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APAC online users tend to give up personal information on social media for fun quiz results and freebies, reveals Kaspersky study

According to the findings of Kaspersky’s Global Privacy Report 2018, online users in Asia Pacific seem to be willing to share their personal information in exchange for various personal gains from social media, even for the sake of quiz results to know what type of bread they are or how much they should spend according to their horoscope.

The study revealed that 39.2% said they are willing to sacrifice their private data if they can get additional safety like security checks or surveillance. Of the respondents, 22% confessed they share their social media details to find out the results of fun quizzes while 18.9% admitted they will disregard their privacy if they’ll get something for free, such as a software, service or gift.

The study further disclosed that more than half (55.5%) of survey respondents in Asia Pacific from the age groups 16-24 and 25-34 think it is impossible to have complete online privacy in the modern digital world.

Following this sentiment, the respondents hinted that they are willing to sacrifice their personal data for short term gains and “likes” from social media.

Nonetheless, originally filled with personal data like addresses, date of births, and photographs to easily find and connect friends and families within the network, social media platforms have been reported to be spying on its users and has become breeding grounds for attacks.

In fact, of those who were surveyed in the region, 53.6% admitted to have experienced having their private or secret data accessed by someone who did not have consent. The online privacy breaches were highest for 16-24 year olds at 57.1%. The respondents said because of the leakage, they felt disturbed by spams and adverts, felt stressed, and thought they embarrassed/offended someone.

According to Kaspersky, while the report shows APAC online users are now wising up to the threats in the online world with 56.7% opting to protect their devices for passwords, the carelessness of some when it comes to social media sharing can be a “downward spiral with often disastrous long-term consequences.”

“So, as we have made peace with the fact that we can never guarantee our digital security, many of us are choosing to sell-out when it comes to securing the integrity of our data and persona online – but with big potential costs. In fact, many people are unwittingly making themselves an open target,” the report noted.

“Our report clearly showed that data security awareness across the region is indeed rising as we speak. Unfortunately, complacency is still prevalent and so is data misuse. We continue to advocate for keeping good digital hygiene. It’s one of the basic ways we can stop our confidential data from falling into the wrong hands,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“At first glance, this habit of giving up our social media credentials in exchange of knowing which flower we are and so on, may look harmless for big companies. But the truth is, with the high BYOD adoption in Southeast Asia, a stolen social media credential of one worker can mean the entire fallout of an enterprise’s online defences. We suggest businesses to also consider having a series of comprehensive and interactive cybersecurity training to boost the awareness of their first line of security – their employees,” he added.

To help online users keep their online world private and avoid falling victim to data misuse, Kaspersky recommends the following measures:

  • Think twice before posting on social media channels. Consider the wider consequences of making your views or information public. Could content be used against you or to your detriment now or in the future?
  • Keep passwords of your online accounts only to yourself. It might seem like a good idea or a convenient way of sharing accounts with family and friends, but it’s still likely that these passwords will be get into the hands of fraudsters. Safeguard your private information to protect you, should relationships turn sour.
  • Take your online privacy seriously. Share or permit access to your information with third parties only when absolutely necessary, to minimize exposure of it falling into the wrong hands.
  • A combined solution of security products and practical steps can minimize the threats and keep your data safe online. Reliable security solutions for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats – such as Kaspersky Security Cloud and Kaspersky Internet Security, coupled with the use of Kaspersky Password Manager to safely store your valuable digital data – can help solve the problem of keeping your personal information under control.