Other Key Findings:
Younger Men More Likely to Accept Invites -Directionally, the study found men between the ages of 18 to 34 on social networks were the most likely to accept invites from anyone of the opposite sex compared to older men.
Grabbing All the Friends You Can Get - The survey also found that five percent of U.S. adults on social networks will accept any friend request they receive—regardless of who sends them.
What Type of Friend Matters - Not all social networks are created equal. U.S. adults who have joined an online social network were twice as likely to state that it is important to have as many business social media contacts as possible (39 percent), compared to personal connections on social networks (19 percent). This sheds some insight into possible avenues of approach by fraudsters.
"American's lack of caution in friending members of the opposite sex online is striking," said Thomas Oscherwitz, chief privacy officer for ID Analytics, Inc. "Friending someone online is not risk-free. Just as in the bricks-and-mortar world, it makes sense to exercise a bit of prudence. Most social networking profiles contain personal information that can be used by fraudsters, and when you friend someone, you are giving them access to this information."
Fraudsters can use information in social networking profiles to build the dossiers they need to beat challenge questions and other security measures on financial accounts. The key identity elements that consumers should be careful before exposing on social networks can be seen in the image above.
Consumers can check their risk of identity fraud at MyIDScore.com. This free online service gives consumers immediate insight into whether their personal identifiable information is being used fraudulently to obtain assets, goods or services.