Privacy and Security for Virtual Communities and Social Networks

Privacy and Security for Virtual Communities and Social Networks

Georgios Michaelides (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary) and Gábor Hosszú (Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2803-8.ch003


The importance of the virtual communities’ privacy and security problems comes into prominence by the rapid development of online social networks. This article presents the multiple threats currently plaguing the virtual world, Internet privacy risks, and recommendations and countermeasures to avoid such problems. New generations of users feel comfortable publishing their personal information and narrating their lives. They are often unaware how vulnerable the data in their public profiles are, which a large audience daily accesses. A so-called digital friendship is built among them. Such commercial and social pressures have led to a number of privacy and security risks for social network members. The article presents the most important vulnerabilities and suggests protection methods and solutions that can be utilized according to the threat. Lastly, the authors introduce the concept of a privacy-friendly virtual community site, named CWIW, where privacy methods have been implemented for better user protection.
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Research For Social Network Sites

Digital Lives

Even though the new generations of younger people are born and grow up with their personal computers and Internet technology, it is rather difficult to distinguish and compare the digital behavior and attitude of people born before and after the Internet era. The new technology has invaded and conquered a major and requisite part of our lives. Figure 1 shows the comparison of ages according to Internet usage in a scale of time.

Figure 1.

Length of time using the Internet by age (De Rosa et al., 2007)


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