35% of people in the UAE share confidential data by accident and 18% in the country willingly disclose secrets about themselves – despite the fact that information shared online can cost them a relationship or a job.
Many people greatly risk sharing personal data through online communication channels, in the dangerous online environment.
According to data collected 50% in the UAE share photos of themselves, 46% their contact details, 39% a photo of another person, 36% share sensitive personal details and 29% share work-related data online.
Further, and potentially even more seriously, 18% of UAE respondents have shared a secret about themselves and 9% have shared sensitive financial details.
This is despite the fact that a lot of people are highly worried about the damaging impact of such information being made public – both in terms of financial loss and emotional distress.
For instance, 45% of respondents in the country were worried that it could damage relationships or embarrass or offend someone and 16% were afraid that it could harm their career.
This level of concern is often justified. A total of 35% admitted they have accidentally shared confidential data and 13% have suffered as a result. Of those that suffered, the consequences included losing friends, being bullied, suffering financial loss, the end of a relationship and being dismissed from their job.
Commenting on the findings, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher from Kaspersky Lab says, “Many consumers still struggle to translate risk awareness into caution when it comes to online activity.
“With so many devices and online channels at our fingertips it’s never been easier to post an unguarded message or accidentally share information with the wrong people.
“If you are not cyber savvy enough, and you don’t have the proper security and privacy safeguards in place, you could be left with shattered friendships and careers. Once it’s online it’s there forever – so if in doubt, keep it to yourself.”