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PRIVACY AND SECURITY IN SOCIAL NETWORKS: THE VIRTUAL IS REAL

C. Machado, T. Bettencourt

University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
Social networks did not emerge with technology, considering that we have been keeping in touch and exchanging information with each other since the beginning of times. Therefore, our first social network is family and, throughout our lives, we keep expanding our contacts (relatives, neighbors, classmates, friends, college classmates, work colleagues, etc...). However, with technology's evolution, specifically with the emergence of social networks, open the possibility to maintain ongoing relationships and extend contacts in a straightforward and costless way. Nevertheless, it is perceived that people have a major need to expose their lives and themselves on social networks. That is the reason why one of the issues associated with the use of social networks is related to the privacy of every individual and, consequently, their security. It is important to emphasize that the "presence" in social networks is real and, therefore, what is published will have consequences that are equally real. In that regard, it is acknowledged that a change in the practices of how people behave in social networks is directly related to a lack of knowledge regarding the risks and dangers that they face. This article approaches privacy and security issues in social networks. It finishes with a set of positive practices, helpful to use social networks in a conscious and safe way.