Youngsters, take note: Do not share personal data online with strangers

Updated on Jun 01, 2017 10:41 AM IST

Have you shared your PIN with someone you don’t know too well, or left your mobile unsupervised? A new research highlights how youngsters are increasingly sharing sensitive content with strangers.

Almost 30 per cent internet users shared their passwords with others online, says the study.(Shutterstock)
Almost 30 per cent internet users shared their passwords with others online, says the study.(Shutterstock)
Indo Asian News Service, Moscow | By

While social media and online transactions have made it easier to share data, there is the danger of information falling in the wrong hand. Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab revealed a worrying trend of sharing private and sensitive content with strangers which is fast growing among youngsters.

Almost 93% of internet users share their information digitally, with 4% of them sharing their private and sensitive videos and photos with others. Around 70% of them share photos and videos of their children online with strangers. But the trend is worse among members of the younger generation who make large amounts of their personal information accessible to strangers.

According to the study, 10% of people have shared the PIN for accessing their device with a stranger. (Shutterstock)
According to the study, 10% of people have shared the PIN for accessing their device with a stranger. (Shutterstock)

“By disclosing important and sensitive information with other people, you relinquish control over it, because you can’t be sure where that data is going, and how it will be used,” said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business, Kaspersky Lab, in a statement.

Almost 44% of Internet users make their information public, but once data has gone into the public domain, it can travel far beyond the control of its owners. The findings further showed that one in five people admitted that they share sensitive data with people they don’t know well.

Nearly 37% people shared their financial and payment details online, thus inviting a financial attack and over 40% had shared scans of their passports, driving licences and other personal documents. Almost 30 per cent internet users shared their passwords with others online.

“Ten per cent have shared the PIN for accessing their device with a stranger and 22% have left their devices unlocked and unsupervised among a group of people. Furthermore, nearly 23% have given their device to another person to use for some time,” the report noted.

The study revealed that young people are the most likely to share private and sensitive photos of themselves with others. “While it’s completely unrealistic to expect internet users to stop sharing photos, personal details and other information with each other, we do urge people to think twice before they share important information publicly online,” Mochola suggested.

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