Social media remains a security risk

Web users continue to put themselves at risk by exposing personal information online, as levels of trust in the internet grow, figures from UK regulator Ofcom reveal.
 
The percentage of UK web users that have concerns about web safety fell to 50% in 2011 compared to the 70% who reported worries in 2005, however a quarter (26%) of social media users still reveal information including their birth date, home address or hometown on public profiles. Trust in entering credit card details online has also grown, up from 28% in 2005 to 31% in 2011, though more than half check for security signs first.
 
Ofcom’s figures were released a week after Neelie Kroes, the European Commission’s digital agenda Commissioner, said society is failing to adequately secure critical web infrastructure from cyber attacks, and home affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström called for a centralized e-crime police force to protect e-commerce.
 
Separately, Ofcom revealed it faces a £3.3 million (€3.9 million) drop in its annual budget in the next twelve months, as part of a program of spending cuts that aims to shave nearly 30% from the body’s operating costs by 2015.
 
It is targeting a 6.1% real-term drop in overall regulation costs for the year to end-March 2013 to cover the lower budget, which is down on the £124.7 million it received in 2011/12.

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