Report: Asia Pacific online users give up social media details for quiz, freebies

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The results of survey conducted by security firm Kaspersky has revealed that online users in Asia Pacific appear to be willing to share their private information in exchange for various personal gains from social media, even quiz results to know what type of flower they are or whose celebrity they look like.

In Kaspersky’s Global Privacy Report 2018 released this year, 39.2% said they are willing to sacrifice their private data if they can get additional safety like security checks or surveillance.

Of the respondents, 22% confessed they share their social media details to find out the results of fun quizzes while 18.9% admitted they will disregard their privacy if they’ll get something for free, such as a software, service or gift.

The report disclosed that more than half (55.5%) of survey respondents in Asia Pacific from the age groups 16-24 and 25-34 think it’s impossible to have complete online privacy in the modern digital world.

Following this sentiment, the respondents say they are willing to sacrifice their personal data for short term gains and “likes” from social media.

Originally filled with personal data like addresses, date of births and photographs to easily find and connect friends and families within the network, social media platforms have been reported to be spying on its users and has become breeding grounds for attacks.

Those who were surveyed in the region said 53.6% of them already experienced having their private or secret data accessed by someone who did not have consent. The online privacy breaches were highest for 16-24 year olds at 57.1%. The respondents said because of the leakage, they felt disturbed by spams and adverts, felt stressed and thought they embarrassed/offended someone.

According to Kaspersky, while the report shows APAC online users are now wising up to the threats in the online world with 56.7% opting to protect their devices for passwords, the carelessness of some when it comes to social media sharing can be a “downward spiral with often disastrous long-term consequences.”

“So, as we have made peace with the fact that we can never guarantee our digital security, many of us are choosing to sell-out when it comes to securing the integrity of our data and persona online – but with big potential costs. In fact, many people are unwittingly making themselves an open target,” the report said.

“Our report clearly showed that data security awareness across the region is indeed rising as we speak. Unfortunately, complacency is still prevalent and so is data misuse. We continue to advocate for keeping good digital hygiene. It’s one of the basic ways we can stop our confidential data from falling into the wrong hands,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“At first glance, this habit of giving up our social media credentials in exchange of knowing which flower we are and so on, may look harmless for big companies. But the truth is, with the high BYOD adoption in Southeast Asia, a stolen social media credential of one worker can mean the entire fallout of an enterprise’s online defences. We suggest businesses to also consider having a series of comprehensive and interactive cybersecurity training to boost the awareness of their first line of security — their employees,” he adds.

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