Internet Security A couple of years ago when the words computer and internet were unheard of, the means by which people communicated were very limited by today s standards. The Internet has brought on a vast selection of information, all available by the click of the mouse; thus, deeming it the information super highway. The World Wide Web (WWW) has completely changed the way in which we do business and communicate. Unfortunately, this new found freedom has given hackers (term found and defined in The New Hacker s Dictionary as one who is able to break into computer systems and retrieve information ) the ability to access information that should not be available to them; this brings up a question about Internet security. Although the Internet has been the ground floor for a new form of fraud, the World Wide Web has and is still creating new avenues for speedier business, better communication and more easily accessible information.Business alone has greatly benefited from the WWW. The Internet has, in the past, posed a threat to our security and safety, but the benefits the world has seen from this monstrous highway of information in insurpassible. Companies, today, are going online and selling their products straight from the net. It s amazing to see the Internet shape and improve our culture. Anyway, a leading multi-level marketing company, will soon launch a multi-million dollar internet web site where consumers will be able to buy and sell the Amway product from the comfort of their own home computer (E-Commerce Venture 2). The stock market has also been affected. With E-trade (http://www.etrade.com) - an online investment broker - anybody who owns a computer can buy and sell stocks straight from the computer. There s no doubt that Internet has enhanced the way we do business, and it is hard to wait to see where it will go next.Before the Internet and computer, people used to have to rely on the post office for mail. It really was a drag to have the only means of written communication to be to hand-write letters, stamp them and mail them off. Now, with the help of the Internet, people can keep in touch with the click of a mouse button. Electronic mail (e-mail) has revolutionized the way the world communicates. Everyday, I hear people say, I just got my email address. It is so much easier and quicker. By way of the Internet, people can also pay bills; email and electronic transfers are taking over the way we communicate very quickly. Recently, I introduced email to my mom and instantly she can communicate with friends who she hasn t seen or heard from for years. E-mail is amazing and is redefining world communication.
The Internet has virtually surpassed any need for written encyclopedias. Any type of information that anyone could possibly want to know is on the net. From alligators to Zimbabwe, if someone wants to know something, all he or she needs is a computer and the Internet. Virtually, all encyclopedias have gone online. Compton s,Grolier, New World Encyclopedia and The New Book of Knowledge are just a few of these (http://dir.yahoo.com/Reference/Encyclopedia/). Not to mention, on top of the encyclopedias, there are literally billions of pages of information all within our reach. The information superhighway has definitely reshaped our access to information about the world we live in and more. Internet fraud is new to our society. Since the WWW has only been around for about ten years (The Internet Handbook 5), people have finally realized how easily accessible personal information is to them. Personal information, such as, credit card numbers, names, addresses, telephone numbers and social security numbers are all available to those who know how to access them. Now, it is not as though all of those things show up on the screen as soon as you turn the computer on. To access this information, it takes quite a bit of scheming and knowledge. And fortunately, this knowledge is not common knowledge; but don t get me wrong, the security of our personal information on the Internet still remains a concern to many. Daily, though, the security of our information improves. Basically, what the security of the Internet has come down to is a government matter. Soon, it will be just as hard to break codes and obtain personal information on the Internet as it is to break into secret government files in the pentagon.