Risky On-Line Behavior

We're worried about scams-but we're not playing it safe.

Risky On-Line Behavior

We’re worried about scams—but we’re not playing it safe.

-Jane Farrell

woman using laptop

If you spend any amount of time on the Internet, chances are you’re hyper-aware of the scammers who are out to get you and anyone else they can find. But despite all we know, a survey found, we’re still doing stuff that can easily make us victims of digital criminals.

The survey, as reported in USA Today, drew conflicting responses from the 18- to 24-year-olds who were surveyed. Ninety-six percent believe that people their age aren’t nearly as careful online as they need to be. But at the same time, 91 percent of those respondents said that on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook, they accept people they don’t know as friends.

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Asked what kind of online crime they most feared, the people surveyed cited identity theft (73 percent), hacking computer files (64 percent) and hacking a social-networking account (56 percent). Thirty-three percent feared being turned down for a job or losing a job because of something they had done online.

Asked what they felt “comfortable” doing at a public computer, 49 percent said emailing from a personal account, 46 percent said visiting a social-networking site, and 11 percent said conducting financial transactions, such as paying a bill.

Sam Curry, the chief technology officer of RSA, the security company that conducted the poll, cautioned against any careless online conduct of any kind. “What happens in Vegas,” he said, “most certainly doesn’t stay in Vegas, not if you go posting, tweeting and blogging on it.” (USA Today)

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