Safety Check: Study exposes which social media sites leave users vulnerable

by | May 19, 2024

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Recent reports have surfaced claiming that OfCom should act against social media platforms, regarding the neglected ticket scam posts under the new UK Online Safety Act.

This comes in the wake of multiple instances in recent months, both in the UK and globally, involving counterfeit tickets for Taylor Swift’s Era Tour being ‘sold’ through hacked Facebook accounts.

With this being said, James Milin-Ashmore, VPN expert at Independent Advisor, along with other experts at Independent Advisor VPN have compiled a report looking into current active users against search data to reveal which social media platforms users feel the most unsafe using, and unsurprisingly, Facebook ranks top…


Which platforms do social media users feel the least safe on?

RankPlatformMonthly active usersAnnual searches for “Scam”Annual searches for “Hacked”Annual searches combinedCombined searches per million users

1. Facebook – 2,160.6 searches per million users

Facebook leads by a significant margin in the number of searches related to security issues, with 2,160.6 per million users. The overwhelming majority of searches are for “Facebook hacked,” suggesting that hacking is a significant concern for its users. This could be due to the platform’s wide usage and the amount of personal information available, making it a prime target for cybercriminals.


2. Instagram – 1,651.1 searches per million users

As a visual platform popular with younger demographics, Instagram is of particular concern when it comes to hacking. A substantial segment of its users are teenagers and even younger individuals under the age of 18. This raises serious safety and privacy concerns, as these age groups may be particularly vulnerable to the repercussions of data breaches and misuse of personal information. The number of searches for “Instagram hacked” far exceeds those for “Instagram scam,” indicating that users may be apprehensive about unauthorised access to their accounts, possibly due to the personal and sometimes financial nature of the content shared (like influencer partnerships and business accounts).

3. Discord – 499.4 searches per million users


With just under 500 searches per million users, Discord users also have a notable level of concern about security issues. Discord is known as a hub for gaming and community-driven interactions. The nature of Discord, heavily reliant on real-time communication and often involving smaller, more private communities, might contribute to this heightened awareness about safety. With a lot of gamers, its user base might be more tech-savvy and aware of potential security threats.

Further study insights:

  • The three apps where users feel the safest are QQ, Threads, and Quora with only 0.2, 5.2, and 8.8 searches per million users respectively.

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