Security managers are still failing to understand the risks associated with social networking sites.
A survey by Symantec of security practitioners at the Infosecurity Europe exhibition found that despite 90 per cent of respondents realising the risks with accepting anyone as their friend on social networking sites, over two-thirds admitted that they gave away personal information such as their name, address, age and telephone number.
Also, almost a quarter of respondents said that they had never modified their privacy settings, so only certain individuals could see their personal details.
Guy Bunker, chief scientist at Symantec, said: “What makes this survey more profound and worrying is that the brightest sparks in the security industry do not realise the potential risks associated with social networking.
“Despite being in charge of their security polices at work, when it comes to personal security they are somewhat flippant. A criminal needs surprisingly little to steal someone's identity and giving access to too much personal information on any social networking site is asking for trouble.”
This survey mirrors the results of similar research conducted by Symantec in September last year amongst general consumers, which revealed 60 per cent of people were prepared to divulge their password to a complete stranger – all for a £5 Marks and Spencer voucher.
“People need to realise the online world is moving very quickly and a little information can be used against them pretty effectively. The best advice for people would be to manage their personal details online safely like they would any other asset,” said Bunker.