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Users Taking Risks On The Internet, Study Shows

BitDefender the IT security software firm, which conducted an experiment over a 7-day period, found that 75% of people on the Net used a common password and username for both their social networking and e-mail accounts.

Also during the experiment, the company, which managed to select 250,000 e-mail IDs and usernames as well as passwords via searching the Internet, found that 87% of them facilitated in providing admission into social network accounts.

Said BitDefender, users of social-networking websites are vulnerable beyond what they believe. That's because crooks cannot just harvest their names and personal details online, but applying slightly more exertion, their passwords too. Sometimes social-networking users mayn't know that they're giving away such details into the hands of shady people.

According to e-threat analyst Sabina Datcu of BitDefender who's also the experiment's author, getting sensitive data of such an extraordinary volume through search engines is extremely frightening. According to her, the experiment's alarming results should make Web surfers realize that they should consider setting a password for a social-networking or e-mail account with the same degree of seriousness as they would in using a strong lock or security device for their houses. PC World published this on August 8, 2010.

Further according to Datcu, giving away personal information online could put unsuspecting end-users at risk of malware, data theft and spam attacks.

Datcu continues that people should be very careful in the way they select or use a password. For, otherwise anyone could access their accounts on a social-networking website and give away their virtual goods for a price alternatively, use their accounts for posting porn, say. Other worse things could be that some cyber-criminal could compromise their e-mail accounts and use them posing as they themselves, Datcu adds.

Meanwhile according to the security specialists, users wanting to protect themselves against malware, potentially hiding inside a public computer, must use an anti-virus scanner on that system. They should also bring along their own IM clients, portable browser, secure file-transfer devices and office apps.

In addition, they must alter their passwords at regular intervals whilst operating on a public computer, the specialists added.

Related article: Users Making Opening Online Accounts To Identify Thefts

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