Online social networks: threats and solutions Academic Article uri icon


  • Many online social network (OSN) users are unaware of the numerous security risks that exist in these networks, includ- ing privacy violations, identity theft, and sexual harassment, just to name a few. According to recent studies, OSN users readily expose personal and private details about themselves, such as relationship status, date of birth, school name, email address, phone number, and even home address. This information, if put into the wrong hands, can be used to harm users both in the virtual world and in the real world. These risks become even more severe when the users are children. In this paper, we present a thorough review of the different security and privacy risks, which threaten the well-being of OSN users in general, and children in particular. In addition, we present an overview of existing solutions that can provide better protection, security, and privacy for OSN users. We also offer simple-to-implement recommendations for OSN users, which can improve their security and privacy when using these platforms. Furthermore, we suggest future research directions.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014