3.3 Privacy & Investigations

Your privacy & Social media

Privacy concerns with social networking services have been raised growing concerns amongst users on the dangers of giving out too much personal information and the threat of sexual predators. Users of these services also need to be aware of data theft or viruses.

In addition, there is a perceived privacy threat in relation to placing too much personal information in the hands of large corporations or governmental bodies, allowing a profile to be produced on an individual’s behavior on which decisions, detrimental to an individual, may be taken.

Furthermore, there is an issue over the control of data—information that was altered or removed by the user may in fact be retained and passed to third parties.

Privacy on social networking sites can be undermined by many factors.

For example,

  • users may disclose personal information,
  • sites may not take adequate steps to protect user privacy,
  • and third parties frequently use information posted on social networks for a variety of purposes.

For the Net generation, social networking sites have become the preferred forum for social interactions, from posturing and role-playing to simply sounding off. However, because such forums are relatively easy to access, posted content can be reviewed by anyone with an interest in the users’ personal information.

Women are less likely to publish information that reveals methods of contacting them. Personality measures opennessextraversion, and conscientiousness were found to positively affect the willingness to disclose data, while neuroticism decreases the willingness to disclose personal information.

social 11Access to information

Many social networking services, such as Facebook, provide the user with a choice of who can view their profile. This is supposed to prevent unauthorized users from accessing their information.

Parents who want to access their child’s Facebook account have become a big problem for teenagers who do not want their profile seen by their parents.

By making their profile private, teens can select who may see their page, allowing only people added as “friends” to view their profile and preventing unwanted viewing of the profile by parents.

Most teens are constantly trying to create a structural barrier between their private life and their parents.

To edit information you need to login or provide a password.

This is deigned to prevent unauthorized users from adding, changing, or removing personal information, pictures, or other data.

social 10


Social networking services are increasingly being used in legal and criminal investigations; information posted on sites such as Facebook has been used by police (forensic profiling), probation, and university officials to prosecute users.

social 15

Find out more….

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