Technology / The Threat Of Internet Privacy

The Threat Of Internet Privacy

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Autor:  anton  02 November 2010
Tags:  Threat,  Internet,  Privacy
Words: 1108   |   Pages: 5
Views: 764

The Threat of Internet Privacy

With the ever rising use of the internet, as well as online banking in businesses, this brings the concern that hackers and viruses may have the ability to access your private information. Recent developments in internet security have been shown to decrease and destroy nearly all internet viruses. Microsoft associates have proven that there are many ways around our man made barriers called ‘firewalls’. The question is whether or not your private information can be safe while under this protection.

Internet privacy has always been one of the most concerning subjects for you the consumer. Since the invention of the computer and the internet, there has always been someone who wanted to ‘conquer’ it. We in the computer world like to call these people hackers. Due to this common threat, we as consumers have developed software to repel these hackers. These software programs are called firewalls and anti-virus scanners. Currently, there is an ongoing battle between the hacker and the hackee. Unfortunately, hackers have developed loopholes and software’s of there own to work in there favor. Due to the hacker’s resources, they can counteract the consumer’s software, find alternate loops to the goal and access your computers vital and personal information.

One method that hackers may use to proceed on through your system is to send you a virus. A virus is a software program capable of reproducing itself and usually capable of causing great harm to files or other programs on the same computer. "A true virus cannot spread to another computer without human assistance"(Miller). These viruses can be used to cripple ones computer. An anti-virus software/firewall can only handle so much information at one time. You can obtain a virus from the internet by downloading files to your computer as well as something as simple as sending an e-mail (Gralla). When your computers software is concentrating mainly on the virus, this leaves a giant hole in the firewall where it is not protected. This is where the hacker will make his move. While the firewall is distracted, the hacker will steal the information that he came for without suspicion.

Another threat posed by a hacker is a Microsoft based program called cookies. The ‘cookie’ file is a file that works on the consumer’s computer. It contains data passed from web sites, so that web sites can communicate with this file when the same client uses the site again. The web site only has access to the part of the cookie file that represents the cooperation with that website. Cookies are bits of data put on a hard disk when someone visits certain websites (Gralla). The webmaster of the website that installed its cookies to your hard drive is then given a degree of access to your computer. This poses the problem where the webmaster may steal some of your personal information if you were to place an order for a product through their site. Some cookies could also contain viruses which lead to infestation of files and eventually your entire system.

One of the most commonly used and most harmful software’s that a hacker can obtain is spyware.

Spyware is software that watches your surfing activities without you knowing about it, reports on them, and then delivers target ads to you based on your activity. Spyware typically is installed on your computer when you install a piece of free software, such as the file sharing software, Kazaa (Gralla).

The hacker is basically viewing all of what you do and access on your computer, like a tape recorder taping your every movement. Anything you do, type, or say is recorded.

Hackers have all proven to have used all of these skills to destroy and collect someone else’s personal information in the privacy of their own homes. Although we know that many hackers have many tricks up their sleeves, some believe that there are also many ways to eliminate a hackers attempt at the source.

One way that the consumers are taking action is by installing firewalls and Anti-Virus software’s. A firewall is a device that blocks unauthorized access to a computer on a LAN (local area network). Unfortunately, hackers continually find ways around the firewall and work their unwanted wonders behind enemy lines. Software updates are recommended and required due to the lack of stability of this tool. If you have a good firewall, it will be updated at least once a week.

Unlike firewalls, digital certificates are stable, reliable, and cannot be infected by a computer virus.

A digital certificate is used to guarantee that the person who sends information or e-mail over the internet, or who makes a financial transaction really is who he says he is. Digital certificates are issued by certificate authorities. To get a digital certificate, you typically visit a CA site and request a certificate. You then provide information about yourself, such as your name and other identifying information (Gralla).

The digital certificate insures that no one on an unauthorized computer with an unauthorized identification can steal your information.

One of the best lines of defense against identity theft and internet security currently would be P3P servers/websites.

P3P works by asking the internet user to complete a form that captures privacy preferences. Each P3P compliant site will use the preferences to match the user’s preferences to match the user’s privacy preferences with the privacy policies of each site (Arnold).

With this option, a P3P site makes it possible to transfer personal information through a digital certificate. This way, your personal information is perfectly safe.

I believe personally that if you build something, you can destroy it. Although I am all for internet security, I know that someday, somebody is going to figure out all of the internet structures and the whole WWW (World Wide Web) will crash like the stock market. There is a source to every creation and the WWW’s Main Server will be found eventually. Once it is found, nothing on the internet will be safe anymore. With the ever rising use of the internet, there will be people who wish to ‘conquer’ it. Yet, someday a new protection service may be created and the World Wide Web will be safe again.

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