An empirical study of social networking user
Saif Al Katheeri
Professor Gina Gemmel
June 16th, 2019
With internet penetration successfully taking place even to the remotest parts of the world, online presence has increased since people can gain access to affordable internet-enabled gadgets in the market. Increased online presence has created an opportunity for as many good things as bad ones. I believe lack of knowledge about the dangers that users engaging in an online environment are exposed to is the most significant cause of online crime since it creates a soft and innocent target for attack. I want to debate that online crime is contributed to a great extent by a lack of knowledge and awareness about the possible dangers of an online presence. My research question is on whether lack of knowledge on hazards that lurk online on the part of individuals and reluctance to invest in modern IT infrastructure on the part of businesses are the key contributors of online crime. This topic has implications of the broader field of Information technology, and I believe this is an interesting and debatable question because of the many examples of online crime that are happening everywhere as well as the increasing online presence of different persons without knowledge of precautions they should take to ensure their safety.
Online crime has been defined to include broad topics covering any crimes or illegal activities that have been committed on the internet or through the help of the internet. In many parts of the world, people are purchasing laptops or any other gadgets that can access the internet and going ahead to create social media accounts. Others use even free public Wi-Fi to access their banks and additional sensitive information. According to Lawson, celebrity nude photo hacks have been facilitated by the innocence of the victims most of whom are not aware of the measures that they should take to secure their files. Lawson’s view coincides with that of Martellozzo and Emma on the need for ensuring that you understand the various ways of acquiring your data when using online platforms. Martellozzo and Emma further clarify several ways of becoming an informed internet user without necessarily going into an IT class. Saridakis describes the potential dangers that lurk in online social networking sites citing user online behavior and severity of attackers within the circles of the user as key determinants safety from online crime. Victimization has become a significant concern for those using the internet. However, according to Aldawood and Geoffrey, educating and raising awareness about internet safety both for businesses and individuals is a significant way of winning the war against cyber-crime.
My thesis is this paper is a claim of fact. At first it may seem that online crime can be combated through putting in place strict laws to deal with those who are convicted but upon closer inspection it is actually the general public including individual internet users and businesses that should be trained and educated on how to keep safe and stop becoming soft targets for hackers and other online attackers.
There are several counter-arguments that I expect in my thesis statement. This is because online crime is a multifaceted issue, and different people will have varied ways of looking at it. Some will argue that the government should have the central role of ensuring safe online environments while others will draw the role of companies that have online platforms like social networking sites and applications for companies that require users to provide login details into the discussion. Online crime cannot be tackled from one side, and a practical solution cannot be arrived through setting up blames. Some of the most serious online crimes which have shocked the world include; identity theft, hacking, and piracy. However, a careful look into the crimes that have taken place so far shows either lack of knowledge in the part of users or failure to invest in modern technology in the part of businesses and companies that have been targeted so far. Some will argue that online crime has a dynamic nature, and it is, therefore, impossible to appropriately prepare businesses and individuals on how to avoid becoming easy targets. I believe it is the responsibility of the companies and individuals to understand how their online presence risks their safety and take necessary actions.
Aldawood, Hussain, and Geoffrey Skinner. “Educating and raising awareness on cyber
security social engineering: A literature review.” 2018 IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE). IEEE, 2018.
This article by Aldawood and Geoffrey presents a detailed literature review into the area of creating awareness and educating users on cyber security social engineering. The authors review well researched literature which documents various cases of cyber crime which could have been evaded if the targets were armed with information on how to avoid becoming soft targets. With so many sources examined and reviewed in this paper, I believe it will be of great help in backing my arguments. The literature reviewed examines social engineering as a way of exploiting human weakness in achieving certain goals and I believe this article will be of great help in my paper. Lawson, Caitlin E. “Innocent victims, creepy boys: discursive framings of sexuality in online news coverage of the celebrity nude photo hack.” Feminist Media Studies 18.5 (2018): 825-841.
In August 2014, online users were shocked with digital dissemination of hundreds of nudes for celebrities and this led to a major debate on the role of the celebrities and hackers in this rare occurrence. This article presents an analysis of such cases clearly identifying reasons why innocent celebrities were targeted successfully. I will use this article to support my argument on why lack of knowledge and how cyber criminals infiltrate data is a key contributor to online crime.
Martellozzo, Elena, and Emma A. Jane, eds. Cybercrime and its victims. Taylor &
This book on cybercrime and its victims presents a systematic and detailed study of how the explosion in the development of information technology has affected the use and dissemination of information with both benefits and risks. Cyber security is an issue which sits at the centre of internet use and this book explores various risks that face online users whether individuals or businesses that have set up online platforms to facilitate their activities. This book also explores social construction of violence and victimisation in online spaces with detailed involvement of scholars and experts from various disciplines which shape the issue of cyber security. I will rely on this book to advance various arguments and facts in my paper including online crime targets and measures to counter cybercrime.
Saridakis, George, et al. “Individual information security, user behaviour and cyber
victimisation: An empirical study of social networking users.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 102 (2016): 320-330.
Millions of active accounts on social networking sites are operated without any knowledge about individual information security on the part of the user. This means that there just too many soft targets for online attackers to fail to hit any. While the issue of privacy has been explored in detail over the years, little research goes on the area of information security on individual level. This paper therefore presents a careful analysis of relationship between online victimisation and users’ activity. This issue is centrally placed in the middle of users who have varied perceived levels of information security. I will use this article to advance my argument on personal information security and how education and awareness can be of crucial help and intervention.
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