Online Community Projects in Lithuania: Cyber Security Perspective

Context

Within the context of a smart and inclusive society, cyber security is an important issue, which must be analyzed and discussed in the field of science and in practice. Collective intelligence, which emerges in the activities of online communities, is a new quality of civic engagement that grants more effective decisions and compliance with societal needs. Various social technologies have created possibilities for society members to communicate despite the limitations of the physical world, but they have brought high prospects for sophisticated crimes and other violations of rights and obligations of users, administrators, and states as regulatory bodies.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to connect several independent fields of research: analytics, social technologies, civil engagement, collective intelligence, and cyber security in order to reveal the main threats of using social technologies during the process of engaging society in socially responsible activities. The sources of data are growing, and data mining could be used in variety of ways. Analytics allow the combination of different observations in order to see new patterns.

Design

Research solutions were approached by fulfilling the analyses of regulatory framework for online communities, presenting Internet user analytics in Lithuania as well as identifying the cyber security perspective in online communication. As a result, the main trends were identified in the context of online community projects in Lithuania based on a quantitative public opinion survey conducted in 2013.

Findings

The quantitative research results helped to create a profile of frequent Internet users in Lithuania, where 58 out of every 100 people are using the Internet daily or a few times per week. Frequent Internet users are younger than 39 years old, well educated, and living in the biggest cities in the country. Mostly they use the Internet for communication or looking for professional or general information. Frequent Internet users use social networks and online communities in order to realize some personal interests, connected mostly with hobbies or other areas of personal interest. They perform passive activities, such as getting actual information or broadening one’s view, and mostly avoid active behaviors, such as commenting or sharing information or knowledge. Despite the high accessibility of the web in Lithuania, people are not inclined to join socially oriented activities. This fact creates an obvious finding that accessibility is the condition but not a catalyst for increasing the social involvement of society. Even those respondents who are used to visiting websites oriented toward social problem solving, most are not active and mainly susceptible to observing the ongoing processes rather than taking part in them. People using the Internet every day are more often involved in socially oriented activities, and it could be concluded that digital competencies, in general, have a positive influence on online civic engagement.

From the cyber security perspective, respondents do not rank the legal risks as critically important, but they are aware of cyber security issues and strongly support most offered ideas about safe and secure operations online. This shows that people in Lithuania still lack experience in online civic activities and cannot identify independently what problems they might face in virtual space. A united effort is necessary—from the government and law enforcement to the general public—to meet the evolving challenges in securing cyberspace.

Research Limitations/Implications

This research mostly focuses on the context of online community projects in Lithuania (based on a quantitative public opinion survey conducted in 2013). The results of research in the future may be validated by further qualitative research as well as extended worldwide.

Practical Implications

This chapter stresses the importance of personal data protection in online networks and identifies the main legal problems that arise in networked society. These implications may be used in future investigations as well as in designing necessary legal regulations in this field.

158 ? The Analytics Process

Originality/Value

The topic of civic engagement through social networks is considered to be a novelty as is taking an analytic approach toward it. This research adds value to the stimulation of socially oriented activities on the Internet as well as identifying the main threats that the people involved may face.

 
Source
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