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Over 40 percent of Facebook users invite identity theft by blindly accepting friend requests

Kinda stolen from O'Reilly. Edited a bit.In the shocking, yet not really unexpected, results of an investigative study by Sophos, 41% of Facebook users blindly accept friend requests from unknown contacts.

The probe by Sophos also looks into what data we make readily available. Scarily, almost all of us display our full date of birth and email addresses -- two pieces of information which make identity theft incredibly easy, especially when combined with a full name. Sophos go on to note that a decade ago it would take a private eye or con artist weeks or months to garner the same information. We're living in dangerous times!

Also of note, and a little worrying: despite the 'push' for increased security across social networks, the results of this year's probe (focusing on Australian users) were even worse than the same test in 2007 on British citizens.

The results of this study come at an opportune time: Facebook has just formed a safety advisory board to analyze its protocols and suggest new best-practices for their burgeoning user base. Facebook and other social networks are realising that it is important for both ourselves, and the younger generations, to keep our personal and identifiable data on a tight leash.

[via CNET]

Tags: facebook, privacy, research, security, sophos

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