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INFS7450 Social Media Analytics

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INFS7450 Social Media Analytics

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Course Code: INFS7450
University: The University Of Queensland

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Country: Australia


After successfully completing this assessment task, you should be able to:
•Do independentresearch
•Demonstrate knowledge of current Information Systemsissues
•Construct and communicate a logicalargument
•Communicateusingprofessionalbusinesslanguageinwrittenformat Requirements
You should write in simple, professional business language.As not edin the marking criteria overl eaf,mark sareawarded forstructure,clearand valid arguments, quality of research and overall presentation. The criteria awards up to a total of twenty five marks which will be scaledto thirty percentof the final unit assessment.


In the digital age and with the expansion of social media use the privacy of social media users has also become the main topic of discussion. The issue related to identity theft and protection of privacy on social media has been the main concern for every country. The study deals with identification of issues and analysis of issue has been done with the help of different case examples. The study provides an insight into the matters related to protection of data and with the help of theories it has been established. Importance of protection of privacy on social media has been discussed in this study. In the end methods of protecting private information and other data has been discussed. The thesis statement of the study is to find and recommend methods that can be used to provide protection to people’s private information on social media.
Issues related to protection of privacy on social media
Identity theft and account hacking
Social media users are easy victims of impersonation and hackers intrusion. As per the view of Acquisti, Brandimarte and Loewenstein (2015), internet offers a lot of benefits and easy access to information. On the contrary Marwick and Boyd (2014), argued that use of internet exposes people to lots of threats like identity theft, social media accounts getting hacked and many more. The most common and serious concerns of people on social media is related to personal information theft. Most of the times hackers through unauthorized access into security mechanisms, steal the personal and valuable data of people to cause some damage to the person’s reputation or for other illegal activities. As argued by Lunnay (2015), impersonation or identity theft leads to loss of valuable information and causes damage to the person’s reputation. Financial loss also results due to the accounts getting hacked as hackers find access to credit and debit cards password and use it for illegal activities.
Stalking and location based issues
In the opinion of Chen and Chen (2015), social media has been the best platform to join and make as many friends as possible. However as asserted by Fuchs (2017), sharing information such as personal photos and location has also exposed the persons to threats like stalking, theft and robbery. People connect to friends and too many strangers as well on the social media platforms like Facebook. They are mostly unaware about the intentions of the strangers and thus face online stalking. As opined by Gritzalis (2014), sharing locations can prove to be great disadvantage too if the thieves or robbers as well as the stalkers get access to geo based location services. There have been many such cases of robbery and theft in the past when people shared their real locations online.
Analysis of the issues
Based on some real life case examples the issues identified above have been analysed. This has been discussed below;
In 2018, as per the news reported by New York Times, Facebook has to face a major and the biggest social media privacy issue. It was reported that the personal and valuable data of almost 87 million users at stake, a British analytics firm found access to the personal information. Even the most secure security mechanism could not identify the leakage in the system. In case of Google also this form of security breach was reported. In the year 2012, Google accepted that there were major mistakes on part of Google and this led to privacy issues. This has led to the leakage of information of Google users and the valuable information that has been stored. Yahoo too faced a similar issue like that of Google and many email accounts of yahoo user were hacked after they clicked a link sent in a spam mail. This exposed their system to a virus and hackers used personal information of the users to blackmail them (nytimes.com, 2018).Thus it can be said that privacy issues have increased in the present scenario and even the most powerful security mechanisms of social media platforms could not detect the problems.
Theories related to protection of privacy on social media 
Social network theory of privacy
This theory defines the difference between private and public information. As opined by Benson, Saridakis and Tennakoon (2015), it describes the public disclosure of private matters. On the contrary Quinn (2016), suggest that it is not important whether private information have become public , however the most important and a matter of concern is that  where the information has been located and found on social media platforms and how many people have an easy access to it. Since people can share and save the information on social media easily, hence hundreds and thousands of people can view and obtain the information. According to the views of Liang, Shen and Fu (2017), law can use the pattern in which this information have been shared in network to get the source from where it was transferred first and thus the culprits can be found out.
Theory related to privacy, social network sites and relations
As per the views of Houghton and Joinson (2010), this theory describes that there is link between the different social sites that make the users of social media platforms prone to such to privacy threats. Since users spend considerable time on social media and use various social media platforms and make numerous friends thus a form of group or network is created, this further makes the information shared on platform easily accessible within the network and each individual has their own network which makes the data easily transferable and accessible by even strangers thus posing a greater risk of weak privacy. Especially the teenagers are great risk due to this form of network as they are not aware about the consequences and usually escape the parental guidance (Wisniewski, 2015).
Importance of protecting privacy on social media
Protection of privacy on social media is important because it helps the users of social media in keeping their information private. Being aware about the negative consequences of social media is an added advantage and users do not pose the risk of sharing private data online. Australian businesses had to face a loss of $276323 due to identity theft and as a whole 33% of Australian businesses were affected. As per the opinion of He (2016), teenagers are at greater risk and even the big organization since the hackers want personal and financial data for their illegal activities. Hence it is important to protect the data and other valuable information on social media.
Reducing the private contents sharing on social media would lead to less hacking risk. According to the viewpoints of Oh (2016), personal information and other data of innocent people are hacked by many terrorist organisations in order to cause greater damage to the country and to the world as a whole. There have been many such incidents where people have been blackmailed and were looted large amount of money on the basis of private information which they got hold off. As asserted by Mahmoodi (2018), with the rise in the usage of social media by 69% every year, there has been a rise in the privacy hack issues. Even the most secured organisations are not safe anymore hence it is necessary for the people to understand that posting personal information or making their personal life a public affair can damage their life. Sometimes even the most secure anti wares fail to work since due to the development of large networks on social media people’s information are likely to get accessed by strangers. According to the arguments of Filkins (2016), intention of people cannot be know and hence people share personal photos and locations with the people they trust however it might end up landing in the wrong hands. Misuse of personal photographs is on the rise due to the reason that people easily trust strangers. Thus it is necessary to understand that people should not share information with anyone since there are spywares or malwares present in the networks that can use these for illegal activities.
Methods to protect privacy on social media
There are many methods to protect the privacy of users on social media, and these are discussed below;
Avoid clickbait
Many a times, it is seen that different types of application like check which celebrity you look like” or ‘check who your best friend is’ are used by users and it is the way of hacking personal information of social media users. According to Fuchs (2017), click bait is nothing but hacking software. Mostly, in the Facebook, people are trapped by using the above-mentioned procedure. Therefore, in order to maintain privacy in social media, users need to avoid click bait. Along with that, users need to avoid opening fake news as hackers use different types of software, which can scan entire information of users by clicking this news.
Turn off location
Privacy protection can be greatly enhanced through non-sharing of location whilst being engaged within social media. Through location enabled, it subtends to anyone on social media to access the exact location of the user and would exercise easiness to find the concerned in person. Through such, the risk of unwanted contacts exposures sustains, that can be averted through turning location off. Apart from such, information leakage under expert manipulating can also be averted to a major level to enact privacy of data for the user of social media.
Use application software to scan news feed
Paid antivirus application softwares for mobile usage can be used to enhance the privacy control. These application softwares help in eliminating the threats that infiltrate into our secured system somehow. By scanning the data numerous times and with the help of different security measures viruses and other malware get removed and thus users of social media can share their information without any fear. As per the view of Tucker (2014), users should not install free services available as they are weak and does not guarantee 100% safety. Free application softwares are less effective and users are at risk of losing their valuable data due to the presence of different viruses and spam.
The study has identified various issues that are present in the current world scenario and are responsible for damage done to users of social media. The study has evaluated the issue with the help of real life world examples. Issues like identity theft, online stalking and cyber bullying have been on the rise in the recent times. Thus importance of cyber security and privacy protection had been identified. Methods to protect the data and personal information on social media have been suggested in the study. The users of social media platforms can turn off location, reducing the number of private content sharing and other methods like installing antivirus can help in controlling the privacy. As per the study conducted on the topic of privacy protection on social media it can be said that users are required to apply safe measures while sharing private information.
Acquisti, A., Brandimarte, L. and Loewenstein, G., 2015. Privacy and human behavior in the age of information. Science, 347(6221), pp.509-514.
Benson, V., Saridakis, G. and Tennakoon, H., 2015. Information disclosure of social media users: does control over personal information, user awareness and security notices matter?. Information Technology & People, 28(3), pp.426-441.
Chen, H.T. and Chen, W., 2015. Couldn’t or wouldn’t? The influence of privacy concerns and self-efficacy in privacy management on privacy protection. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(1), pp.13-19.
Filkins, B.L., Kim, J.Y., Roberts, B., Armstrong, W., Miller, M.A., Hultner, M.L., Castillo, A.P., Ducom, J.C., Topol, E.J. and Steinhubl, S.R., 2016. Privacy and security in the era of digital health: what should translational researchers know and do about it?. American journal of translational research, 8(3), p.1560. [online] Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4859641/[Accessed on: 30 August, 2018]
Fuchs, C., 2017. Social media: A critical introduction. New York: Sage.
Gritzalis, D., Kandias, M., Stavrou, V. and Mitrou, L., 2014. History of information: the case of privacy and security in social media. In Proc. of the History of Information Conference(pp. 283-310).
He, Z., Cai, Z., Han, Q., Tong, W., Sun, L. and Li, Y., 2016. An energy efficient privacy-preserving content sharing scheme in mobile social networks. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 20(5), pp.833-846.
Houghton, D.J. and Joinson, A.N., 2010. Privacy, social network sites, and social relations. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28(1-2), pp.74-94. [online] Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15228831003770775/[Accessed on: 30 August, 2018]
Liang, H., Shen, F. and Fu, K.W., 2017. Privacy protection and self-disclosure across societies: A study of global Twitter users. new media & society, 19(9), pp.1476-1497.
Lunnay, B., Borlagdan, J., McNaughton, D. and Ward, P., 2015. Ethical use of social media to facilitate qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 25(1), pp.99-109.
Mahmoodi, J., ?urdová, J., Henking, C., Kunz, M., Mati?, K., Mohr, P. and Vovko, M., 2018. Internet users’ valuation of enhanced data protection on social media: Which aspects of privacy are worth the most?. Frontiers in psychology, 9, p.1516. [online] Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01516/full [Accessed on: 30 August, 2018]
Marwick, A.E. and Boyd, D., 2014. Networked privacy: How teenagers negotiate context in social media. New media & society, 16(7), pp.1051-1067.
nytimes.com (2018), New York Times, Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/technology/facebook-hack-data-breach.html [Accessed on: 30 august 2018]
Oh, S.J., Benenson, R., Fritz, M. and Schiele, B., 2016, October. Faceless person recognition: Privacy implications in social media. In European Conference on Computer Vision(pp. 19-35). Springer, Cham.
Quinn, K., 2016. Why we share: A uses and gratifications approach to privacy regulation in social media use. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 60(1), pp.61-86.
Tucker, C.E., 2014. Social networks, personalized advertising, and privacy controls. Journal of Marketing Research, 51(5), pp.546-562.
Wisniewski, P., Jia, H., Xu, H., Rosson, M.B. and Carroll, J.M., 2015, February. Preventative vs. reactive: How parental mediation influences teens’ social media privacy behaviors. In Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing (pp. 302-316). ACM.

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