There are many potential security risks with social networking sites and the individuals who use them. These sites have been adopted by people of all ages worldwide, empowering new opportunities for the presentation of the self-learning, construction of a wide circle of relationships, and the management of privacy and intimacy. This study analyses the effect of social networking security practices, more specifically Facebook and its security and privacy settings. We identify four hypotheses: The more important Facebook users believe security is an important factor in choosing a social network, the more often they will change their security settings, the more important protection against ID theft is for Facebook users, the more frequently they will change their privacy settings, Facebook users who have left their security on a default setting have more frequently fallen victim to a virus or malware attack, and users of Facebook who have their privacy set to a custom setting are less likely to receive an attack on their profile.


Michael G. Wells

First Committee Member

Christophe V. Veltsos

Second Committee Member

Jennifer R. Veltsos

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Computer Information Science


Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.