The Importance Of Safe Computing

1079 Words 5 Pages
Chapter 1
One of the most striking technological developments of the last fifty years has been the emergence of digital technology as a powerful force in our lives.

For many of us, this technology is embodied in the digital computer, which has evolved to be an essential tool for our work as well as our personal needs. In 1951, when the first commercial electronic digital computer, a UNIVAC I, was delivered to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, computers were essentially unknown to most people, and were found only in a few research laboratories and universities. They were large, expensive, and prone to frequent failure. In contrast, today's computers are relatively small, inexpensive, reliable, and are found in every country.

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Safe computing is possible, but it takes knowledge, vigilance, and care. The language in this section will include a certain degree of technical jargon.

The first step in devising a security strategy is to understand what “safe computing” means. If you practice safe computing, you are seeking to ensure that:
•your data and programs will not be altered or disappear unless you request it;
•your computer and programs will behave the way their designer intended (with the exception of software bugs which are unintended flaws in program code);
•no one will use your computer, your data, or your network without your permission;
•you will not unknowingly spread computer viruses;
•you will not be annoyed as much by unwanted advertisements (spam);
•no one will watch every move you make on your computer;
•no one will capture any of the data that goes over your wired or wireless network;
•no one will steal your usernames or passwords on systems or sites that you
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This data could include your customer lists, financial projections, or proprietary programs that you have written.
•The value of your personal data. Your personal data may not have any clear monetary value, but a loss could be expensive (see later definition of identity theft), and you should consider how much time it may take to recreate the information.
•The threat of computer criminals. As technology has advanced, a class of people who take advantage of networked computers to steal data has emerged.

In some cases, they are operating for benign (or malicious) kicks or to prove to themselves or to their friends that they can do it .In some cases, they are operating for personal gain (stealing credit card information, engaging in fraudulent transactions). In any case, these people can cause inconvenience and damage; in extreme cases they may create serious problems for individuals and businesses whose data has been compromised. Since the Internet is available to users worldwide, it can be complicated, if not impossible, to trace where the attacks are coming from and to stop the intruders permanently.


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