Online social networks: Threats and solutions

Michael Fire, Roy Goldschmidt, Yuval Elovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many online social network (OSN) users are unaware of the numerous security risks that exist in these networks, including privacy violations, identity theft, and sexual harassment, just to name a few. According to recent studies, OSN users readily expose personal and private details about themselves, such as relationship status, date of birth, school name, email address, phone number, and even home address. This information, if put into the wrong hands, can be used to harm users both in the virtual world and in the real world. These risks become even more severe when the users are children. In this paper, we present a thorough review of the different security and privacy risks, which threaten the well-being of OSN users in general, and children in particular. In addition, we present an overview of existing solutions that can provide better protection, security, and privacy for OSN users. We also offer simple-to-implement recommendations for OSN users, which can improve their security and privacy when using these platforms. Furthermore, we suggest future research directions.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number6809839
Pages (from-to)2019-2036
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number4
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2014


  • Online social networks
  • online social network security solutions
  • online social network security threats
  • security and privacy

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Online social networks: Threats and solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this