Merchants that conduct research and development on the Internet are under the primary responsibility for the information and intellectual property (information security) that is derived from their Internet activities. As a result, Internet security policies are one of the basics requirements that a company obtains when starting up its Internet business.

Security Research Overview

The Internet is open to the entire world that includes virtually everyone. Millions of users visit the Internet virtually every day. These users include children, teenagers, older adults, employees of non-domiciled businesses, grocery store users, and many others. Since information is the currency in the world of the Internet, the responsible company takes extra special care to protect this information from hackers, computer criminals, and disgruntled employees.

From the very beginning, people have been trying to find a way to stop people from stealing information. One method that was invented is using passwords. Passwords are used to help users remember them so, they don’t have to remember resetting the password each time they sign in.

Phishing has been going on since as early 1990. In the past, these criminals would “phish” or send emails that appeared to be from a legitimate company. They would ask for personal information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers. Many of these emails would contain a link that would supposedly lead the victim to log on to the legitimate site. However, because the Internet is a collection of computers linked together in one huge network, this link would take the victim to the criminal’s website. Once these unsuspecting people entered their information they would be asked to save it to their hard drive so it can be retrieved later. Some of these criminals would even ask for a refund for the digital download that they had bought.

After ascertaining that each of the 10 people in our study group kept their computers locked and passwords very important information was compromised. People started doing things that they shouldn’t be doing.

We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the criminals. They can afford the services of computer security experts or software developers. Why can’t we?

Changes to Internet Security Policies

Digital downloading and credit card fraud were the main subjects of computer security awareness training workshops and certifications. Because these methods of stealing information were big problems, awareness, and protection methods were also developed. Some of these methods are now found in security systems around the world.

One of the well-known methods of protecting information is protecting the file-systems of computers. If knowing that a worm can attack a file-sharing network makes people more cautious, then teaching them that there is no such thing as “having your cake and eating it too” should have a much higher impact.

Compromising digital files is a lot less costly than some of the other threats discussed here. Once your computer has been hijacked you’ll notice a new toolbar appear, or you’ll almost feel like you’re browsing through your bank account. The impact of this on your computer will become apparent right away.

Remember that there’s no such thing as a 100% protected computer. Every day snoopers and hackers are searching for ways to penetrate weak points to invade computers. Tools that promise to protect your computer against so-called “viruses” are very misleading. Viruses are different from spy-ware and ad-ware. They can’t see the file on your computer, so they can’t infect it.

Once they become aware of how easily your computer can be hacked, they will then have a financial reason to attack your computer. This has happened time and again. Only when large corporations realize that their networks are swamped with attacks and that they cannot respond to all of them, do they start to adapt and implement defensive mechanisms to prevent future breaches.

Therefore, all PCs in your network need to be on high alert. If they sense that there’s something wrong, or that someone is trying to hack into their computers, they have to take immediate action.

A common mistake is to set all of the computers in the network to “diffident” mode, that is, making all of them refuse to communicate with each other. This mistake often leads to network segments or computers having no access to the Internet at all.

If there is already a worm or a virus in the software or hardware before it makes its way onto the network, then it’s not a concern of yours at all. Remember that preventative measures only work if someone uses your computer to spread the worm or virus. If no one attempts to use your computer to spread the worm, then the preventive measures are useless.

Computers that are not online are no longer part of the network and are therefore not protected from worms that spread through the network. Because they are not online, they cannot be infected with the worms that spread through the network.