Thursday, September 16th, 2010
AVG (AU/NZ) has announced the start of a new online campaign by AVG Technologies designed to help university students battle Facebook ‘status jacking’. Facebook status jacking occurs when login information is stolen and a friend or criminal takes over a Facebook account, often posting fake and sometimes malicious status messages.

The campaign has been launched on the back of new research from AVG’s ‘Threat Labs’, which provides an instant and complete safety analysis of Web sites including detection statistics, a detection timeline, an analysis of linked sites and a detection map.

AVG Threat Labs analysed the safety of 50 global social networks, finding that:

• Looking at 50 top social networks worldwide, there are 19,491 compromised web pages
• Of these 11,701 are on Facebook - the world’s largest social network
• YouTube had 7,163 compromised web pages

“The fact that AVG found almost 20,000 compromised web pages on the world’s most popular social networking sites should make social media users sit up and take notice. In particular, it is the audience most active on these sites, those under 25 years old who are most at risk,” said Peter Cameron, Managing Director of AVG (AU/NZ).

According to AVG, students 18-25 years old are particularly at risk of having their status jacked on social networking sites like Facebook. This is due to the demographic being particularly active on social media. For example, in the US 72 percent of all 18-25 year olds are active on social networks (source Pew Research Center -

At the same time, existing research also shows that 18-25 year olds are the least likely to take Internet security concerns seriously. The UK’s Ofcom Communications Market Report showed that only 15 percent of 16-24 year olds are concerned about Internet security, compared with 23% of the Internet using population. Meanwhile only 9 percent are concerned about privacy.

The July 2010 VeriSign Online Fraud Barometer assessment of the Australian online fraud landscape reported those most affected by online ID fraud were 18–24 year olds. Victims suffered average losses of $1,619 in the previous twelve months and one in ten expect never to recover their lost money.

“The AVG campaign will involve further research showing that only a few students take proper social network precautions, as well as a series of informative but also fun, guides and videos,” Cameron concluded.

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