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Social media hacks have affected half of Brits

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(Image credit: Shutterstock / Rabbit_Photo)

Social media hacks have become a serious problem for users, with roughly half of Brits (49 percent) having had their accounts compromised or knowing someone who has fallen victim to an attack.

This is according to a new report from open industry association FIDO Alliance, based on a poll of 4,000 people in North America, the UK, France, and Germany.

Of all the different devices they need to keep safe, most Brits (30 percent) are worried about their smartphones. And even though they know they should, many consumers (43 percent) don’t tighten up the security on their social media accounts when they see a public figure’s account breached.

Of those that do update their security, most (56 percent) just create a stronger password, which FIDO says isn’t the most secure method. After all, this still leaves them vulnerable to some of the most common attacks, such as phishing.

FIDO claims two-factor authentication (2FA) is necessary, but many Brits don’t even know what it is. The report states a quarter (26 percent) of the respondents either aren’t familiar with 2FA or aren’t using it. A further 15 percent would like to tighten up on social media security, but are unsure how.  

“Social media accounts are prime targets, as they hold so much of a user’s personally identifiable information (PII). Yet, our research shows a disconnect between the need for stronger security for social media accounts and consumer awareness of how to take action,” said Andrew Shikiar, Executive Director at the FIDO Alliance.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.