Internet Security - A Beginners Guide PDF Print E-mail

The quest for convenience is a two edged sword. In our quest for speed, efficiency and walking as little as possible, we strive to make life as simple as possible. It was not so log ago that business was done face to face; meetings and paper letters were how we communicated. When we shopped we walked or drove to a store, loaded a trolley or basket and checked out.

Now, we can sit in the comfort of our own home and have face to face meetings through video conferencing, send a letter in less than a second and most importantly, shift our hard earned cash from one bank to another.

But there is a price some pay and it goes beyond the fees and any appropriate software. The more convenient we make life, the more potential avenues for theft and fraud we create.

Internet security is of paramount importance. When you live in a city, you lock your house door, lock the car, engage the alarm and leave lights on when you go out.

We speak of a ‘global village’, but I think this gives a false impression. Life on the internet is not a village – it’s a global city – and city mentality is needed.

So how can you lock up and alarm your virtual doors?

ANTIVIRUS

For some reason, there are some people out there who get kicks out of writing little programs that cause computers problems. These range from annoying little bugs to complete computer breakdown. It can either be irritating or catastrophic leading to a loss of all data.

The solution – anti-virus (a virus killer). There are many programs that can spot a virus when it comes via a website or email – and kill it outright – is like cyber-bleach. These programs stay in the background, get updated with the latest threats and jump into action when needed.

SPYWARE

Although spy ware doesn’t usually cause computer meltdown, it can actually be more damaging. Spy ware are other little programs that run in the background of your computer – the monitor you online activity and report back to the sender. The threat? If you're banking online or dealing with sensitive data, it could be under threat.

Like anti-virus software – there is a host of good spy ware checkers and removers.

What Exactly is Internet Security?

The risks of conducting online transactions are not new to both common Internet users and online corporations alike. However, not all are equipped with the knowledge and resources to protect themselves from those risks. Internet security then has been a top priority of the I.T. industry and many programs and applications are being developed to ensure this. But what exactly does Internet security protect one from?
The following are challenges that Internet security strives to address.

1. To filter or remove inappropriate or profane materials such as pornography, racial intolerance and copyright infringed materials.

Since the Internet is user-oriented, most of the information that go through it are unfiltered. Commonly, a lot of these information may include inappropriate material which are not conducive for the workplace, classroom or home. More importantly, for minors, they might be exposed to information that will compromise their safety, their morality and etc. Pornography especially, may stir the loss of productivity among employees and it may even lead to the possibility of sexual harassment cases due to provocation by the material.

2. To protect from hackers and Identity thieves

Hackers can get valuable information through almost any means. The danger of these thefts not only compromises the user's confidential information, often times, it compromises their lives as well. Take Identity theft for example. Once user's identities have been stolen online, it may be hard for them to apply for loans, scholarships, credit grants and etc. A company's success may also be compromised once hackers steal information from its private network. It may result to financial loss.

3. To protect against viruses, spyware, adware and other types of malware that may compromise user information security

Viruses are a type of malware that invade one's computer system and duplicates itself within it. They are destructive especially to the user's files and they're typically used by hackers to steal information from a computer. Viruses are usually embedded in emails or websites. They are currently the greatest threat to Internet Security because of its evasiveness and it is currently on the rise.

4. Protection from DoS (Denial of Service Attacks).

Denial of Service Attacks or DoS, are made to deny access to a networked resource. DoS usually crash servers by engulfing the network with ample traffic that degrades service. These DoS attacks prevent a network from performing normal activity efficiently. They make productivity almost impossible by continuously overriding the networks.

5. Protection from active content, such as ActiveX and Java.

ActiveX, a programming language that embeds small programs in web pages, are typically not considered secure to allow into a network. This is because it paves the way for malicious programmers to write controls that may compromise user information security like deletion of files or obtaining of files. Java is another program that embeds small programs, called applets, in web pages. It usually is considered safer than ActiveX but nevertheless, it is best filtered out for more security and because there have been many instances of bugs in these safety mechanisms.

 

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