Cybercrime and social media: when privacy is far away

Recent studies showed that the amount of spam messages on social networks (more specially, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn) has increased to 355% in the first half of 2013 (Nexgate, 2013). It is an astounding alarm for the digital users to keep a check on their online social life.

At this point, Twitter, LinkedIn are not mere social networking sites, but are digital scrapbooks.

Gone are the days, when one could write, erase or just burn typewritten documents. Something which is ‘online’ will remain ‘online’. The main attraction of privacy and barrier free communication of social media has resulted in more social information. Online space is presumed to be private and ethereal. But our communications are public and forever. Despite the privacy settings, one of your close frenemies can email or print screen your objectionable or embarrassing content.

Robert Jay Lifton called the self as ‘protean’. The experience of being at one`s computer, mobile feels so private that we easily forget our true circumstance: with every connection we leave an electronic trace. We give off so much information online, which can lead to severe consequences in future. For example, a significant number of fake accounts have been utilized by bots and cyborgs who try to mimic human users in order to distribute spam on Twitter to spread false influence and opinions. In this ‘information is gold age’, fake accounts are sold online for a price anything from 30 to 1,000$ (Thomas, 2013).

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Source: Social Samosa

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