New Poll Finds Young People Getting Hacked More Often on Social Media

A new poll conducted jointly by the AP Newswire and MTV as reported by the Washington Post shows that young people are increasingly at risk of having their Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc. accounts hacked by others, though oftentimes, it’s by someone they know having some “fun” with them. Even so, they’re not happy about it.

The results of the poll, conducted this past August 18-31, 2011, and based on 1,355 interviews, show that approximately a third of those respondents had experienced some form of breach of at least one of their social media accounts. This is nearly double the rate found in the last such poll taken just two years ago. When asked if they knew the person that had hacked their account, most replied that they did, and 72 percent of them said they thought it was for spying purposes, while 62 percent said it was purely to hack, which means to unlawfully gain access to an account for any purpose.

In addition, of those polled, fully 46 percent of those who had been hacked claimed to be upset about it, and many described feelings of being violated.

The poll also found that two-thirds of those responding also claimed to have changed their account password because of being hacked. In addition, 46 percent of them said they had changed their screen name, or other information in their profiles to fool potential hackers and a quarter of them said they’d gone so far as to delete accounts or profiles.

Because of such problems, many young people are learning the hard way about what can happen if a social media account is hacked. Seven out of ten of those who said they’d been hacked said they now consider very carefully what information they share on their accounts, compared to just half of those who said they had never been hacked.

The poll seems to indicate that there is a new trend afoot in the social media world. Young people not only get hacked, but they’re doing a lot of hacking as well. And whether it’s to post something embarrassing or what they consider funny on someone else’s account or to use it for stalking purposes, it’s all illegal and many young people are likely to find out there are some pretty serious consequences for such actions.

As for those young people getting hacked, it’s likely more and more of them will learn the hard way that securing passwords and withholding personal information is the smart way to go in the virtual world and a llesson that could prove very valuable as they grow older and the stakes grow higher.

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