New research by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International shows that in the last 12 months one in four Internet users had at least one of their online accounts hacked, leading to unauthorized messages being sent out in the user’s name, sometimes with a malicious link included, and the loss or theft of personal data. However, another study shows that, despite this, just 38% of consumers create strong passwords for every account and over half (57%) store passwords insecurely.
In addition to the number whose own accounts had been hacked, a third (32%) of respondents know of someone whose account has been hacked. The kind of accounts targeted by hackers include email (11%), social media networks (11%), and online banking or shopping accounts (7%), sites that many consumers use on a daily basis and that keep them in touch with work and their closest friends and family.
The survey found that it’s not just bank balances but relationships that can be damaged by hackers. 35% of those affected by hacking discovered that messages or updates had been sent from or posted on their accounts without their permission; and 29% learned that friends had clicked on a malicious link in a message that apparently came from them.