Risky Behaviors Linger Despite Online Privacy Being Threatened

Ninety percent of U.S. consumers who use a mobile device for work activities feel their online privacy is threatened, but many persist in putting their privacy and security at risk, according to a survey by global nonprofit IT association ISACA.

These risks pose challenges to employers during holidays, since respondents who use work-supplied devices expect to spend an average of nine hours shopping on them. Those who use their personal mobile devices for work expect to spend an average of 12 hours shopping from those devices.

According to the US consumer edition of ISACA’s 2012 IT Risk/Reward Barometer survey, employees who use work personal devices reported:

· For a 50 percent discount on a $100 item, 58 percent would reveal their email address, 22 percent would reveal the name of the street they grew up on and 15 percent would reveal their mother’s maiden name.

· 33 percent would be just as inclined to use their personal device for work purposes even if they knew their online activity could be tracked by their employer.

· 15 percent used location-based mobile applications.

More than half feel that sharing information online has become riskier, respondents still engage in those risky actions:

· 65 percent do not verify the security settings of online shopping sites.

· 36 percent have clicked on a link on a social media site from their work device.

· 12 percent stored work passwords on their personal device.

The Risk/Reward Barometer looked at online privacy for the first time. When asked about the greatest threats, respondents chose a company’s misuse of personal information they supplied online (26 percent); inadequate policies on social networking sites (13 percent); and use of cookies to track their web activities (10 percent). The annual IT Risk/Reward Barometer helps gauge attitudes and behaviors related to the risk and reward with the blurring boundaries between personal and work devices (BYOD), cloud computing, and increased enterprise risk related to online holiday employee behavior.

The study is based on September 2012 online polling of 4,512 ISACA members from 83 countries, including 1,407 members in the US. A separate online survey was fielded among 1,224 US consumers by M/A/R/C Research from 8–10 October 2012. At a 95 percent confidence level, the margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.8 percent. To see the full results, visit www.isaca.org/risk-reward-barometer.

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