CPP Group Plc a “life assistance company“ has published its research into people accessing other people’s data without their permission, also known as hacking.
The results are alarming, with “13% admitting they have accessed someone else’s online account details without their permission”.
CPP have coined the term “casual hacking” with Facebook and similar social sites being the most targeted. Further research results are below:-
- 32% casually dismissed their hacking as something they did ‘just for fun’
- 29% admitted they did it to check up on their “other half”
- 8% admitted they were checking on a work colleague
- 2% were not just “spying”, they were aiming to make a financial gain
16% of people have had their own online password-protected information accessed without their permission
Of those who have had their data accessed
- 24% have had their personal e-mails accessed
- 7% claim to have had their work e-mails accessed
- 19% say their eBay accounts have been hacked
- 16% had their social networking profiles hacked
- 10% claim to have had money or a loan taken out in their name
Identity fraud expert from CPP, Danny Harrison said: “People may dismiss checking up on their friend or partner’s accounts as a bit of fun, but in reality they are hacking. Looking at someone’s personal information without their knowledge is a serious act and one that could have serious repercussions both personally and professionally. We would urge everyone to be very careful about sharing passwords and to be vigilant about monitoring their accounts.”
The CPP research also polled the “casual hackers” about their knowledge and attitudes towards tutorials and hacking advice being available on the internet.
- 17% of people aware of their existence
- 87% agree that this kind of material should not be available online
- 63% think ‘hacking’ tutorials should be removed from the internet
- 56% saying the Government should take action to remove ‘hacking’ tutorials from the internet
- 59% feel these videos and step-by-step guides increase the risk of identity fraud
Danny Harrison continued: “Hacking presents a risk to consumers and businesses and it is important people take the necessary steps to protect their identities and manage any compromised data. People are concerned about their password protected information being accessed without their permission and we are calling on the Government to review access to these online hacking lessons.”
CPP’s have produced their top tips on protecting your information from hackers:
- Change your passwords regularly – the longer and more obscure, the better
- Leave a website if you notice strange behaviour (unknown certificates, pop-ups etc.)
- Avoid transmitting sensitive data over public (free or otherwise) Wi-Fi
- When seeking Wi-Fi connections: know who you are connecting to, be wary of free Wi-Fi access
- If using a Smartphone: disable Wi-Fi ‘auto-connect’
- If you are concerned about identity fraud, consider purchasing an identity fraud protection product to help you detect, prevent and resolve any incidence of the fraud
CPP’s website can be found here.