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End Users Still Don't Know How To Handle Personal Data, Study Finds

Nearly a third of users have been victims of cybercrime; one-fifth still use no protection while surfing

Despite recent breaches and the theft of large caches of personal data, many end users still don't know how to safely manage their PCs and personal information, according to a study published this week.

According to a new study conducted by iYogi Insights, the research division of a provider of on-demand tech support services, nearly 30 percent Americans have been victims of cybercrime, including identity theft, credit card fraud, and online scams.

The survey of more than 2,000 iYogi customers reveals that while as many as 10 percent of victims have been targets of all three crimes, nearly 20 percent do not use any protection for their computers while surfing the Web.

Almost 80 percent of respondents say they use the Internet for shopping and banking, yet one out of every six PCs lacks antivirus protection, the study says.

Other key findings: • Many people don't know what information to protect. Thirty percent don’t consider date of birth as sensitive information, while 10 percent think it is safe to share credit card numbers.

• 40 percent think it’s safe to share information such as full name, address, and personal email ID.

• At least 15 percent of respondents know someone who has been a victim of cybercrime.

• Two-thirds of consumers still believe that by sticking to safe sites, they will be free from virus threats and cybertheft. Sixty-six percent think they are protected if they avoid using public computers to transact online. "As the world moves online and we use the Internet for virtually running everything in our lives -- including interacting with our friends, conducting business, shopping, and banking -- we often tend to overlook how much sensitive personal information we are inadvertently leaving available for cybercriminals, who are constantly on the lookout for unsecured data on the Web, which they can use to rob or dupe unsuspecting netizens," says Vishal Dhar, co-founder of iYogi.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add a Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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