Data from a new online privacy report details massive scams on Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Facebook accounts, revealing that most users get hacked at high rates even when they do not think they are engaging in risky behavior.
It’s not always easy figuring out how an account got hacked, but at least 15% of those surveyed recalled having used a public Internet terminal or public WiFi prior to the hack. About 62% were unaware their accounts had been compromised, and some survey respondents blamed poor passwords as the culprit.
The Commtouch survey also revealed the following:
- Among users who hadn’t even noticed their accounts had been compromised, more than 50% relied on friends to point out their stolen accounts.
- One in eight hijacked accounts were used for a phony distress email scam that asks friends to wire funds to a foreign country, and over half of the accounts were used to send spam.
- Email and social media accounts are “a valuable prize for spammers and scammers.”
- More people need to safeguard their personal details when using public domains to access email or any site that requires a login (yet another reason a personal VPN is so critical in wireless hotspots!).