Monday, 31 December 2012

What Is Internet Security?

Lots of people ask the same question:

What is Internet Security?

This may sound obvious but internet security is all about staying safe while using the internet.

It would be great if the internet was a safe place to be that didn't have any kind of associated risk. Somewhere that anybody and everybody can enjoy without coming to harm.  Sadly the internet is not like this at all and a certain amount of care needs to be taken. It also helps if you have a basic understanding of how certain features work - as it is only through knowledge that you can assess the risks and judge whether something is safe to use.

Email is one of the most widely used systems on the internet but as seen in a previous article, the underlying technology means that it is not a safe method for sending sensitive information.  

Passwords are currently the main way that we protect access to a lot of valuable information and financial operations but great care needs to be taken to make sure that they are used in a way that provides enough suitable protection.  The article on the importance of passwords demonstrates some of the dangers including what can happen when a password is used on multiple websites.

Local Wi-Fi cafe hot spots are great, but the downside as previously mentioned,is that everybody else using the free Wi-Fi connection are also connected to your machine.  They might not even be in the same district as you.

HTTPS is a mechanism that provides a high degree of security in online banking and shopping.   

Cyber Security is also about trust. Can you trust that a church website is safer than a site that provides free adult movies?  Research by Symantec shows that a visitor to a religious website is 3 times more likely to be infected than someone visiting a pornography website.  It may seem counter intuitive but the important thing to keep in mind is that adult sites can afford a lot of resources to protect their website, whereas religious websites are usually set up by well meaning amateurs.

Peer 2 peer file sharing software is very popular but there is a lot of potential for a cyber attack to occur

The internet is a wonderfully fascinating place to explore but as you can see, a certain amount of care needs to be taken to stay safe while browsing.

Another extremely good source of staying safe on line can be found here:

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