Social-Network Users Enter False Personal Info to Protect Identity

September 19, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Data-driven | Europe & Middle East | Personalization | Privacy & Security

Nearly two thirds (62%) of the UK’s social-networking site users say they are worried about the safety of their personal data held on those sites – and nearly one-third (31%) of users say they have entered false information about themselves to protect their identity, according to a survey by emedia‘s RapidResearch service.

Other findings from the UK survey:

  • Some 81% of those surveyed use networking sites.
  • Users of social networking sites visit these sites on a regular basis, and almost half of them (48%) admit using these websites at work.
  • Nearly one in four (24%) log in every day, with half of them logging in several times a day.
  • Up to 45% of users log in at least once a week.
  • The top five websites respondents have heard off are MySpace (89%), YouTube (88%), Friends Reunited (81%), Facebook (73%) and Bebo (51%).
  • But the most popular sites among users are Friends Reunited (47%), YouTube (42%), MySpace (39%), Facebook (26%) and LinkedIn (19%).
  • Respondents keep in touch with various types of contacts among their social network, including friends (46%), colleagues (24%) and clients or potential clients (8%).


  • Those surveyed visit social-networking sites for personal and professional reasons: 67% contact old friends and reinforce existing friendships; over one in ten (11%) use them for business purposes.
  • 87% of respondents think social-networking sites can be used for business purposes, including networking (65%), exchanging ideas (58%), getting advice (44%), recruitment (43%), research (35%) and selling (31%).
  • Half of users find advertising on social-networking sites intrusive.
  • Some 72% of users said they have opted out of email newsletters from social-networking sites.

About the study: The “RapidResearch Social Networking Sites Survey” focused on online users’ views of social networking sites and was concluded in August 2007. Over 100 individuals replied.

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