Privacy and Security Issues in Social Networking

Privacy and Security Issues in Social Networking

social networking sites have become very popular avenues for people to communicate with family friends and colleagues from around the corner or across the globe whether there can be benefits from the collaborative distributive approaches promoted by responsible use of social networking sites there are information security and privacy concerns the volume and accessibility of personal information available and social networking sites have attracted malicious people who seek to exploit this information the same technologies that invite user participation also make the site's easier to infect with malware that can shut down an organization's networks or keystroke loggers that can steal credentials common social networking risks such as fear phishing social engineering spoofing and web application attacks attempt to steal the person's identity such an attacks are often successful due to the assumption of being an entrusting environment that social networks create security and privacy related social networking sites are fundamentally behavior issues not technology issues the more information a person posts the more information becomes available for a potential compromise by those with malicious intentions people who provide private sensitive or confidential information about themselves or other people whether wittingly or unwittingly pose a higher risk to themselves and others information such as a person's social security number street address phone number financial information or confidential business information should not be published online similarly posting photos videos or audio files could lead to an organisation's breach of confidentiality or an individual's breach of privacy the reason social network security and privacy lapses exists results simply from the astronomical amounts of information the site's process each and every day that ended up making it that much easier to exploit a single flaw in the system features that invite user participation messages invitations photos open platform applications etc are often the avenues used to gain access to private information especially in the case of Facebook Adrian felt a PhD candidate at Berkeley made small headlines last year when she exposed a potentially devastating hole in the framework of Facebook's third-party application programming interface which allows for easy theft of private information felt owner Co researchers found that third-party platform applications for Facebook gave developers access to far more information addresses pictures interests etc then needed to run the application this potential privacy breach is actually built into the systematic framework of Facebook and unfortunately the floor enters the system almost indefensible ultimately the question for social networks is resolving the difference between mistakes and implementation and what the design of the application platform is intended to allow there's also the question of whom we should hold responsible for over sharing of user data the resolution isn't likely to come anytime soon for two reasons one there are marketing businesses built on top of the idea that third parties can get access to data on Facebook and to a new more regulated application programming interface would require Facebook to break a lot of applications and a lot of companies are trying to make money off of applications now the problems plaguing social networking security and privacy issues for now can only be resolved if users take a more careful approach to what they share and how much with the growth of social networks is becoming harder to effectively monitor and protect the site users and their activity because of the tasks of security programmers becomes increasingly spread out imagine if a prison whose inmate count jumped from a few dozen to 250 million in less than five years only employed 300 guards in response to the potential threats that users are exposed to most of the major networks now enable users to set privacy controls for who has the ability to view their information but considering the application loopholes in facebook increased privacy settings don't always guarantee privacy but even when the flawed application programming interface was publicly exposed Facebook changed the wording of the User Agreement a little bit but nothing technically to solve the problem that means if a nefarious application developer wanted to sell the personal information of the people who used his application to advertise companies he or she could yet users still post tons of personal data on social networks without batting an eye it's only natural anonymity and the fact that you're communicating with a machine instead of an actual person or people in the case of social networking makes sharing a lot easier Facebook has pulled the plug on community voting following an anemic voter turnout and today's new privacy changes in the aftermath of that decision bear ill tidings for the consumer privacy for one thing though not even 700,000 of the more than 1 billion Facebook subscribers voted nearly 88% of those who did vote cast their ballot against the changes but Facebook's not likely to listen to them Facebook is rewriting a lot of its policies to make them easier to understand options like being able to ask somebody who's tagged you in a post or photo to untag you and the new ability to untag multiple photos at once are helpful if minor tools but with frequent hard to understand changes in his various privacy policies Facebook has mostly just fostered apathy and the vast majority of its subscribers and the confusion among those who are paying attention to what Facebook is doing with their activity and the resulting data one change that Facebook has made is to clarify that your Facebook Timeline has always been public posts that you have said to be less visible will remain so many people haven't known that so even if you hide something from your timeline like a photo it will still be available in your news feeds and search and possibly elsewhere new controls let you toggle post visibly from the timeline but public awareness about the timeline visibility is still an issue pretending that something you've posted to Facebook is invisible as in real life is not the same as it actually being invisible while there will always be tension between users and the providers of free services like Facebook who desperately want to make money off the data they collect from you allowing you there's only partial control of how their information is displayed to others in the service is definitely not what you consider a pro privacy pro-consumer stance another change comes to messaging tools the new filters that replace the who can send you messages option could easily lead to unsolicited messages which could mean the onset of messages resembling standard email spam which is probably something most people are not prepared for on Facebook unfortunately it gets worse the type of tracking Facebook as we'll use has shifted from standard browser cookies to undefined system technologies in order to serve ads what this means in practice is that users will almost certainly start getting hit with targeted ads based on their Facebook activity even when they're not on Facebook if you think cookie driven ads are annoying now wait until they start using your Facebook data by now you're probably asking yourself how do I manage my privacy when it comes to social media here are 5 tips to help you control your privacy tip number one be diligent about privacy when merging social media websites it is likely that many of the smaller and up-and-coming social media websites will merge together so that they are better able to compete with the industry giants all the web sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn or currently the heavy hitters in the social media world there are also many smaller websites out there additionally it is likely that social media websites will continue the trend of acquiring startup companies in order to use their cutting-edge new technology by doing so social media websites will continue to be able to add plugins and applications that will in turn draw even more users as social media websites rush to add even more features and functionality to their websites they could potentially overlook key privacy considerations after all when one company merges with another or when they add new technology features there always seem to be a few growing pains along the way tip number two single access sign-on can raise red flags for security and privacy using single access sign-on technology users can log in once and then use multiple websites without the need to sign in again although the convenience of this feature tends to make it popular with users it brings with it a whole other host of security and privacy concerns as the use of single access sign-on becomes more common it is likely that websites will also start to share information this kind of access will make it easier for a single social media website to show your actions and activities on other web sites social media websites will have to take care to ensure user privacy otherwise if this highly convenient feature could become a liability tip number three watch for new website security restrictions and universal legislation the privacy and security legislation ball has already started rolling in 2011 and is likely to gain even more momentum as people increase the amount of information they share on social media websites the need for heightened security and privacy controls also increases the big Giants in the social media world possess a mind-boggling amount of personal information about the people who use their websites without good universal guidelines on how this information can be gathered and used it could be misused either intentionally or unintentionally it is likely that there will be further progress made towards Universal legislation on privacy regulations and security because the websites have been pretty much on their own to set their privacy policies there's currently a vast amount of variation between websites as such users are often confused as to what privacy controls are available and how they should be used additionally most people do not really understand how to recognize the potential for information misuse people often share information and consistently because they want to use a specific feature or because they wish to qualify for a free product to service tip number four walking a fine line between effective marketing and privacy intrusion in the past companies generally focus their advertising dollars on traditional media or on websites however in recent years more companies have been dabbling with the advertising and marketing aspects of social media this trend is likely to increase as more companies learn how to properly leverage advertising and marketing potential of social media as companies discover the vast audiences that can be reached through social media websites they will tend to direct more of their advertising dollars towards this venue as a result it is likely that we may see increased attempts at information gathering and targeted marketing social media websites as well as the companies who use them for marketing will have to be careful to walk a fine line between effective marketing and privacy intrusion as more people become aware of privacy intrusion issues that will also likely become more leery and distrustful companies that wish to be successful with these kinds of marketing and advertising efforts will have to pay close attention to the privacy needs of their users tip number five social media websites using location-based services need to avoid privacy nightmares of course today social media websites are not even limited to traditional online use as social media continues to take advantage of mobile devices and location-based services users will be exposed to even more privacy concerns without the guidance of overall legislation and privacy laws websites will be on their own to figure out how to best leverage location-based services even though users will undoubtedly enjoy using some of these services they could potentially be leaving themselves exposed to privacy risks

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One thought on “Privacy and Security Issues in Social Networking

  1. Do you have any credible sources for this information, I am not doubting you I just want to reference it

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