Millions of young people are putting their careers at risk by using social networking websites. In addition, information such as dates of birth and addresses is put together with details which might be used to create passwords, like a mother’s maiden name. So, what could happen do you ask? Wellllllll, just that fraudsters might be able to access your online bank accounts. It’s dangerous and we are unaware of it.
A report from Britain’s privacy watchdog showed that 60% of 14 to 21year-olds did not realise their online details could be accessed years into the future. Seven out of 10 questioned in the study for the Information Commissioner’s Office did not like the idea of potential universities or employers seeing their current networking site content. The report revealed nearly two thirds post their date of birth, a quarter their job title and almost 1 in ten give their home address. One third of the 2,000 youngsters who log onto sites such as Facebook, MySpace or Bebo never read the privacy policies.
Take action? The ICO (an independent body which policies the Data Protection Act) launched a new online guide at www.ico.gov.uk/youngpeople with tips about protecting identity. So, next time you’re filling in personal details, think twice.