In April, the Heartbleed virus compromised the security of hundreds of websites, including Facebook, Google and YouTube. The breakdown in security forced users to change passwords and hope none of their sensitive information was stolen.
A Pew study conducted after the outbreak of the virus revealed Internet users consider their online information to be fairly secure.
“About half (46 percent) say they think their information is ‘somewhat secure.’ Some 23 percent believe their information is ‘very secure,’ and 26 percent say it is ‘not too secure’ or ‘not at all secure,’ ” the study said.
The study also said 39 percent of Internet users changed passwords or canceled accounts, but only 6 percent thought their personal information was taken as a result of the software bug.
A study by USC’s Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc. revealed millennials are most likely to share personal information online.
Especially if sharing information — like location — can get them a discount or a freebie from businesses.
“Millennials think differently when it comes to online privacy,” managing director of media and emerging technologies for Bovitz Elaine B. Coleman said in the study. “It’s not that they don’t care about it — rather they perceive social media as an exchange or an economy of ideas, where sharing involves participating in smart ways.”
The study said 56 percent of millennials would share information to receive deals, compared with 42 percent of users 35 and older. Millennials are also more likely to use social networking sites several times a day, but only 20 percent of those 35 and older log on that regularly.
Jeff Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future, told USA Today the attitude of millennials is likely due to their familiarity with technology, having grown up with it.
“Cole says this Millennial behavior is likely temporary, and the generation will become more careful about how much they share online as they get older and have more assets to protect, though he admits he can't prove this will be the case,” USA Today said.
Wired’s cover story this month is all about apps that allow you to contact strangers for services like rides, beds and meals. Where traditionally these things have been provided by established companies, things like Lyft and Airbnb are making it available to everyone.
“Of course, we engage in commerce with total strangers every day,” Jason Tanz wrote. “We hand our credit cards to shop clerks, get into the backseat of taxis driven by cabbies we’ve never met, ingest food prepared in closed kitchens, and ignore the fact that hotel workers with master keys could sneak into our rooms while we sleep. But each of those transactions is undergirded and supported by a complicated series of regulations, backstops, and assurances that go back to the Industrial Revolution.”
Tanz said it is a huge cultural breakthrough to trust strangers in such a way, but something many young people don’t think twice about.
The dating app Tinder was revealed to have a vulnerability that could give any user your exact location in just a few basic steps. Yet Tinder has an average of 750 million swipes and 10 million matches per day, according to CIO.
"From very early ages, Millennials were just very comfortable really using technology as their bridge to the world, and therefore (have) very little to fear from it," Cole said.