Are people unconsciously leaking their data to cyber-hackers?

Data has successfully taken oil's place as the world’s most valuable resource. As people have started to rely more on technology, cybercriminals are finding it easier to get their hands on people’s private information. In light of a new study, it has been revealed that malware and phishing scams are not the only causes of data leaks; instead, people are unintentionally offering their information to hackers as well.

According to research carried out by a group of people at U.K based East Anglia University, users are likely to offer private data of themselves if frequently countered with recurrent questions. This may force them to overshare, compromising their data and allowing it to be used to carry out malicious activities. This can happen anytime, even if a user is getting subscribed to an online newspaper site, switching off ads via an ad blocker, or finalizing online reviews. The more requests made, the more likely victims are to leak their data.

Based on a study in which 27 people were asked to give response to queries, including personal questions. The questionnaire also wanted to note their views on different topics such as immigrants, abortion, and recent political conditions. Participants were asked how much of their private data they would share and authorize it to appear on any public site for 14 days and then again for the same amount of time, but in return, they would be paid. Asking the same questions repeatedly is a tactic used by branding firms.

Another similar study involved 132 respondents answering personality questions and being asked to put their data on sale 2 occasions. The results showed that throwing repetitive queries regarding personal data can eventually led to increased information being when asked continuously . This shows that a simple strategy can result in people oversharing their data.

By using this strategy, hackers can force users to give away their data without knowing the consequences they might be facing. Hence, researchers are trying to figure out what exactly makes people overshare so they can prevent it from happening next time or find ways through which such attacks can be dodged in the future.

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