Consumer Reports Finds Many Social Network Users Naive About Privacy Risks

The June 2010 issue of Consumer Reports includes the annual Consumer Reports National Research Center State of the Net survey, which is based on a January survey of 2,000 online households, projected to 82.3 million U.S.  internet-using households.

According to the survey, two out of three online U.S. households use social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, nearly twice as many as a year ago.  Within the past year, 9% of social network users experienced some form of abuse, such as malware infections, scams, identity theft, or harassment. 

  • 40% of social network users had posted their full birth date, exposing them to identity theft.
  • 26% of Facebook users with children had posted the children’s photos and names.
  • One of four households with a Facebook account had users who weren’t aware of or didn’t choose to use the service’s privacy controls.
  • 7% have  posted their street address on their profile
  • Of the adult Facebook users who played games and took quizzes on the site, 38% were either sure the apps were safe or hadn’t given it any thought

More details at Consumer Reports.

Read Cnet’s story on the survey.