A survey commissioned from YouthSight by the Student Loans Company (SLC) shows that freshers heading to university may be leaving themselves vulnerable to online phishing attacks by sharing too much personal data. For instance, the majority of survey respondents only consider up to a quarter of their Facebook friends to be close friends. Nearly three quarters share their date of birth and two in five share their email address, which are just the sort of details used in phishing scams.
This survey highlights the importance of the SLC’s work in helping to protect their student customers, such as partnering with Get Safe Online to produce a guide to online safety, and reacting quickly to reports of phishing activity. YouthSight are proud to have conducted the survey and, together with the SLC, we urge university students to take privacy seriously. Mia Lorenz, Associate Director at YouthSight said, “A big part of going to university is making new friends, but with phishing scams now aimed squarely at freshers, it’s important to be a bit more cautious about what personal information to reveal online.”
The survey, which was carried out in July 2012 with 1,100 university applicants who intended to start studying at a UK university in academic year 2012/13, aimed to find out which personal information respondents place on Facebook, how much of their profile is public, and how familiar applicants are with Facebook’s privacy settings.
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Founded in 2004 as OpinionPanel, YouthSight is a research agency and access panel specialising in young people, students and young professionals. Formerly OpinionPanel, YouthSight rebranded in March 2012 to signal its focus on youth research and the company’s commitment to helping clients see the world through the eyes of young people, students and young professionals.
YouthSight owns and manages the OpinionPanel Community, a unique access panel of 115,000 engaged young people, students and young professionals in the UK and an unsurpassed research resource. Clients include government departments, banks, brands, policy bodies, leading market research businesses and more than 80 UK universities.