Categories: InternetIT

Facebook usage in Sri Lanka and safety tips

According to Sri Lankan Facebook Statistics issued by socialbakers, currently (2013 May) there are more than 1.5 million (1526360 users) Monthly Active Users (MAU) in Sri Lanka. Facebook users grew by more than 78200 in the last 6 months. According to their statistics, Facebook penetration in Sri Lanka is 7.09% compared to the country’s population and 60.98% in relation to number of Internet users. According to Sri Lanka Police 20% of facebook accounts (240,000) are fake accounts in 2012.

Sri Lanka Facebook demographics – The largest age group is currently 18-24 with total of 642 360 users, followed by the users in the age of 25-34. 68% of these users are male and 32% are female users .

Facebook crime in Sri Lanka

Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) at Police Headquarters

Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) has ben established at Police Headquarters with the collaboration of Cirminal Investigation Department & Information Technology Division to receive and investigate regarding criminal complaints in the rapidly expanding arena of cyber crime.

According to a Newspaper article published in Sunday Times 5 February 2012, ( the CID’s Cyber Crime Division receives following cases on internet crime relating to facebook social network.

  • Cases of hacking into Facebook accounts.
  • Cases where, after jilting the lover, one party posts personal pictures and videos recorded secretly during their affair
  • Creation of false Facebook accounts under a person’s name and obscene pictures included in that page
  • Cases of chat-conversations on Facebook between the couple have been saved or recorded and published
    Instances of posting nude pictures
  • Blackmailing cases by demanding money or instances of threatening to blackmail unless sexual favours were granted, if the demands were not met

In one of the cases a girl receiving higher education had responded to a ‘friend request’ on Facebook. After several months she had posed in a semi-nude position, which had been captured on video via a web-cam. A few months later the man had started demanding money if she wanted the pictures not to be made public.

The man was arrested following a complaint lodged by the girl. He said there were also complaints where fake Facebook accounts had been created under a person’s name and obscene pictures included in it.

Top 10 Tips To Stay Safe on Facebook

Take a look at top 10 tips to stay safe on Facebook:

Facebook usage 2012 Sunday Times graphics from

Take Precautions when using facebook

An Police officer said that people using Facebook should take precautions when using the social network system. “Whenever a request is made by an unknown person to add you as a friend you check out carefully who the person is and the friends of that person already on Facebook.
“You can also use some of the settings available on the system where any person has limited access to your account. After monitoring the person for some time you can decide whether the person should remain in your network,” he said.

He said people could contact the Cyber Crime Division in the event of any violation of their privacy.

The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team | Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT|CC)

The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team | Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT|CC) is the Center for cyber security in Sri Lanka, mandated to protect nation’s information infrastructure and to coordinate protective measures against, and responses to cyber security threats and vulnerabilities.

Their web site has Knowledge Base on facebook issues:

Facebook security and privacy hardening guide – Claudiu Popa
Facebook safety tips for parents
June 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide – Zack Whittaker
Facebook Security Guide – Keith Watson
The One Facebook Feature You Must Activate Right Now – Jason Sattler


Contact (Sri Lanka CERT|CC)
Room 4-112, BMICH, Bauddhaloka Mawatha,
Colombo 07, Sri Lanka.
Tel: +94 11 269 1692 / 269 5749 / 267 9888
Fax: +94 11 269 1064




University Senior Lecturer at University of Sri Jayewardenepra, Sri Lanka

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