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Latin American users are overall unaware of the damage that data and personal information leaks can cause, Slovakian antivirus and security software developer Eset's awareness and research expert Raphael Labaca told BNamericas.
People in the region think information security risks are linked to big corporations, embassies and multinationals, but fail to see that individuals are also at risk, Labaca said.
For example, Labaca said, the perception related to recent events such as WikiLeaks or the personal data stolen from Sony PlayStation customers is that "it wouldn't happen to us here." But in the case of PlayStation, 70mn global users were affected, "and from that number 2mn were customers from Latin America."
The gleaning of personal information could lead to identity theft or compromised bank account information. Regional legislation is "way behind" compared to developed countries like the US and Europe, Labaca added. "Legislation in terms of punishments for those who steal information is very recent in the region."
Eset has published a survey about information leaks in Latin America based on interviews with several regional IT executives. Among the findings, 81.7% of those surveyed said that if they were to discover an information leak at their companies, they would change their passwords, and 77.3% would cancel their credit cards or bank accounts.
According to the study, for four out of 10 people, it takes about three months before they notice their identity has being stolen.