Sharing data with online strangers rarely a good idea

ICT Materials 10 February 2008 07:11 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Don't be so quick to share personal information with new online friends, warns Sophos, a Mainz-based firm that works on IT security solutions for businesses.

After all, there's no guarantee that the harmless looking profile of the person with whom you've just made contact is not just a cover for a criminal planning to use the information for a harmful phishing attack.

A test by Sophos shows how casual some online users can be about their data. The group created a profile named "Natalie" on a German- language community, complete with a picture of a scantily clad woman who was listed as "searching" and "open for anything."

In only a matter of minutes, the profile received 27 e-mails requesting contact and 48 messages, some containing fairly personal data, including addresses, ages and interests.