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Security and privacy analysis in social network services

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2 Author(s)
Pedro Cravo Pimenta ; Departamento de Sistemas de informaçào, Universidade do Minho, Guimaräes, Portugal ; Cristina Machado de Freitas

The developers of social network services, due to pressure related with short development cycles, costs and usability, often disregard its security and privacy. Thus, they need documental support that provides a quick search concerning the best development habits of these two components. This article shows an updated analysis of security and privacy within these services and presents solutions for specific situations. In order to do that, we made a literature revision, complemented later with field work, being the result the identification of problems and security and privacy mechanisms, as well as their most common functionalities. Our field work consisted of an exploration of 18 social network services, based on a form developed to standardize the tests that were planned (n consegui melhor tradução. Espero que a ideia seja a mesma). Lastly, we analyzed the security and privacy mechanisms' identified functionalities in terms of quantity and quality. We also described the best practices related to security and privacy, for the development of functionalities that are safer and respect the final users' privacy. We found out that nowadays, privacy of information and contents of the profile and of the search results is constantly violated; that the best practices regarding the definition of the password are not demanded and that the information that is available in these services is often insufficient and dubious.

Published in:

5th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies

Date of Conference:

16-19 June 2010