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The Impact of using Mobile Phones on Privacy of Students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Alanood Alenizi and Esam Khan


Vol. 20  No. 9  pp. 143-157


In this study, we aimed at exploring the current practices of using mobile phones by students in Saudi Arabia and identifying the potential data privacy risks that they are exposed to. The key findings from the study was that although a majority of students are aware of data privacy, many of the respondents were willing to chat with unknown people online and a considerable number of those participants opened URLs sent from strangers. This is a huge data privacy risk since it may result in the disclosure of their personal information without the knowledge that the websites were deceptive sites that posed a threat to their personal data, which led to several risks to their personal data, such as theft of personal accounts, identity cards, information, and personal photos. Based on the finding and due to the lack of research and commercial efforts of detecting malicious URLs on mobile devices, we developed a system, Suspicious URL Detector, which is targeted to support mobile users to seamlessly verify URLs before they can be opened. Our system is composed of a mobile app and a URL verification server that is backed by PhishTank [1], a user-contributed blacklist of suspicious URLs. The mobile app is also designed to be user-friendly and lightweight to ensure it performs well on mobile devices with limited resources.


personal data privacy breach, suspicious URLs, blacklisting, phishing, Phish tank..