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What Is Internet Security and Privacy and What We Can Do Protect Ourselves?

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Essay title: What Is Internet Security and Privacy and What We Can Do Protect Ourselves?

Research Problem: Internet security and privacy, what you can do to make it more efficient, and what software you can buy to protect yourself.

Research Question: What is Internet security and privacy and what we can do protect ourselves?

If you have access to a computer and a modem, you are licensed to drive on the information superhighway. And you are one of a growing number of online participants. The Internet offers many benefits. Web sites provide a vast world of information, entertainment, and shopping at our fingertips. Electronic mail, instant messaging, and chat rooms enable us to communicate with friends, family, and strangers in ways we never dreamed of a decade ago. But the Internet also creates many threats to our personal privacy. Unless you know the "rules of the road," your online activity may lead to significant privacy problems (Internet Security Systems, 2005).

According to The Business Technology Network, internet privacy is the degree to which an individual can determine which personal information is to be shared with whom and for what purpose. To ensure this, there are many software programs that will guard your computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For example, one of the most respected software programs is the new Norton Internet Security 2005(Schweitzer, 2002). This bundle includes anti-virus, personal firewall, parental control, and outbreak alert features. It is the most innovative and powerful software on the market.

Internet Security as defined by the International Engineering Consortium is the process of preventing and detecting unauthorized use of your computer (Fogile & Peikari, 2004). Prevention measures help you to stop unauthorized users (also known as "hackers") from accessing any part of your computer system (Gralla, 2002). Unfortunately, hackers are always discovering new vulnerabilities to exploit in computer software. The complexity of software makes it increasingly difficult to thoroughly test the security of computer systems. When holes are discovered, computer vendors will usually develop patches to address the problem (Holden, 2004). However, it is up to you, the user, to obtain and install the patches, or correctly configure the software to operate more securely (Schweitzer, 2002). Dealing with internet security and privacy can be a very troublesome experience, but with the right knowledge and software it can all be avoided.

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