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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 16, 2011

Report: Half socnet users 'addicted'

Fraudsters and phishers are following consumers into the social space. So finds a new reprot from Webroot. According to researchers more than half of social network users are 'addicted to socnets, but of perhaps more importance, the threats to the social space are increasing. Although many social networkers know how to protect their identity and information on socnets, the dangers will become more challenging to defend against.

by Kristina Knight

webroot.jpg"Threats targeting social networks are continuously being regenerated in new versions so their makers can evade detection and spread their malicious programs relentlessly across users' accounts," said Jacques Erasmus, Webroot threat expert. "Over the last nine months, our threat intelligence network has detected more than 4,000 versions of the Koobface virus hit social network users. Cybercriminals continue to target social networks because they can quickly access a large pool of victims. But our findings show that people are becoming aware of this, and they're now savvier about safeguarding their devices and the personal information they share online."

The data from Webroot is backed up by a report from PCTools which identifies some of the biggest threats in social networking. Webroot's report finds:

  • 18% of US social networkers experiened "Koobface" infections through socnets

  • 15% of UK socneters experienced some kind of social network attack

  • 'Friend in Distress' social scams increased to 11% in 2011

  • 8% of US socneters 'have never viewed/changed' their social network privacy settings (2011), that number was 37% in 2009
  • Consumers seem the most concentrated on restricting access to their accounts by non-friends and blocking their profiles from public search queries.

    As for the amount of time spent on social networks, 54% of socneters say they're 'somewhat addicted' to their network of choice and 46% visit that hub multiple times per day; 42% report they are 'always on' thanks to mobile devices.

    The most addicted social networkers are:

  • Millenials (18-34 years of age), 74% report feeling addicted, 54% access socnets multiple times per day

  • 54% of Millenials have installed some type of online security

  • 50% of 35+ users have not installed online security for their tablets/smartphones

  • Tags: social marketing, social marketing trends, social network addiction, social networks, Webroot

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