London, Nov 23 (UNI) Millions of net users have made themselves vulnerable to identity theft as well as putting their future academic and professional prospects at risk by recklessly posting personal information on the internet, Britain's privacy watchdog has warned.
The findings came in the wake of security blunder by the UK government that resulted in highly sensitive details of 25 million population being lost in the post.
The study revealed that 4.5 million young web users could be vulnerable to identity fraud because of the carefree way they disclose their personal information on the internet, especially while visiting social networking sites.
A similar number are damaging their future education and employment prospects by leaving an ''electronic footprint'' which could compromise their chances of winning places at colleges and companies, The Independent reported.
The research also found that a third of young people never read privacy policies on social networking sites and do not understand how they can manage their personal information. Yet an overwhelming 95 per cent of those questioned said they were worried about websites using their details to target advertising at them or to pass on to other websites or companies.