Need To Know: Internet Security

by Barbara J. Feldman on September 25, 2007

The Internet is a wonderful source for all kinds of useful information. Many people have their businesses online, do online banking and purchase items online. Such things are very convenient, but they can also be dangerous. Did you know that a hacker could possibly have remote control of your computer at this very moment? Or maybe an identity thief has hacked into your system and is watching you conduct business and make purchases online? All these fears could very possibly become realities if you do not take Internet security seriously.

Internet security involves various different programs and education of Internet security to be as successful as possible at keeping out predators and hackers. For some it is difficult to see just how easy it is for hackers to break into their computer. Hackers are expert at their trade and can recognize when there are weaknesses in your computer system. The only way to patch these holes and to make yourself a less likely target is to reinforce your system with security features and up-dates.

Firewalls and anti-virus software are your two biggest defenses against unwanted intruders. A firewall is a program that works to deny access to information that could be harmful to you or to the integrity of your security system. A firewall comes standard with many newer computers; all that the user needs to do is set up their control settings and make sure to make regular updates to the system by downloading newer versions of the firewall software when newer versions are made available. Firewalls are especially important if your computer is part of a networked system, such as in a small business. Even one unprotected computer in the network can make all of the other computers vulnerable. Antivirus software packages operate in many different ways. In general the job of an antivirus software package is to look for patterns in the files or memory of your computer that indicate the possible presence of a known virus. The effectiveness of antivirus software, like the firewall, is dependent on having the latest virus profiles installed on your computer. As was mentioned before, hackers are experts at figuring out ways to outsmart your Internet security features. Downloading the latest security software, and antivirus software specifically, allows your system to recognize and protect against recently discovered viruses.

Fortunately obtaining Internet security for your computer is relatively easy and affordable. Many antivirus and firewall software programs are available for free as a download. Updates are also frequently free of charge. But it is the responsibility of the user to make sure that security features are updated and that personal actions online do not put your entire system in jeopardy.

Software security features can only do so much when it comes to Internet safety, you must do your part as well. As you are on the Internet you need to keep a watchful eye out for possible dangers that may not be as apparent to a piece of software. For example, it is unwise to open an e-email or download an e-mail attachment from someone that you do not know or even from someone that you do know if the attachment looks suspicious. E-mail is a very popular medium used by hackers to send you viruses. Use caution when disclosing personal information online. Chat rooms can be particularly dangerous if you disclose too much information to anyone because you can never know for sure whether or not the person that you are communicating with is a disguised predator. Do not become cavalier in how you safeguard both yourself and the safety of your computer’s efficiency. Hackers and predators look for these lapses in judgment and lax attitudes and use them as opportunities to take advantage of you in many terrible ways.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Need To Know: Internet Security." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Sep. 2007. Web. 18 Jul. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1176/need-to-know-internet-security/ >.