% shared sensitive financial details
  • Consequences included losing friends, being bullied, suffering financial loss, etc.
Sharing: The bane of marriages and careers

PEOPLE are still recklessly sharing private information over the Internet in risky situations, despite the fact that information shared online can cost them a relationship or a job, according to Kaspersky Lab.
Its Consumer Security Risks Survey (PDF) found that 28% of people share confidential data by accident and 16% willingly disclose secrets about themselves, the company said in a statement.
The survey, which was conducted in cooperation with B2B International, questioned more than 12,000 people worldwide and found that many people risk sharing personal data through online communication channels.
This might include: A photo of themselves (45%), their contact details (42%), a photo of another person (32%), sensitive personal details (30%), and work-related data (20%).
Further, and potentially even more seriously, one-in-six has shared a secret about themselves (16%), while 9% has communicated private information about another person and 8% shared sensitive financial details.
This is despite the fact that half are deeply worried about the damaging impact of such information being made public – both in terms of financial loss and emotional distress.
A third was worried that it could damage relationships or embarrass or offend someone and one-in-six (15%) was afraid that it could harm their career.
This level of concern is often justified – 28% admitted they have accidentally shared confidential data and one-in-10 has suffered as a result, Kaspersky Lab said.
Of those who suffered, the consequences included losing friends (20%), being bullied (17%), suffering financial loss (15%), the end of a relationship (13%), or being dismissed from their job (13%).
However, 13% still don’t take any precautions to keep their online activities and information safe, and a mere four-in-10 keep interactions with close family and friends separate from other activity (43%)  or double-check all messages and posts before sending (39%).
A quarter tries to avoid sending or sharing information when they’ve had a drink, and a guilt-ridden 29% opt for the largely ineffective measure of hastily deleting their Internet history after sharing something.
Sharing: The bane of marriages and careers“Many consumers still struggle to translate risk awareness into caution when it comes to online activity,” said Kaspersky Lab principal security researcher David Emm (pic).
“With so many devices and online channels at our fingertips, it’s never been easier to post an unguarded message or accidentally share information with the wrong people.
“If you are not cyber-savvy enough, and you don’t have the proper security and privacy safeguards in place, you could be left with shattered friendships and careers.
“Once it’s online it’s there forever – so if in doubt, keep it to yourself,” he added.
You can check your own level of cyber-savviness here; for more tips on how to protect yourself online, click here.
Related Stories:
Most US adults share intimate content on unsecured devices: McAfee
Job-hunting? Clean up your social media profile
Social media users ripe targets for cybercriminals
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