Recent research conducted by security company AVG has revealed both an abundance of compromised pages on social networking sites such as Facebook, and that young people (those 25 years and under) are the most at risk from those infections.
AVG’s ‘Threat Labs’ research, which provides safety analysis of websites, analysed 50 social network sites and found that, among the top social networks worldwide, there were 19,491 compromised web pages, 11,701 of which were found on Facebook. YouTube had 7,163 compromised pages.
“The fact that AVG found almost 20,000 compromised web pages on the world’s most popular social networking sites should make social media users sit up and take notice. In particular, it is the audience most active on these sites, those under 25 years old who are most at risk,” said Peter Cameron, Managing Director of AVG Australia and New Zealand.
According to AVG, students 18-25 years old are particularly at risk of having their status hijacked on social networking sites like Facebook. (‘Status-jacking’ is when users’ login information is stolen and thieves post fake, and sometime malicious, status updates on victims’ Facebook pages.)
Compounding the problem is the fact that existing research also shows that 18-25 year olds are the least likely to take Internet security concerns seriously. The UK’s Ofcom Communications Market Report showed that only 15% of 16-24 year olds were concerned about Internet security, compared with 23% of the internet-using population.