Social Networks Open To ID Theft

    November 14, 2007

More than 10.8 million people across the UK are registered to a social networking site according to new research by Get Safe Online.

Twenty-five percent of all people using social networks in the UK have posted confidential or personal information such as their phone number, address or email, on their online profile making them susceptible to identity fraud. This includes 34 percent of 18-24 year olds and 30 percent of 25-34 year olds.

Twenty-seven percent of 18-24 year olds have posted information or photos of other people without their permission online. Seven percent have shared contact details from someone’s online profile with another person without their consent, this is 14 percent more likely to occur among 18-25 year olds.

The research found that 15 percent do not use any privacy settings on social networking sites and that 18-25 year olds are the most security conscious, with 89 percent using some type of privacy setting. Fifty-one percent of those over 65 do not use a privacy setting.

Tony Neate, managing director of, said, "The popularity of social networking and other sites means that we are much more open about ourselves and our lives online. Although some of these details may seem harmless, they actually provide rich pickings for criminals."

 Social Networks Open To ID Theft

"Your date of birth and where you live is enough for someone to set up a credit card in your name. So whilst most people wouldn’t give this information to a stranger in real life, they will happily post it online where people they don’t know can see it."