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How much information do you put on Facebook?


12:01am 17th October 2011
(Updated 3:23pm 17th October 2011)

Research by the life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP), reveals social media users are increasing their chances of identify fraud, by providing clues to their online passwords.
Facebook profiles:

A study from security expert, Jason Hart, commissioned by CPP, has revealed that one third (32%) of Facebook profiles contain at least two pieces of personal information that is often also used as a password or as an answer to a security question when users look to reset their online account log-in details.

What we give away:

Details including the name of the user's first school (64%), employer (46%), dates of birth (25%), children's names (25%) and favourite football team (17%) were found to be visible on many people's Facebook profiles.
Active social media users:

As the most active social media users, those aged 18 to 24 are the most likely to publicise their personal information - and often to complete strangers. This age group has on average more than 250 friends but 81% say they do not trust all of their Facebook 'friends'. Half (50%) have accepted a friend request from a total stranger and 9% would accept an invitation from someone they didn't know if they were good looking or popular.
Others at risk:

Users of all ages are putting themselves at risk. One third (33%) admit to accepting an invitation from people they had never met before, with 38% confessing they don't know everyone they are friends with on Facebook. Over half (52%) of the social networkers questioned had received friendship requests from strangers. And despite recent media controversy around privacy and security on the site, 6% allow anyone and everyone to see their entire profile.  

The Most common passwords:

1.      Interests                                  6. First School
2.      Hobby                                      7. Pet's name
3.      Favourite football team              8. Dates of Birth
4.      Favourite football player             9. The user's name
5.      Children's names                       10. Maiden name
Danny Harrison, from CPP says:

"It isn't a good idea to use personal information for passwords online.

"Sharing is the whole point of Facebook and other social media sites, so users are naturally going to promote their personal information online.

"The problem is this information could be used by fraudsters to reset passwords and access people's online accounts. To compound the problem, there are tools available online that can capture keywords from a website, including a Facebook profile, and others which will trial variations of the identified keywords until a password match is found." 

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