Webroot: Social Networkers Show Risky Behavior

Boulder, Colorado-based Webroot is reporting today that people who use online social networks are more vulnerable to financial loss, identity theft, and malware than they might think. According to the firm, it conducted a survey of over 1,100 members of Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, and other popular social networks, and found that there was a "general lack of awareness" of security risks on the social networks. Among the firm's findings: 28 percent of users accept friend requests from strangers; 36 percent use the same password across websites; 30 percent don't have adequate protection against viruses and spyware; and younger users takes lots more risks than others. The firm also found that one third of the users were including at least three pieces of personally identifiable information, which can be used for identity theft--including birth date, home town, and employer. Among younger users (classified as 18-29 years old by Webroot), more use the same password across multiple sites, accept stranger requests, and share personal information. Webroot is a provider of antivirus, antispyware, and other security software.