Industry News

Americans Willingly Expose Private Data to Diet Clickbait, Intel reveals

“Lose 5 pounds in 1 day.” “Extreme celebrity workout to melt fat in 1 week.”

How far are you willing to go for that bikini body? With summer around the corner, some would do just about anything to look like their favorite celebrity, without considering health — or online security.

Hackers are fully aware of this and have become savvier with time. So they have built a business model around people’s desperation. And they’re making billions.

According to a survey authorized by Intel Security, 88% of consumers would intentionally expose themselves to malware in an effort to get some magical diet or training program. The study analyzed the online behavior of 15,000 Americans ages 21 to 54 to find out how they reacted to weight-loss clickbait.

It’s human nature to want fast amazing results with little effort. That’s why hackers are so successful at selling false hope. The study shows 61% of participants have clicked on a fake diet program link and almost half trust Google search recommendations and would click on a promotional link. Most respondents did not even consider protecting personal information like email, full name or age online, while 35% admitted not knowing how to determine if a link is secure or scam.

There are some easy steps to stay safe online. First of all, make sure you have a solid software security solution installed and allow it to update automatically. This will protect your network from malware attacks by identifying risks and corrupted emails. Just because you have a security solution on your network, doesn’t mean you can click on any link or pop-up you find appealing.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it’s probably a scam. Double check URLs to stay away from bogus websites and make sure your passwords are strong — and not just your name or date of birth.

About the author

Luana PASCU

From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.