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Communications of the ACM


Security and Privacy Issues on Internet Social Networks

Drummond Ltd. Systems engineer Carlos A. Brewer R.

Social networks like Facebook are more popular than ever and most common computer users have an account on these sites; however, few of them know the risks involved on sharing private information with everybody.

Most users tend to post photographs of each aspect of their lives without having any idea of how to control the distribution and usage of their images. As a result, other users grab those images and post them in other Web sites or comic picture compilations, thus violating basic privacy laws and regulations.

This is the “innocent” side of the privacy stealing; now, users with little control of their profile face threats to their security like blackmailing, death threats, and even identity theft.  It is common that most users post their complete personal info, even their phone numbers and more.

It is important that users learn how to control their personal profiles and check every single friend request in order to avoid problems. It is important to realize that the Internet is not a fairyland; instead, it is a place where criminals find an ideal area to perform their ops.


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