Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln



Background With privacy concerns growing on a daily basis, it is important to understand how university students guard their personally identifiable information. Despite the students' perceived readiness and several studies on the topic, it is not fully understood what personally identifiable information university students are sharing via Online Social Networks (OSNs).

Purpose – Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the personal information sharing behavior of university students through online social networks.

Design/methodology/approach – Quantitative approach was used and a survey questionnaire was solicited to collect the data from 250 out of 712 master’s students of faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Equal sized stratified simple random sampling technique was used to select the required sample size.

Findings – The findings revealed that most of the university students shared their personal information like first name, last name, and the college they attended on OSNs. They rarely updated their profiles and labeled the uploaded photos/ videos with their own names. They mostly used their cell phones to use OSNs and female were conscious to disclose their personal information on OSNs as compared to male students.

Originality/value – This study would help the policy makers to establish or develop different types of information security laws to protect the information of individuals on social networking sites. It would also help the students to keep their personal information secret while using Web 2.0 technologies.