IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The use of social media can increase consumer vulnerability to identity theft because of the amount and type of personal information people share on these networks. However, consumers do little or nothing to protect themselves, according to a recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by ProtectMyID.com®, Experian’s multilayered identity theft detection, protection and fraud resolution product.1
Although more than 80 percent of study respondents expressed concern about their security while using social media, more than half of these same individuals admitted they do not take any steps to actively protect themselves. This data clearly demonstrates that while people may acknowledge that security is important, many do nothing to protect their information online. Other key findings from the survey include the following:
“The study results are extremely telling, especially about measures that users take, or fail to take, in order to protect their identity while using social networks,” said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “I was surprised that those who had experienced identity theft in the past weren’t taking stronger measures to protect their identity. No matter who you are, if you want to increase social networking safety, you must take the necessary steps to protect your information.”
Even though most respondents expressed concern about online security and privacy, nearly 90 percent did not feel that identity theft is a likely risk from using social media sites. Accordingly, individuals continue to use social media despite acknowledged potential dangers.
“Social networking sites give users the ability to share personal information, but they need to keep sensitive information out of easily-accessed public profiles,” said Jennifer Leuer, general manager of ProtectMyID.com. “If people aren’t careful, identity thieves can quickly gather all the information they need to commit fraud, and that’s why it’s so important to be selective about the information shared and use a product like ProtectMyID.com, since it provides early fraud detection and resolution.”
Minimize risk to protect valuable information – One alarming study result showed that while consumers recognize the importance of online privacy and security, most are not taking important protective measures to help guard their personal information. To help educate and inform social network users, ProtectMyID.com offers these tips for protection against online identity theft:
About the Ponemon Institute®
The Ponemon Institute is dedicated to advancing responsible information and privacy management practices in business and government. To achieve this objective, the Institute conducts independent research, educates leaders from the private and public sectors, and verifies the privacy and data protection practices of organizations in a variety of industries.
ProtectMyID.com® is a leading, full-service provider of proactive identity theft detection, protection and fraud resolution. ProtectMyID.com offers comprehensive identity theft protection products supported by experienced identity theft resolution professionals who deliver personal attention that clients can rely on. ProtectMyID.com is a Website owned by ConsumerInfo.com, Inc., an Experian company. For more information about how ProtectMyID.com helps consumers protect themselves against identity theft, visit http://www.ProtectMyID.com.
Experian® is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 90 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2010, was $3.9 billion.
Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; Costa Mesa, California; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
1 Survey conducted by The Ponemon Institute in June 2010