Internet users have named Facebook as the online platform that poses the biggest security risk to their personal data.
A survey conducted by Australia’s Edith Cowan University found that 68% of respondents believed their data to be insecure on Facebook. Instagram and Twitter were viewed as risky by 65% and 57% of respondents, respectively.
Social media was seen as far more dangerous in terms of data security than other online platforms. While 28% of respondents believed their data wasn’t safe on email and 27% said the same about online health portals, only 14% reckoned online banking poses a risk.
Millennials were the most mistrustful of Facebook, with 73% labeling the platform as insecure. By contrast, baby boomers were most suspicious of Instagram, with around 72% believing use of the image-led platform to be risky.
The study surveyed 1,130 people from Europe, the United States, and Australia “to see how safe people feel in their highly wired lives and what they’re doing to keep themselves safe.”
More than half of respondents (59%) said that the most dangerous feature to personal privacy was location sharing. Other features that gave users a bad feeling were facial recognition and fingerprint ID.
The most common measures people have taken to protect themselves from hacking were using antivirus protection software (66%), using two-step password authentication (59%), setting up strong security questions (50%), and using unique passwords for different accounts (48%).
Interestingly, the proportion of survey respondents who worried about being hacked was low.
Researchers wrote: “About 25% of Americans voiced concern about the possibility, compared to 26% of Australians and 29% of Europeans participating in our survey. Nevertheless, 70% of respondents still said they believe data privacy is important, and they do believe their devices could be hacked.”
Baby boomers were found to be the generation most opposed to government monitoring and the generation most likely to use antivirus protection software (78% of all respondents). The youngest tech users—members of Generation Z—were the least likely, at 57%.
“Instead, they tended to use two-step password authentication the most, although only 64% of Gen Z users have done so,” noted researchers.