The Security Impacts on Social Media Platforms

The Security Impacts on Social Media Platforms

Mohammad Alaa Hussain Al-Hamami (Applied Science University, Bahrain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6583-5.ch020
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Because of its importance, social media became a main target in cyber war and for criminals as well. The attacker can gain a lot of valued information from social media. This chapter will discuss the security impacts on social media and their effects on individuals, companies, and governments. This chapter, also will explain risks of using Internet, the importance of social media for attackers, what could go wrong in social media, examples of methods used by attackers, why attackers success in their attacks, social media problems from a legal point of view, social media security environment, general security model for social media web sites, data that could be mined, points of attack, security defenses against attacks, methods of security attacks, reasons of attacking social media, social media programming flaws, social media security strategy and policy, social media privacy and governments, social media security new trends, and the best practice in social media.
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Types Of Social Media Platforms

Social media can be categorized as the following:

  • Social Networks: Allow users to build and maintain relationships with others. In this kind of social media, only your contacts on your private network can see your posts. Examples are Facebook and Google+.

  • Forums and Online Communities: Social media platforms focused on a specific audience or topic. Chat rooms and online forum are examples for this type of social media.

  • Blogs: Allows users to easily publish and share content, similar to a personal journal. Web blogs nowadays are widely used.

  • Micro Blogging: Allows users to post short messages, typically 140 characters or less like SMS. Twitter is an example for this kind.

  • Multimedia Sharing: Allows users to post and share multimedia content with others. Examples are YouTube for videos, for shared for different kinds of files and Instagram for images and short videos.

  • Location Services: Allow users to share their where about with others. Although there are security concerns of using this kind of social media regarding to privacy, but at the same time this kind is so effective for business and marketing and it could be used in works that need to be allocate like voluntary jobs. Four square is good example for this kind.

  • Bookmarks: Allows users to share web sites of interest with others.


Risks Of Using The Internet

Although the rapid development of information technology, security attacks on the Internet and its applications are still an easy task, several reasons contribute to this issue (Peixian, 2013):

  • The tools necessary to perform an attack on the Internet is fairly cheap.

  • The Internet till now doesn't offer much security.

  • Eavesdropping and using false identity is simple.

  • Stealing data is undetectable in most cases.

  • Popular PC operating systems offer little or no security against security attacks.

  • User awareness for security risks is threateningly low.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Information privacy: The ability to control the use of information in social media about oneself.

Security Attacks: Any action that compromises the security of information owned by an organization.

Location, Connection, and Usage Information: Such as location, contacts, number of contacts, messages, number of messages, events, number of events, gust book entries, number of gust book entries, online status, login time, usage, IP address, network, operating system, browser screen size, or language.

Vandal: A software application or an applet that causes damages in different levels.

Social engineering: The act of obtaining private information through non-technical means.

Multimedia Sharing: Allows users to post and share multimedia content with others. Examples are YouTube for videos, 4shared for different kinds of files and Instagram for images and short videos.

Cybercrimes: Illegal actions wherein the computer and network is either a tool or a target or both.

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