Consumers willing to risk cyber security for fitness tips

Britons are risking their cyber security to access fitness tips to help them achieve their dream bodies, according to a report.

Research from Intel Security showed that 34 per cent of consumers are willing to compromise their online safety for a flat stomach, clicking on links to potentially malicious websites offering to help “lose belly fat” specifically.

58 per cent either assume or would not know that a site is genuine after clicking through, and two thirds of Britons said they would share personal information with a website, service or company to help them to reach their dream bodies.

A quarter even went as far as making a purchase from a promotional link without knowing whether the site was secure, the report found, and 35 per cent do not even know how they can check whether a website is genuine or not.

Men were more likely to click on dieting adverts, with 61 per cent admitting to following the links compared to 52 per cent of women. A third of men said they would click on an advert if it was endorsed by a celebrity they liked.

“Diet and fitness is probably the last thing one would associate with cyber criminal activity,” said Nick Viney, Intel Security’s vice president of consumer.

“Yet the reality is that cyber criminals are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to understanding the consumer mindset and their online search habits.

“As such it is increasingly important people understand safe online searching behaviour and how to identify potentially risky sites and emails.”

Other popular potentially risky links that consumers admitted clicking on were “get cashback” and “get rich quick” offers, the survey revealed – and nearly one in ten said they would click on an offer claiming to improve sexual performance.

Consumers have been warned about many online scams in recent months.

Just last week, tech support scammers were found to be upping their game with malware that locks users’ screens and directs them to call their operatives.

Bing recently banned third-party tech support adverts from its advertising network to prevent such schemes from capitalising on its visitors.

And a recent survey showed that nearly half of consumers have been targeted by online scams seeking to obtain their personal or financial information.