Friday, November 9, 2012

Vulnerabilities To Be Addressed To Safely Utilize Online Social Networking: Privacy Risk

The likelihood of such privacy violations is very high, especially when default settings result in a user’s data being exposed to everyone who is connected to their friends. A given user may practice safe social networking, but it is unlikely that every one of their friends do. It only takes one friend making one bad connection for a user’s data, with such protections, to become exposed to dangerous actors. In fact, in the time it took to write this paper, a fake account on Facebook that the author created and spammed random friend requests was able to become friends with 28 users, even with a public description that the account was a test to access their information. To most users, though, the risk is at the most medium, as they see a negligible value associated with such a breach, despite the extremely high occurrence rate. This is supported by a reported 30% acceptance rate to complete strangers. (Debatin et al, 2009, pp. 87)

The cybersecurity threat posed by the lack of content privacy severely damages the confidentiality of the messages intended for the originally limited audience. In the case of secondary uploading of a poster’s content, there is also a danger to the integrity of the message, because the secondary uploader can manipulate the content and repost it as if simply re-sharing it. The victim of the integrity damage is twofold: the recipient of the counterfeit message is damaged by collecting mis-information, the sender of the original message is damaged by the counterfeit by weakening the audience’s view of the sender (Counterfeit, 2012).

Counterfeiting (2012) Fact Sheets Protecting a Trademark. Global Trademark Research. Retrieved November 3, 2012 from

Debatin, B., Lovejoy, J. P., Horn, A. K., & Hughes, B. N. (2009). Facebook and online privacy: Attitudes, behaviors, and unintended consequences. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 15(1), 83-108.

Vulnerabilities To Be Addressed To Safely Utilize Online Social Networking

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