Research Paper on Privacy in Social Network Sites

Privacy in Social Network Sites

1.0 Introduction

The advent of Web 2.0 has heralded the integration of personal computing and social interaction on web and cyberspace. More and more persons have enlisted on social networks for communication and the sharing of individual and personal information. Sites such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter among others are such platforms of social interactions. Nowadays, the global phenomenon that is referred to as social media has proliferated into the society. More and more people are using the internet and a good number of these have become users of social network sites. With the sharing of information by users and the accessibility of the same by a large number of people, privacy concerns have come to the fore. There have been widely reported and well covered instances where information on users including sensitive financial details and passwords among others, becoming available to third parties. While this may happen due to hacking, commercial interests also drive this practice. Things like phishing and data mining are nowadays being proactively employed either by the social network sites themselves or it is driven by unscrupulous entities. Therefore, what exactly has made this possible and how may it be addressed will form the basis of the study.


Nowadays, social networking sites are very widespread avenues for individuals to converse with friends, families, and associates across the world. Although there can be benefits from the collective and disseminated methods stimulated by liable use of social networking sites, there are security and privacy concerns for this information. Accessibility and the volume of individual information existing on social network sites have engrossed malicious individuals who seek to abuse it. Similar technologies inviting participation of the user also make networking sites easier to contaminate with malware that can lead to a closure of an organization’s networks, or keystroke loggers that can lead to stealing of credentials. Common social network risks like spear phishing, spoofing, social engineering, and web application attacks try to steal an individual’s identity. Such occurrences are often fruitful due to the supposition of being in a naive environment that social networks create.

Safety and confidentiality linked to social network sites are basically social issues, not technological ones. When an individual posts more information, the information becomes obtainable for a prospective concession by those with malevolent intentions. Individuals providing sensitive, private or confidential information about other people or themselves, whether knowingly or unknowingly, pose a high risk to themselves and others.
Information is like an individual’s street address, mobile phone number, private trade information, social security number or financial data should not be distributed online. Likewise, the sharing and uploading of digital content that is inclusive of photos, audio or video files could end up making an organization to breach its discretion or a person’s breach of privacy.

2.0 Literature Review

The security of private information of users online is a critical topic, particularly since social networking applications became popular and more widespread. This is the case since online social networks raise specific privacy concerns due to their intrinsic management of private data (Chen & Michael, 2012). It has been known that social networking sites store data on their users and this can become accessible to parties who were prior to their access, not the intended recipients of the information or data. Although they give us the ubiquitous ability to communicate at almost no cost, breach of privacy can become costlier in the long run.

By the very fact that social network sites enable us to communicate and interact with a diverse number of individuals, it is by the same avenue that persons become vulnerable to privacy infringement. According to Brandtzæg et al (2010), “little research has been conducted on the two most important criteria for the success of social network sites that is, content sharing and sociability, and how these affect privacy experiences and usage behavior among social network sites users”. (Brandtzæg et al, 2010). It is generally accepted that those who choose to share their information on the social network sites, do so to some risk on their privacy. It is known that these entire sites have privacy guidelines and policies. And although this may be the case, negligence should not be part of the deal and their changes to user preferences should take into account that there are those who still want to socialize and have their privacy.

It is by sharing information that the sites are first and foremost considered social network sites. It is the self-disclosure of what can be considered as private information by users on social network sites that gives significance to the self-sustainability of online social networking service provider platforms (Xu et al, 2013). This makes it necessary for those who deem it fit to conform, to at least share some sort of information that they would not share otherwise. The problem though arises when this information is targeted by unscrupulous people. Most persons move on the premise that their information, though out in the ‘public’, its access is limited to a particular group of persons with whom they choose to do the sharing with. Access should be restricted either by controls or default to a limited part of the online community. This is not the case.

Information that is uploaded online requires some safety measures and guarantees that it will not be used against an individual. One should not have to worry that what they share, will be accessible to an unintended person that later will use the information to prejudice the one sharing it. Without privacy, by being a part of an online community it allows for the access of personal information even by those beyond your control. According to Clark & Roberts (2010), “millions of people are using social networking sites to connect with others, and employers are using these sites as a source of background information on job applicants”. This can be attributed to the level of privacy that is evidently lacking in these social network sites

What can be considered as threats to privacy in online social network sites tend to be brushed off, although the truth of the matter is that the public sphere that is the internet translates to millions of users around the world that are interacting and socializing in extremely open and public environments. Unless this is taken seriously and defensive measures are aggressively used, social networking users are at the risk of losing control over their personal information, which subsequently erodes online privacy (O’ Bien & Torres, 2012). This will surely translate to either the demise of these sites, or prompt now the uploading of false information. Either way, the usefulness of the social networking sites will be in jeopardy.

It should be noted that the importance of individuals to the success of social network sites cannot be overemphasized. It is the user feedback that is of the most importance and thus considered the critical component that stimulates the development and growth of social networking sites online (Saini & Moon, 2013). With this in mind, privacy concerns should be appropriately addressed so as to bring about information security to these online communities. Thus, it is imperative that the significance of security is to be considered at all levels and proper protocols should be in place, not only for the end user but equally for the web developers, entrepreneur and the administrative team creating the social networking site (Saini & Moon, 2013).

It has been shown that there are various players in the social network sites who information sharing and disclosures are meant for. If there are third parties who gain access without the information owner’s consent or knowledge, privacy is breached. User content is specific to those to whom it is intended for and therefore its access and usage by another entity has significant repercussions. The study intends to find out specifically the coming about of privacy breaches ion social network sites. Previous literature has shown the prevalence of the problem and measures to address it but none has shown exactly how it has come about. Probably it is even not understood what exactly is privacy and security of information in social network sites, this too will be explored. The sites themselves will be briefly looked into and the benefits that accrue to their usage. Where there lurks danger, it will be highlighted with emphasis being on privacy and security. It will be sought to understand, from the user’s point of view of how they view privacy and security of their information on social network sites. The inquiry will be extended to cover the notification that they may need in case there is change in policy towards privacy.

3.0 Research Methodology


This part elucidates how the study on privacy in social network sites would be undertaken. It examines how applicable that data about privacy in social network sites will be gathered from the appropriate secondary sources. The researcher has inspected, briefly, the importance of both epistemology and theoretic viewpoints in design of a research. The general public should look at application of these in exercise by exploration of some of the alternate research methodologies. The choice of research methods is resolute by a mixture of numerous factors such as, whether the study believes that there is a snow from external ‘truth’ out there that desires determining, or whether the aim of research is to explore and unpick individual’s multiple viewpoints in natural and field settings. It is prejudiced, then, by whether the investigation is inclined to a positivist, inter-pretivist, or other outlook. Also, the study should be influenced, for instance, by the researcher’s boldness towards methods in which she or he thinks that theory be used.  The study applied qualitative techniques of research to come up with its objectives. The research, by use of research questions, has examined sources appropriate to undertake the research.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy entails a trust about the manner in which information about an occurrenceshould be collected, examined and recycled. The term epistemology as contradictory to doxology includes a variety of philosophies of study approach. The drive of science, then, is the process of converting things believed into things known. Two key beliefs in research have been recognized in the western custom of science, specifically scientific and positivist.

Research Questions

            The study about privacy in social network sites addressed the following research questions;

  • What are social networking sites?
  • What are the benefits of social networking sites?
  • What are the dangers of social networking sites?
  • What is privacy in social networking sites?
  • What are the security and privacy issues associated with social networking sites?
  • What has led to decline in privacy in social network sites?
  • How should individuals maintain privacy on social networking sites?
  • How should the users of social media be aware of the associated dangers?

Research Method

The researcher, determined to address the concerns of the study, identified that qualitative technique would be appropriate to study privacy in social network sites. Qualitative design will help the researcher come up with a detailed understanding of the study topic by use of prior research and analysis of existing theories on privacy in social network sites. Qualitative research methods enable the researcher to clearly understand issues related to privacy in social network sites, the dangers of social network sites and how users of social media should respond to these dangers, thereby drawing a reliable conclusion as well as providing suitable recommendations.

Research Design 

The study on privacy in social network sites applied descriptive design.  Using descriptive design enables a researcher to have a thorough account of the topic under examination. Descriptive design enables the researcher to understand the subject and get thorough information from the participants. Parahoo (2014) points out that the design selected for a study should be the one most suitable to realize an answer to the anticipated research question. For the drive of the projected research question the researcher has chosen to use a descriptive qualitative design of research in the anticipations to explore privacy in social network sites. According to Burns and Grove (2009), qualitative research entails a methodical, independent approach to define life experiences and provide them with a meaning. Also, qualitative study allows researchers explore conducts, viewpoints, approaches, and practices in depth, superiority and convolution of a condition through a complete framework. A qualitative research has four mutual approaches, including phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, and historiography. As the researcher is a beginner, none of the approaches were thought appropriate for this study thereby a modest descriptive qualitative research was selected. Descriptive design intents to“ define crucial findings in a harsh way free from bias and prejudice. Descriptive research helps in determining new implication, explaining what presently exists, verifying the rate at which something happens, and classifying information. Therefore, the researcher selected this design for the research because it aids the defined activities the researcher.

Target Population

The researcher aims to obtain a purposive sample to examine privacy in social network sites. Qualitative studies use a slight sample selection, because of the comprehensive nature of the research and the analysis of the obligatory data. As the researcher aims to obtain a purposive sample there will be elimination and enclosure standards which are required. The study on privacy in social network sites would target between both male and female, irrespective of their age and place of residence who used social networking sites. The study aimed at investigating privacy in social network sites and its importance in promoting efficiency to the network users. The target of the study was to get information from the users and their opinions regarding security of the sites to improve information safety and security. A populace is defined as all fundamentals (individuals, matters and events) that attain the model criteria for presence in a study.

Based on similar studies, the researcher determined that suitably, a sample of 300 subjects be designated from the organizations that will be used. A sample is an elements designated with the meaning of finding out something from the total population from which they are collected. A suitable sample contains subjects included in the research because they happen to be in the appropriate place at the right time. Participants who encountered the sample standards would be recognized by the researcher.

Sampling and Study Setting

The researcher was to collect data from various sources. The researcher is to use research questions conveyed during the study preparation to select the study units.  In selection of the secondary sources, the researcher is to utilize their personal judgment on the most appropriate source of data to use. Also, a sample of 300 participants was selected, whereby 52% of them would be female while 48% are expected to be male from different parts of the world. During the sample selection, the researcher is to ensure that the sample is capable of representing the entire population who use social networking and generalize the obtained findings.

Sampling Techniques

In selecting suitable sample for the study, the researcher will use random sampling. According to Teddlie and Yu (2007), this method is a possibility technique of sampling where every member of the population target can access equal chance to be selected. Random sampling technique is amongst the economical and the easiest method for sampling applied by several researchers mainly because it evades predisposition in data collection. Random sampling is the finest single method to get a descriptive sample. No method, not even random sampling assures an illustrative sample, but the likelihood is higher for this process than for any other.

Therefore, every user of social network has an equal chance to contribute in the study even if there might be a bias. Nonetheless, the selected participants from various places across the world are expected to assist in providing essential information needed by the researcher. After sampling process, the researcher is to obtain informed consent from the participants. In addition, the researcher was to seek consent for using the information received solely for the purpose of the study. After receiving the informed consent from the participants, the researcher would guarantee discretion of the information that it will only be useful during the study.

Data Collection and Instrumentation

Information for the study will also be obtained from other various sources. To carry on interviews, the researcher will also digitally visit several places across the world and collect data from various people. Secondary information was to be gathered from various literatures by earlier researchers that included books, journals, periodicals, newspapers and publications related to social networking. Further, the researcher was interested to access both nominal and ordinal data. A survey was to be used to a selected sample from a specified population identified by the researcher. Surveys are commonly used in research methodology to amass data from a specified population and normally utilize an interview or a questionnaire as the instruments for survey. Surveys are further useful in obtaining data from people about themselves, their families, or social institutions. Sample surveys are significant tools for collection and analysis of information from designated individuals. They are generally acceptable as a vital tool to conduct and apply basic research methodology in social science.

The researcher would schedule interviews with participants. Open-ended questionnaires were found to be necessary and appropriate for the endeavor so as to gather information that is more detailed. According to Dornyei and Taguchi (2010), a questionnaire is a published report form aimed at drawing information that can be collected via written answers related to the subject under the study. Information collected using a questionnaire is analogous to that received by an interview, but interviews have more depth. The following reasons made the researcher use questionnaires:

  • They did not require more energy and time to control.
  • Questionnaires enabled higher rate of response because they were distributed to participants to fill and were succumbed personally to the researcher.
  • Questionnaires offered a higher degree of privacy because the participant’s name was not required on the filled ones.
  • Questionnaires have limited chances of prejudice because they are obtained in a consistent manner.
  • Most of questionnaires used in the study were closed-ended, and it was simple to answer.

As earlier stated the researcher aimed at carrying out a qualitative study. To do so, it required open-ended, semi-structured and detailed interviews. The researcher selected open-ended interviews as it permits participants confer their views, opinions and know-hows completely where possibly an interview with closed ended questionnaires may prevent them from expressing their full thoughts and approaches. By using semi-structured ones, the researcher set a topic guide or an amount of questions to be enclosed with every participant. A face to face discussion enables the researcher perceive any non-verbal message but allows both the interviewer and participant seek explanation where necessary. The interviews were projected to last for 60 to 90 minutes. The interviews were to be audio-taped with consent from the participant to determine a precise account of the interview that can be repeated for investigative purposes and privacy was guaranteed during recording. Participants were to be reminded of their right to withdrawal termination of the interview at any time before the start of the session. To ensure participants privacy and confidentiality throughout the interviews, there would be an entrance to a reserved room. The interviews would be carried out over a period of one month which would allow the researcher replicate and make alterations where necessary.

However, questionnaires usually have some drawbacks. For instance, for validity and reliability, the participants might not replicate their exact approximations and might provide answers to thrill the researcher, and significant information may not be received due to brevity of the responses. Open-ended questionnaires give the participants an opportunity to provide their personal opinions about the study subject. Before the start of the interview, the researcher has to seek consent from the parties taking part in the study. To expedite this, the researcher makes the parties aware of the study purpose and guarantees them that data collected from them was solely for this specific study and their private information would be confidential.

Reliability and Validity

According to Yu (2005), reliability entails the degree of consistency in which an instrument measures the amount it is planned to measure. Open-ended questionnaires answered by the respondents showed consistency of responses. Conversely, reliability can be assured by reducing inaccuracies in measurement like predisposition during collection of data. The prejudice was reduced by ensuring that the researcher solely managed the questionnaires and regulated situations, such as introducing similar features to all respondents, including support and sociability.

Nevertheless, Yu (2005) asserts that validity of instruments in research is the degree at which the instrument achieves its intended measurement. Content validity involves the level at which an instrument denotes the factors within a study. To realize content validity, the researcher uses questionnaires with various questions about the participants’ knowledge on privacy in social network sites. The questions are to be related to the data collected through literature review to ensure that they signified a strong indulgence of privacy in social network sites. The uniformity of administering questionnaires further guaranteed content validity. The researcher is to disseminate all questionnaires to the participants and conduct the interviews on his own. Further, the researcher formulates the study questions in a simple language for clarity and simplicity of understanding. Moreover, there are to be clear directives to the participants and the researcher on how to complete the questionnaires for participants not capable of reading. The researcher ensures that all the participants complete the questionnaires in his/her presence to ensure that the participating parties cannot give some of the questionnaires to non-participants to fill them on their behalf.

For validity, the participants are to return the questionnaires directly to the researcher. In addition, supplementary questions were formulated to ensure a higher degree of representation. Some of the questions are rephrased to elucidate them and choices that are more different are incorporated to the closed-ended questionnaires to deliver imperative data analysis. External validity is guaranteed. External validity is the level at which findings from a research study can be comprehended out of the study sample used. Every study participant fills the questionnaires and no participant amongst the approached are not expected to contribute. The study findings are to be generalized to all population members. Getting participants willing to contribute in a study can be difficult, especially if the study necessitates more time and other investments by the participants. If individuals approached to contribute in a study declines, simplifying the findings to each member of the population is difficult to explain. The study needs to be designed to manage investment demands on participating parties to improve their participation. In addition, if personalities are approached and refuse to contribute in the study, it should be stated to judge the threats to external validity.

The researcher is to make the psychological and physical environment where data was collected comfortable by guaranteeing discretion, confidentiality, and general bodily relief. To ensure reliability and validity of data collection instruments, the researcher carried out a pilot study on a few countries. Necessary adjustments were made to research instruments to improve their consistency, internal validity, as well as external validity.

Pre-testing the Questionnaire

According to Choi and Pak (2005), a pre-test is a trial of a research instrument to detect mistakes. When a questionnaire is used as a data collection instrument, it is crucial to get the lucidity of the study questions and guidelines to participants and know whether the participants recognize what is required from them. This is the pre-testing process of a questionnaire. The researcher undertook a pre-tested of the questionnaire on five respondents. All of them participated willingly and no question that was changed after the pre-test.

Ethical Considerations

Research process requires not only diligence and knowledge, but also ethics and morality. This is essential for awareness and maintenance of the rights of the subjects. To get the study right, the rights to self-sufficiency, confidentiality, secrecy and informed consent were considered. A written consent to undertake the research was to be sought from the participants. Informed consent is the potential contract of the participants to contribute willingly in a research study that is reached after incorporation of crucial information in relation to the study. The researcher informs the participants of their rights to willing consent or failure to participate, and to decline from participation at any time without any fine. Participants are informed about the purpose of the research; the methods used to collect data, and assured that there were no probable risks or costs involved. Confidentiality and discretion are upheld throughout the study. Privacy was to be ensured and participants with their individual responses could not be linked together. The study guarantees confidentiality by not revealing the participants’ name on the questionnaire as well as reports and to separate the written agreement from the interviews.

When the researcher promises the participants discretion, it is clear that the information they provide will not be conveyed to the public in a manner to identify them. In this study, the researcher will hold discretion by keeping the collected data confidential and not to reveal the identities of the participants during publication or reporting of the study. There will be no evidence of detection that is entered into the questionnaires, and the questionnaires are to be numbered after collection of data. The ethical principle of self-sufficiency was also sustained. Participants were to be looked upon as independent entities by informing them about the research study and allowing them to take part in the study or not. Scientific decency is considered very important ethical duty in the process of research. Fraudulent conduct may include manipulating methods, manipulating design, and holding or manipulating information. The researcher is to evade any form of dishonesty by recording fairly the replies from participants who are not capable of reading and writing. Manipulation of information would be difficult as the researcher records information from questionnaires to a software program in a computer. The researcher also checks the open-ended questions to confirm credibility.

This chapter has examined research methodology, including research questions, research methods, data collection, the population target and sampling, guidelines used to ensure the ethical standards, reliability, as well as the validity of the study.

4.0 Data Analysis

Data analysis aims at organizing, providing structure and receiving meaning from research data. Data is to be analyzed in combination with data collection. As interviews are to be conducted, collected data will be synthesized, understood and conversed to provide meaning to it. However, qualitative data analysis is to occur in three phases, which involve description, analysis and interpretation. The researcher transcribes the interviews precisely and an analysis of the transcripts is carried out. However, the researcher uses descriptive analysis. This is because descriptive research permits the researcher to provide a thorough clarification of the study findings. The collected information is initially organized then coded in accordance with how it related with research questions. Data analysis using computer programs to determine some descriptive parameters would be used. The analyzed data is recorded in tables and notes for simplicity in interpretation when the researcher is concluding and recommending the study. In addition, it aids easy justification of research findings to the sponsors.


            During the study, the researcher is to use qualitative research. Through conducting interviews, the researcher anticipates collecting data from an appropriate sample of 300 participants randomly across the world. The questionnaires incorporate open-ended questions. The sample is to include participants with sound minds who are aware of the privacy in social networking and are willing to contribute in the study. The researcher seeks to get informed consent from the participants. Further, the researcher ensures and guarantees confidentiality, self-sufficiency and discretion while administering questionnaires and writing down the report. To guarantee validity, the researcher is to disperse questionnaires to participants. Further, pre-testing the questionnaire ensures validity and reliability. 

Data collection

The survey targeted to recruit 1,000 users through the researchers social network sites accounts. Also utilized were search engines for the respective social network sites. This were then mailed to using internal messaging systems and requested to participate in the survey. After the questionnaires were answered, interviews both physical and via the net and phones were conducted. Some participants were recruited randomly at the school cafeteria and these were also given the questionnaires. The interviewing came after the questionnaires were returned. Including a few other filters during editing and coding a survey sample was determined. It is from these that the survey was able to get 300 complete responses, that is, those that filled questionnaires and followed through with an interview representing a 30% response rate. The interview mirrored the questionnaire questions and each total eight in number. The questions were arrived at after reviewing literature and covering some of the concepts and questions that were found in previous related research.

Characteristics of study sample

As seen below, the sample constituted more of female users than males, for the purpose that females were recognized to make more honest disclosures than their male counterparts and that they utilized posting/writing avenues more.

 Male 144 48%
Female 156 52%
Total N = 300 100%

Source: Survey data

Type of Social Network Site used

For the data from the study group, it was determined that most users used Facebook as compared to the other social network sites. Twitter came in second followed by MySpace and finally Google+.

Social Network Site
Facebook 148 49.3%
Twitter 78 26%
Google+ 29 9.7%
MySpace 45 15%
Total N=300 100%

Source: Survey data

Use of network sites

 Data indicated that the majority, 248 (82.7 %) of the users of social network sites as using the sites for social interaction, with connecting with friends and sharing information being of priority. The remainder, 52 (17.3%) used these sites to get information from various groups/individuals with whom they were ‘following’ for entertainment reasons.


The respondents were almost unanimous with identifying privacy as instituting information shared not being accessible by those not intended for them with having their information not being accessed by none other than one’s ‘friends/followers’, 241(80%) and having information shared being free from unauthorized access, 39 (13%). The other respondents felt that one being able to control the information they uploaded, control their accounts as they wished and being able to delete it entirely from the social network sites as constituting privacy. These were 20 in number representing 7% of the respondents.

Security and privacy issues

It was realized that the respondents identified as the most pertinent issue of privacy and security on social network services as being their information and accounts accessed without their authorization and information given to third parties. This represented 47% of the respondents which were 142 respondents. Another 128 (43%) identified their inability to control the information that they place online on the sites as being of concern. From the interview, this was clarified as a result of it being visible beyond their groups with which they share information with. The remainder 30 (10%) thought the increased hacking and leaking of their passwords on these social network sites created privacy and security concerns.

Decline in privacy

The data showed that decline in privacy in social network sites was associated with the awareness that their accounts and data was increasingly becoming available to unknown entities without their consent, with 268 (89%) respondents sharing the view. 32 (11%) of the respondents identified that social network sites almost made it impossible to delete information that they had initially posted or to which they are sometimes linked/tagged to, and now they wanted to change it. This would sometimes expose them to unwanted exposure thereby eroding their privacy.

Maintaining privacy

When asked on how best to maintain privacy on social network sites, the respondents, 75 (25%), identified that using privacy settings offered on the sites as the least best option on maintain privacy as these tended to change over time as seen in their social network sites of choice. Another 84 (28%) thought that it was better to restrict their information and interaction on the sites to maintain privacy. The majority 141 (47%), identified the best way of ensuring privacy was just to be cautious in what they said and did on these social networking sites.

Dangers of Social networking sites

Most respondents, 248 (83%) identified losing control and ability to control uploaded/updated content as probably the most dangerous thing that would affect the social network sites they use. The remainder, 52 (17%) thought that the danger lay in pseudo/fake pages relaying un-trusted information and social annoyance, social surveillance, and social control from different agencies/individuals. Interestingly, none saw the absence of full disclosure of privacy restrictions and settings by their sites as having any danger to the sites, believing that they would improve on it.

This they said the dangers would be tackled by the social network site communicating more about their privacy policies and allow more user control, 199 (66%) respondents and most users actually reading the privacy policies and guidelines that these sites employed. Other respondents, 101(37%), thought that the best way of becoming aware of dangers of social network sites can be accessed through friends, media outlets and other third parties such as advocacy groups.

5.0 Conclusion and Recommendations

The research sought to understand what social network sites were and their benefits to their users. This was identified and well explored during literature review. Next, issues of privacy on social network site were explored. Privacy was understood as the ability of user’s information being protected from unauthorized access and it being easily manipulated by the users. Privacy was identified as a considerable issue that would affect the interaction of users on the sites especially when it came to their privacy being violated as a result of their information becoming visible to more than their groups of interaction.

In case privacy issues will not be addressed, it was clear that the interaction of users will become more constrained as they will share less private information as opposed to just assuming such information would be secured. More need to be done in terms of site communicating on their privacy measures to instill confidence.


The researcher would like to urge social network sites to work on the protection of information that their users share on their platforms. Without the candid interaction of their users, their interaction soon becomes of less appeal for them to continuously return to a site, which might portend the danger of making such a site less popular and thereby suffer losses both financially and, in use and appeal to new members.


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Appendix 1

Interview Schedule

The questions that would be used would reflect the issues the study tries to understand and collect information about. The structured interview utilized questions that are listed below.

  1. What are social networking sites?
  2. What are the benefits of social networking sites?
  3. What are the dangers of social networking sites?
  4. What is privacy in social networking sites?
  5. What are the security and privacy issues associated with social networking sites?
  6. What has led to a decline in privacy in social network sites?
  7. How should individuals maintain privacy on social networking sites?
  8. How should the users of social media be aware of the associated dangers?

Appendix 2


Questionnaire for Social Network Sites users.

I am a researcher with XYZ University in the Faculty of XYZ, pursuing a course in IT/WEB. I am undertaking a research to UNDERSTAND PRIVACY IN SOCIAL NETWORK SITES. This survey will allow you the opportunity to give your views on the aspect of privacy in social network sites. This is a questionnaire for a class assignment and your responses will be appreciated and accorded confidentiality as for the purposes of this study solely.