Title

Assessing Security & Privacy of Online Social Media

Academic Title

Professor

College

MCCB

Department

Computer Science & Information Systems

Primary Campus

Dahlonega

Title of Award Granted

2019 Presidential Semester Award

Name of Institution that Granted the Award

University of North Georgia

Keywords

online social media networking, OSMN, RAM, forensics, memory

Abstract

In recent years, use of online social media networking (OSMN) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. has become part of people’s routine life activities. OSMN provides Internet users to communicate and collaborate with family, friends, social groups, and other communities. In addition, it is a great tool for people to share text, family photos, their life habits, etc. Unfortunately, many users are unaware of the security risks associated with the use of this technology. The risk may include privacy violation, identity theft, malware, fake profiles, exploiting children, etc. Many OSMN users may accidentally or intentionally expose personal and intimate details about themselves, their friends, and their relationships online. As the use of OSMNs becomes progressively more embedded in users’ daily lives, personal information becomes easily exposed and abused. Information harvesting, by both the OSMN operators and by third-party commercial companies, has recently been identified as a significant security concern for the users as well as for the public.

The objective of this research is to investigate and implement ways for mitigating security breaches and privacy violation of OSMN users. Most social media offer their users an option for security settings. However, it is not known whether those setting are effective for keeping user’s personal and shared data private. To evaluate the effectiveness of the privacy settings, we need to know what types of user’s data various OSMN technology keep about their users and where do they save the data. We will use forensics tools and methodology to retrieve user’s data once before the application of security settings and once after the security settings is applied. Based on the outcome of our experiment, recommendation of best practices for mitigating user’s privacy violation and security breaches will be made. Our initial investigation shows that not all the OSMN technology use the same method and location for saving user’s data. Therefore, we focus on three of the most popular technology namely, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Retrieving data from memory will also help forensics investigators to identify criminal or inappropriate activities through online social media networking.

Biography

Dr. Ghafarian is a tenured professor of computer science at the University of North Georgia, UNG. He joined UNG in September 1996, as the first computer science faculty. Since then, he has had the opportunity of teaching almost all the computer science program’ lower and upper level courses. He has also been involved in the Computer Science and Information Systems curriculum development activities, He became Interested in Cybersecurity in 2003, when he attended the two months NSF Sponsored Faculty Development Summer School at the campus of Purdue University in Indiana. In 2005, he obtained Cisco Firewall certificate. In addition, Dr. Ghafarian started the two years post-doctoral fellowship program in cybersecurity with UMUC in August 2005 and finished the program successfully in May 2007. Since then, he has been doing research in various areas of cybersecurity and have published numerous blind peer-reviewed academic journal papers and conference proceedings papers. Moreover, he has been involved in cybersecurity curriculum development, online course development and graduate program development. Dr. Ghafarian is recipients of several UNG internal grants (Presidential Incentive Awards) totaling over $100,000 for research and scholarship activities. Finally, he is a program committee member of two prestige international professional organizations namely, Springer’s SAI and ICCWS.

Proposal Type

Poster

Additional Presenter Information

Professor of Computer Science

Department of computer science & Information systems

Mike Cottrell College of Business

University of North Georgia

Dahlonega campus

Presentation Option

yes

Subject Area

Computer Science/GIS

Start Date

15-11-2019 12:00 PM

End Date

15-11-2019 1:00 PM

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Nov 15th, 12:00 PM Nov 15th, 1:00 PM

Assessing Security & Privacy of Online Social Media

In recent years, use of online social media networking (OSMN) such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. has become part of people’s routine life activities. OSMN provides Internet users to communicate and collaborate with family, friends, social groups, and other communities. In addition, it is a great tool for people to share text, family photos, their life habits, etc. Unfortunately, many users are unaware of the security risks associated with the use of this technology. The risk may include privacy violation, identity theft, malware, fake profiles, exploiting children, etc. Many OSMN users may accidentally or intentionally expose personal and intimate details about themselves, their friends, and their relationships online. As the use of OSMNs becomes progressively more embedded in users’ daily lives, personal information becomes easily exposed and abused. Information harvesting, by both the OSMN operators and by third-party commercial companies, has recently been identified as a significant security concern for the users as well as for the public.

The objective of this research is to investigate and implement ways for mitigating security breaches and privacy violation of OSMN users. Most social media offer their users an option for security settings. However, it is not known whether those setting are effective for keeping user’s personal and shared data private. To evaluate the effectiveness of the privacy settings, we need to know what types of user’s data various OSMN technology keep about their users and where do they save the data. We will use forensics tools and methodology to retrieve user’s data once before the application of security settings and once after the security settings is applied. Based on the outcome of our experiment, recommendation of best practices for mitigating user’s privacy violation and security breaches will be made. Our initial investigation shows that not all the OSMN technology use the same method and location for saving user’s data. Therefore, we focus on three of the most popular technology namely, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Retrieving data from memory will also help forensics investigators to identify criminal or inappropriate activities through online social media networking.