What is Internet security? According to Wikipedia: “In computer science, Internet security (security of Internet activity) is the practice of making the Internet sufficiently safe for interaction by individuals and systems so that information systems and computer systems are resistant to attacks from both viruses and people.” With such definition, what is Internet security?
Internet security is actually a large branch of computer science devoted to ensuring that the Internet is well protected from outside influences such as hackers. It encompasses web site security, the Internet itself, browser security, computer system security, and firewall as it pertains to both applications and operating systems. Its goal is to set up rules and guidelines for users to use against intrusions onto the Internet. In short, internet security is about more than preventing unauthorized access to a computer system.
Hackers are becoming sophisticated in their techniques and methods. There are many ways that an “expert hacker” can break into a computer network, ranging from data theft, to denial of service attacks and system intrusion. Since cyber warfare is still at an early stage of development, it is difficult to determine what the long range and short range goals of these hackers are. However, one thing is common among all internet security threats – governments and businesses need to take more aggressive steps to protect themselves from these potential attacks.
Internet security begins with anti-virus software and firewall programs. These can be used to protect individual computers from malware, spyware, spam, or even attacks from within a computer network. The first line of defense against intrusions is infection avoidance through use of anti-virus and anti-spam software. These are designed to detect virus signatures and prevent further attacks.
Along with anti-virus protection, users must also purchase firewall programs to prevent attackers from accessing data on a computer or network. Some types of malware are able to make their way through a firewall and into systems by using known or hidden vulnerability. Commonly found vulnerabilities include holes in the Java and Adobe Flash applications as well as the Active X platform. A common method of exploiting holes in these applications is to trick users into clicking a link which then downloads malicious software. Firewalls can also block or restrict the use of these programs by blocking access to them.
Another way to defend against malware and viruses is to regularly update and run anti-virus software. This is especially true for businesses. No business is safe from the threat of viruses and their associates; it’s a risk every business should take. Internet security companies are offering virus protection for free online, however there is no guarantee it will cover all needs. Businesses should look for a company that offers reliable and effective virus protection as well as regular updates and service support.
In addition to securing a business’ internal networks, businesses should also protect themselves from external threats. One way for hackers to get into a network is through phishing scams. Employees may forward emails containing viruses, malware or phishing links to family members, friends or coworkers. When they click on these links, they can accidentally open harmful files that could harm their computers. To avoid falling victim to phishing scams, employees should only ever click on links in email attachments or digital signatures provided by legitimate websites.
Internet security measures can’t be prevented, but they can be managed. The best internet security tips available focus on prevention. By avoiding suspicious looking web pages or websites, employees can help to reduce the amount of times they direct innocent users to harmful websites. They can also help to manage their work email accounts and firewalls to block unwanted phishing emails and malware. By taking steps to protect their personal information and systems, businesses can limit the damage hackers can do to their computers and to their careers.