Social Networking Security Risks

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Social Networking Sites and Security Risks

Social networking sites are increasingly becoming an integral part of human life since they have increased the speed of information transfer. In the article "Security Issues with Social Networking Sites" by Kothari (2017), distribution of users across social networks is delineated. Before beginning the discourse on the risks associated with these social networking sites, the source shows that Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are some of the leading sites with Facebook having 1.55 billion users. This shows that it is easy for individuals to join and use Facebook. However, according to Kothari (2017), most people are unaware of the kind of information they should share on social networking leading to various security risks.

Profiling Risk

The first risk associated with social networking sites is the profiling risk where an attacker gathers information regarding the victim and creates a clone of the account belonging to the user (Kothari, 2017). The next thing the perpetrator does is spoiling the social image of the person or get closer to friends and family who end up falling victims of the situation.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is the second form of security risk experienced by various social media users (Kothari, 2017). This threat occurs if a person unknowingly allows an application to gain access to the profile information. In their study, Hajli and Lin (2016) established that users who allow such application to gain access to their profile information are mostly unaware of what is going on in their accounts.

Financial Information Retrieval and Hacking (Phishing)

The third type of security risk is that which involves retrieval of finance-related information with the purpose of identifying the bank to which one is a customer and then hack their accounts (phishing) (Kothari, 2017). Currently, most people are unaware of the risks they expose themselves by bragging about their wealth. Casale et al (2016) maintain that some social media users do not only use them with the intent of meeting new people, but also gain financially through fraudulent actions.

Ways of Curbing Security Risks

Curing is not as easy as preventing and is, therefore, the best way of facing any threat. A number of strategies can be employed in preventing the aforementioned menaces. First, it is advisable to use a password which is not only hard to guess, but also difficult to crack (Kothari, 2017). On the other hand, Fox and Moreland (2015) propose that social networking site users should avoid using some words which are related to the username and instead use passwords that integrate numbers, symbols, and special characters. Secondly, users should be keen on what they intend to post and avoid tagging relatives since doing so increases chances of identity theft (Hajli & Lin, 2016). Also, when sharing, social media users should avoid revealing their exact locations and instead can post without mentioning the state or city where they live. Lastly, users should be careful about those people they trust since some individuals they believe are friends can unwittingly leak information about them (Kothari, 2017).


Social networking sites have brought people closer now more than ever, making it easy for them to interact without meeting physically. However, they have failed humans greatly by putting their lives and wealth at stake. Malicious activities such as identity theft, profile cloning, and phishing have contributed to the loss of lives and property. By properly managing social media accounts, these problems can be significantly reduced. Failure to do so, the lives and possessions of users and their friends and families will be endangered.


Casale, S., Fioravanti, G., & Rugai, L. (2016). Grandiose and Vulnerable Narcissists: Who Is at Higher Risk for Social Networking Addiction?. Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking, 19(8), 510-515.

Fox, J., & Moreland, J. J. (2015). The dark side of social networking sites: An exploration of the relational and psychological stressors associated with Facebook use and affordances. Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 168-176. Retrieved from

Hajli, N. N., & Lin, X. x. (2016). Exploring the Security of Information Sharing on Social Networking Sites: The Role of Perceived Control of Information. Journal Of Business Ethics, 133(1), 111-123. Retrieved from

Kothari, B. P. V. (2017). Security Issues with Social Networking Sites. Retrieved from

September 04, 2023


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