Care not to overshare: One in five young people hacked on social media

11 June 2018

  • More than eight in ten know someone who overshares on social media
  • Bank card, pin number and password amongst information shared
  • More than a third haven’t set their social media accounts to fully private
  • Video shows how easy it is to get personal information out of unsuspecting 16 to 25 year olds
  • Take our online quiz to see how much of an oversharer you are

Young people are oversharing on social media, with more than eight in ten (83%) saying they know someone who gives away their personal information online, paving the way for fraudsters, according to a new survey from Nationwide Building Society1.

The survey of more than 1,000 Brits aged between 16 and 25 was commissioned to encourage people to think before they share. It found that over half (56%) have seen others share their current location, holiday updates (50%), birthday (42%), photos that identify where they work (38%), photos of where they study (37%) photos of their front door (24%), or bank account details (6%), potentially leaving them open to scammers.

When asked about security in general, worryingly over half (52%) said they have saved passwords to their phone, written down a password (46%), saved bank details to their browser (26%), given someone their bank card and pin (18%), downloaded an app outside official app stores (17%), shared a password with a friend (17%), shared pin number for a bank card with a friend (12%) or shared a photo of their credit or debit card via WhatsApp, email, text message or social media (9%).

Despite this, over a third (36%) said they haven’t set the majority of their social media accounts to fully private, allowing people they don’t know to view their profile. In addition, one in five 16 to 25 year olds (20%) said they have had their social media accounts hacked, and over a tenth (11%) of which said either themselves or a friend has lost money as a result.

Four in ten (43%) respondents who had their social media account hacked said they didn’t know how this had happened, a quarter (24%) said it happened after clicking a link from a friend that wasn’t genuine, seven per cent said they followed a false social media account or entered their log in details into a false webpage (7%) and six per cent said they used an app that wasn’t official.

Of those surveyed who had been hacked, eight in ten (77%) said it led to suspicious activity on their account, including messages being sent to friends (40%), personal details such as date of birth or address being changed (20%), friend requests being sent or accepted (17%) or friends’ accounts also being hacked (11%).

Stuart Skinner, Director of Fraud at Nationwide Building Society, said: “Social media is a great way for people to connect with friends or family, but it’s important to think about the information you are sharing with others, so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Wishing someone a happy birthday or sharing your location may seem innocent enough, but fraudsters can piece together information from various places, collecting enough to defraud people.

“To protect yourself, check privacy settings so only vetted friends can see updates, don’t give away too much information or anything you wouldn’t want a fraudster to see, have a strong password that doesn’t use any of your personal information and stop and think before sharing.”

Notes to Editors:

1Research by Censuswide: total sample size was 1,001 16 to 25 year olds. The survey ran from the 20.03.2018 to 22.03.2018

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Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

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