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    USA Today: Most Google, Facebook users fret over privacy

    USA Today reports on a new poll by the newspaper and Gallup concerning social-network users and privacy:

    Most Americans are worried about privacy and viruses when using Facebook or Google (GOOG), according to results of a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll released Tuesday. Nearly seven out of 10 Facebook members surveyed — and 52% of Google users — say they are either “somewhat” or “very concerned” about their privacy while using the world’s most popular social network and dominant search engine.

    Even so, technologists and privacy experts say most people lack a clear grasp of the complex risks they accept whenever they’re on the Internet. […]

    The poll found that a similar percentage of Facebook and Google users — 65% and 54%, respectively — say they are worried about Internet viruses. […]

    The erosion of security and privacy often go hand in hand. Social networks, banks, tech companies and retailers continue to make it easier than ever to create accounts, share personal details and do most activities on the Web.

    This is being driven largely by advertisers’ desire to make online pitches to the person most likely to buy. […]

    Data flowing through the Web have translated into a candy store for criminals. It’s easier than ever for even low-skilled hackers to spread infections via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter postings and corrupted Google search results. Risks are rising with the use of smartphones, tablet PCs and e-readers to access the Web.

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