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Internet Security Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

One of the most common ways for web masters to find out information about the user is to use passive recording of transactional information. What this does is record the movements the user had on a web site. It can tell where the user came from, how long he stayed, what files he looked at, and where he went when he left. This information is totally legal to obtain, and often the web master will use it to see what part of his site attracts the most attention. By doing this, he can improve his site for the people that return often (Boyan,Codel, and Parekh 2).There is a much more devious way that someone can gain access to information on a user's hard-drive. In the past, the user did not need ...view middle of the document...

This data will be retrieved when the user returns at a later time. Although cookies are stored on the user's hard-drive, they are actually pretty harmless and can save the user time when visiting a web site(Heim 2).E-mail is like a postcard. E-mail is not like mailing a letter in an envelope. Every carrier that touches that e-mail can read it if they choose. Not only can the carriers see the message on the e-mail, but it can also be electronically intercepted and read by hackers. This can all be done without the sender or the receiver ever knowing anything had happened (Pepper 1). E-mail is the most intriguing thing to hackers because it can be full of important data from secret corporate information to credit card numbers (Rothfeder, "SpecialReports" 2).The only way to secure e-mail is by encryption. This makes an envelope that the a hacker cannot penetrate. The downside to using encryption on a huge network like the Internet is that both users must have compatible software(Rothfeder, "Special Reports" 2). A way to protect a persons e-mail is to use an auto re-mailer. This gives the sender a "false" identity, which only the auto re-mailer knows, and makes it very difficult to trace the origin of the e-mail (Boyan, Codel, and Parekh 4).Personal security is an important issue that needs to be dealt with but business security is also a major concern. "An Ernst and Young survey of 1271companies found that more than half had experienced computer-related break-ins during the past two years; 17 respondents had losses over $1 million" ("November1995 Feature"). In a survey conducted by Computer Security and the FBI, 53percent of 428 respondents said they were victims of computer viruses; 42percent also said that unauthorized use of their systems had occurred within the last 12 months (Rothfeder, "November 1996 Feature" 1).While electronic attacks are increasing more rapidly than any other kind, a large number of data break-ins are from the inside. Ray Jarvis, President of Jarvis International Intelligence, says "In information crimes, it's not usually the janitor who's the culprit. It's more likely to be an angry manager who's already looking ahead to another job"(Rothfeder, "November 1996 Feature" 3). While electronic espionage is increasing, so is the ability to protect computer systems. "The American Society for Industrial Security estimates that high-tech crimes, including unreported incidents, may be costing U.S. corporations as much as $63 billion a year" (Rothfeder, "November 1996 Featuer"1).There are many ways for businesses to protect themselves. They can use a variety of techniques such as firewalls and encryption.Firewalls are one of the most commonly used security devices. They are usually placed at the entrance to a network. The firewalls keep unauthorized users out while admitting authorized users only to the areas of the network to which they should have access. There are two major problems with firewalls, the first is that they need to...

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