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According to astudyby Kaspersky Lab, people are still recklessly sharing private information over the Internet in risky situations. 28% of people share confidential data by accident and 16% willingly disclose secrets about themselves – despite the fact that information shared online can cost them a relationship or a job.

The survey, which was conducted in co-operation with B2B International, questioned more than 12,000 people worldwide and found that many people risk sharing personal data through online communication channels, in the dangerous online environment. This might include: a photo of themselves (45%), their contact details (42%), a photo of another person (32%), sensitive personal details (30%) and work-related data (20%) online. Further, and potentially even more seriously, one-in-six has shared a secret about themselves (16%), while 9% has communicated private information about another person and 8% has shared sensitive financial details.

This is despite the fact that half are deeply worried about the damaging impact of such information being made public – both in terms of financial loss and emotional distress.  A third was worried that it could damage relationships or embarrass or offend someone and one-in-six (15%) was afraid that it could harm their career.

This level of concern is often justified. 28% admitted they have accidentally shared confidential data and one-in-ten have suffered as a result. Of those that suffered, the consequences included losing friends (20%), being bullied (17%), suffering financial loss (15%), the end of a relationship (13%) and being dismissed from their job (13%).

However, 13% still don’t take any precautions to keep their online activities and information safe, and a mere four-in-ten keep interactions with close family and friends separate from other activity (43%)  or double-check all messages and posts before sending (39%).  A quarter try to avoid sending or sharing information when they’ve had a drink, and a guilt-ridden 29% opt for the largely ineffective measure of hastily deleting their Internet history after sharing something.

Commenting on the findings, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher from Kaspersky Lab says,Many consumers still struggle to translate risk awareness into caution when it comes to online activity. With so many devices and online channels at our fingertips it’s never been easier to post an unguarded message or accidentally share information with the wrong people. If you are not cyber-savvy enough, and you don’t have the proper security and privacy safeguards in place, you could be left with shattered friendships and careers. Once it’s online it’s there forever – so if in doubt, keep it to yourself. ”

You can check your own level of cyber-savviness here: To read more tips on how to protect yourself online, click here:

Online Data Sharing Wrecks Marriages and Careers

According to a study by Kaspersky Lab, people are still recklessly sharing private information over the Internet in risky situations
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