Social Networking, Identity Theft and Hacking

Subject: Media
Type: Argumentative Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1820
Topics: Social Networking, Cyber Crime


The menace of internet use risk dates back to 1988 when one of the engineers of computer systems noticed a computer warm, and tried to fix it only to realise that the flaw had spread to several other computers in the network. The virus led to the loss of billions of dollars and crashed many computer systems. The occurrence led to the establishment and comprehensive research on internet-based security flaws. It was established that warm infected the computer systems because it utilised the internet features, fast, frictionless and open. The speed of intent led to the fast spread of the warm to many computer systems within the network. The warm spread and delivered malicious code along network paths, hence the infection of files and emails was possible.  Since then, the internet security has been an issue of concern for many corporate organisations and governments across the world. According to Janczewski (2010: 34) adware, spyware and malware were discovered in 1988, and insecure systems have been vulnerable to Code Red, Nimda, Welchia and Slammer threats.         


Identity theft and hacking are the most common cybercrimes. Social networking is vulnerable to both identity theft and hacking malpractices. Most people are unaware of the interest risks, hence hacking has always prevailed. The use of internet poses many risks, especially because of the legal and illegal access to personal and insider infiltration. The infiltration of the virus to databases in various organisations and government causes loss of data, thus massive losses are incurred. According to Shoniregun (2011: 76), the internet use risks are manifest in phishing, exposure to pornography, cyber-bullying, sexual predation, and data theft and baiting.  The other form of internet use risks is rogue anti-spyware, click-fraud, and rootkits.  However, the internet use risks can be addressed through the patching of the computer systems.


The use of internet poses many risks to businesses and individual internet users. First, organisations save their members’ details within their cloud databases. For this reason, the use of internet leads to the breach of privacy and subsequent litigations. When people use social networking, they face the risk of identity theft because of various rogue reasons. In the same breath, sexual predation occurs because of the identity theft over the internet social platform. The other risk of social networking is cyberbullying. Kendrick (2010: 45) asserts that cyber-bullying negatively affects the reputation of people because the negative pejoratives are accessed by many people in real-time. This creates animosity and other social evils including physical attacks and confrontations. Additionally, the use of internet use exposes people, especially children to pornography. 

The exposure of children to adult content is immoral because it negatively influences the teens’ behaviour. This culminates in sour relationships, especially between parents and their children. The issue also leads to the breakage of various families.  Sexual predation also occurs in social networking and the victim never suspects their assailants. Therefore, internet use poses a major risk to the users, and issue of phishing compromises the safety of people’s personal data. According to Cross (2014: 44), phishing involves the sending of hyperlinks to targeted people with an intention of capturing their personal details. Hacking menace has led to the infiltration of government accounts and loss of billions of dollars, and in this case, the governments are the victims of the hacking process. The IT gurus are creating viruses on a daily basis and the development of antiviruses to the same viruses. In this regard, the commercial nature of the creation of viruses poses a great danger to the internet users across the world. 

The use of the internet is also changing the model of learning of students. Students are over-relying on the internet and abandoning the rest of the study schemes of study, especially the student-teacher interactions. The well-being of other people is also compromised because of the addiction of the use of the internet. Some people develop backaches and eye-related complications hence either well-being is compromised. The use of the internet is also causing the adoption of other cultural practices, which are unnecessarily useful and productive in the society. For instance, the use of internet poses the risk of universal adoption and practice of homosexuality and lesbianism. According to Xu (2014: 54), baiting is one of the risks of internet use whereby a data hacker offers a flash disk with a malware. The flash is used to steal the intended flash disk user’s computer stored information without the knowledge of the computer owner. 

The internet use is also becoming a risky affair because the data hackers are making restricted websites available to the detriment of the internet users. The data hackers have also mastered the art of manipulation to steal people’s confidential information. For instance, the use of friends is a common practice for the internet data hackers. Moreover, viruses such as malware are placed in normal sites whereby they can easily be downloaded. The foreign government actors, business competitors, and sexual predators are using the social media networks for predation. The various groups seek information from the people of their interest, hence causing a security threat besides a breach of privacy for the victims of their predation. Unfortunately, the information accessed is usually used for the creation of specific viruses. 

Clickjacking is a risk of using the internet. This form of crime is performed with concealed hyperlinks beneath legitimate clickable content. In fact, the click on such a hyperlink leads to the automatic download of a malware or automatic sending of the user’s ID to a specific website. Cross-site scripting also leads to permanent storage of a malicious code in a server, hence crippling all computer operations on the computer. Doxing is another risk of using the internet whereby the information provided in social networks is publicly released. In this case, the person’s privacy is breached. Pharming is a risk posed by redirection of a computer interface user from a legit website to fraudulent websites.


Although the use of internet poses many risks to the internet users there are many ways of preventing and controlling the damage of the risks to corporations and individuals. Additionally, the internet risks provide employment to thousands of IT gurus. The sale of antiviruses is one of the most booming business in the world because of the alarming rate of computer virus attacks on corporate, government, and personal sites. Companies such as Smadav, Norton, Kaspersky, Avast AVG, and Orbit Defender companies are the common examples of companies running the lucrative business of antivirus products (Stenzel & Nesdahl, 2011: 57). This notwithstanding, the prevention of virus attacks, identity theft and hacking, and other internet use risks, is the best remedy for the menace. First, there is a need for patching of all computer systems as a precautionary measure against any form of virus infiltration threat. 

Any computer system user should ensure that any electronic storage device used is safe and free of any kind of computer viruses. All electronic media should be fully scanned before they can be used for retrieval of information. The other precautionary measure against the risk of virus attack during computer system used is disabling of scripting and iframes in all browsers used.  There is a need for a thorough navigation of the system to enhance maximisation of internet security. The computer should also be updated in terms of latest update and patches. The precaution is helpful because it prevents system attackers from taking advantage of software vulnerability. According to Wortley, & Smallbone (2012: 58), there is a need for the adoption of automatic update feature in a computer system to enhance updating of the computer system to enhance prevention of possible attacks. It is advisable for any computer system user to ensure the installation of the latest versions of Microsoft Windows to boost automatic updates of the system. 

According to Wortley, & Smallbone (2012: 92), correct configuration of the computer is important in the fight against virus attack. Maximum security options should be selected to guarantee a secure system. However, attention should be given to web browser and email configuration because the two areas are the most vulnerable to virus attacks. Consultation is one of the most reliable and credible of knowing a secure computer system to avoid any form of virus attack. The other measure is the use of encryption for maximum security because of the limitation of access to the system. Parents should closely monitor their children to beware of the children activities on internet platforms to avoid the exposure of children to adult content and bad movies such as the Blue-Whale movies, which influence commission of suicide. For instance, Surveilstar parental control software enhances shielding children from cyber bullies, predators and adult-oriented websites. 

The application ensures a parent has full control of the child’s online activities. For this reason, it is possible to curb cyber-bullying and delinquency behaviors. The software is important because it has customised to allow restrictive kids filter, which ensures that a child only views safe web content.    The use of the best and licensed security software is a measure of guaranteed protection against the virus attack (Bhatnagar, 2013: 43). Parental control packages are offered during the purchase of antivirus software like Norton Antivirus. This is important in the reduction of the risks of child delinquency problems, which arise from the watching of pornography online. There is a need for people to be careful to avoid reckless response to hyperlinks set to their emails. The move will enhance protection against click-jacking internet risk. 

Due diligence is another measure that can prevent the phishing risk and public sharing of an individual’s personal data. The user of the internet should also beware of online chat rooms, which are virus attacks designed to attract people to click on the chat boxes. Li (2013: 23) asserts that there is a need for immediate reporting of data hacking to ensure that the concerned authority takes appropriate action to restore fields and system data. The reporting is important because it creates awareness of the attacks, hence enabling the various websites to warn their subscribers of the threat, thus collaborated effort against data hacking can enhance security. The phony email message should be ignored at all time because they form part of the schemes used by attacks to filter data from their target.  

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The identity theft and hacking are common cybercrimes committed on social networking platforms. The internet users are subject to various internet risks including phishing, exposure to pornography, cyber-bullying, sexual predation, data theft and baiting. Additionally, clickjacking, elicitation, and cyber-bullying are other forms of internet use risk that are negatively impacted on internet users including children. However, there is a remedy to the threat posed by the internet risks including the use of quality security software, being careful in sharing personal data on social networks, deactivation of iframe and scripting and use of the Surveilstar Parental Control software to prevent children access to unsafe websites.

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  1. Bhatnagar, V. (2013). Data mining in dynamic social networks and fuzzy systems. Hershey, PA, Information Science Reference. 
  2. Cross, M. (2014). Social media security: leveraging social networking while mitigating risk. Waltham, MA: Syngress
  3. Janczewski, L. (2010). Internet and intranet security management: risks and solutions. Hershey, Pa, Idea Group Pub.
  4. Kendrick, R. (2010). Cyber Risks for Business Professionals: a Management Guide. Ely, IT Governance Pub. 
  5. Li, E. Y.-Z. (2013). Organizations and social networking: utilizing social media to engage consumers. Hershey: Business Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global)
  6. Shoniregun, C. A. (2011). Impacts and Risk Assessment of Technology for Internet Security Enabled Information Small-Medium Enterprises (TEISMES). Boston, MA, Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
  7. Stenzel, P., & Nesdahl, M. (2011). Who’s in your social network?: understanding the risks associated with modern media and social networking and how it can impact your character and relationships. Ventura, Calif, Regal.
  8. Wortley, R., & Smallbone, S. (2012). Internet child pornography: causes, investigation, and prevention. Santa Barbara, Calif, Praeger.
  9. Xu, X. (2014). Interdisciplinary mobile media and communications: social, political, and economic implications. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference
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