February 10th is Safer Internet Day, promoting online safety, particularly to young people. ESET Ireland has just completed its latest Irish online security survey which showed worrying results among Irish youth.
Last year news headlines were full of stories of celebrities online accounts hacked and various private pictures including those of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Rihanna, Arianna Grande being stolen. Two years ago ESET Ireland commissioned a survey asking Irish computer and mobile device users if they use any data leakage protection and 74% answered they had no clue what that is. Now the situation seems to have gotten even worse, as not only do people not seem to realise data can get lost or stolen, but they actively put themselves at risk.
In the latest survey by ESET Ireland, carried out in January 2015 by Amárach Research, 1002 Irish of all ages and from all regions were asked if they ever uploaded or shared (to social media, online storage, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.), messaged or texted any picture of themselves that would be embarrassing to them if it was made available to the public and the results were shocking!
No less than 70% of those surveyed in the age group 16-24 have uploaded or texted their embarrassing pictures. The age group 25-34 was just a tiny bit better with 62% being irresponsible, then the numbers slowly decrease down to 14% of those over 55. Region wise Dubliners are the worst offenders with 47% across all ages sending their photos about, while Connaught and Ulster were more conservative with 39%. Income wise, those with higher income lead in carelessness with 43% over 40% of those in the lower income group.
People do not yet seem to realise that once a photo is uploaded it is out there. Online services, cloud storage, emails, social media can and have already been hacked and private data uploaded to them can and has been accessed by unauthorised eyes. If you wouldn’t show an embarrassing photo of yourself insufficiently dressed or having too much fun at a party to your grandmother or your boss, then you’d be better off not uploading or texting it at all.