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The Role of Users Privacy Concerns

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Many different social sites have sprung up in recent years each offering a different platform for its users to interact and share information. This has had users spoilt for choice with most often opting to utilize what each site has to offer. However, privacy concerns are common in all these social sites as they look to thwart any malicious attempt to invade their users’ privacy and also gaining their trust to safeguard private information. Users are normally required to input some of their private information while signing up for these sites. This is directed by the terms and conditions of privacy policy, which the user is required to read through before joining the site. This acts as a binding agreement.

The disclosure of private information rarely appears to make users uncomfortable. Moreover, it does not need to read through the published privacy statements (Becker and Pousttchi, 2012). The need to find a social niche that one fits into is important to users, and thus the voluntary exposure. While being in a social site could prove beneficial, it makes users prone to unauthorized access to private information.

Disclosing information and privacy concerns creates a paradox. On one hand, we have perceived usefulness. This is the belief that an individual’s performance will improve, and this is in relation to many things e.g. networking, job performance to mention but a few. On the flip side, users are concerned with the misuse of their information and breach of their privacy. Social networks have made it possible for users to control the amount of information accessible to other users. This leaves the control of one’s privacy to the users themselves. On the same note, a social networking site is made more useful by the quantity of information its users share. All in all, managers of social networking sites should be able to have their users fully trust them to provide as much protection of their privacy as possible.

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