The aim of this study was to determine whether Loneliness, Relationship Status and Profile Image are related to self-disclosure of Sensitive and Non-Sensitive Information on Facebook. To this end, 269 personal profiles of women who reported being Lonely and 269 profiles of women who reported not being Lonely were analyzed. Sensitive Information was analyzed using Poisson regressions. Non-Sensitive information was analyzed using negative binomial regressions. The results confirmed that more Lonely users revealed Sensitive and Non-Sensitive Information on Facebook than Not-Lonely users. The results also confirmed the existence of a relationship between Loneliness and Relationship Status in that more users who indicated in their Relationship Status that they were Single were Lonely than Not-Lonely. Similarly, the results also confirmed the existence of a relationship between Loneliness and Profile Image in that more users who appeared Alone in their Profile Image were Lonely than Not- Lonely. These associations encouraged the exploration of the associations between Relationship Status and Profile Image and Sensitive/Non-Sensitive Information. With regards to Relationship Status, more users who did not indicate their Relationship Status revealed more Sensitive and Non-Sensitive Information compared to those who were Single or those who were in a relationship. Regarding the Profile Image, more users who appeared Alone in their Profile Image revealed Sensitive Information compared to users who presented themselves with others in their Profile Image. For Non-Sensitive Information, no differences were found between users who appeared in their Profile Image Alone compared to those who appeared with a partner or friends, or to those who did not have a Profile Image. Overall, these findings suggest that disclosing Sensitive Information could put users at risk of becoming victims of cybercrimes such as identity theft, harassment, cyber-stalking, and cyber scams.
Keywords: Loneliness; self-disclosure; Relationship Status; Profile Image; Facebook