Mark Ciampa (2004. pg. 2) defines internet security as the process through which a computer is protected from harmful attacks. The cyber world, convenient as it is, is not so safe. There are some tools that are designed to make it easier for a computer user to access websites and web pages. These tools include cookies and AutoComplete save passwords, usernames and also personal details like bank details. It is therefore important that every internet user should be made aware of cyber insecurity. Insecurity can occur as a result of careless sharing of private files or unprotected shared resources. This means that anyone can access your information on the internet. A war driver, as defined by Eric Cole, Ronald Krutz & James Conely (2005), is someone who goes around a neighborhood trying to locate and access Wireless Local Area Networks, radio signals and high speed internet connections. A war driver ‘eavesdrops’ on the network traffic, trying to locate a point of weakness. This is common when a network has remote access facilities or wireless devices. This driver usually has an already configured wireless network client to enhance operations. To increase levels of security, do not allow the cookies to save passwords and usernames. Use a good cookie manager to protect your privacy, make your passwords more complex-mix words and numbers, avoid common passwords like names. Use a personal firewall. Cryptography is another security measure that an average computer user can use. Encrypting data helps to keep hackers at bay. It will take them a really long time to decipher the encryption, and sometimes even days or never.
In James’s case, what was missing from the wireless network system he accessed is maximum security that restricts access to outside users. He found an open port and took advantage of it. This simple action made private information easily accessible to him. He may not be the typical hacker who uses the information he finds to his advantage. A simple firewall could have prevented this scenario. The technological world is fast growing and changes every day, becoming more and more sophisticated. This means that internet hackers have to scale up their game to keep up with the technology, devising new methods and ways to hack into your computer (Chirillo, 2002). As a computer user, you should therefore always be informed and up to date on cyber security, and the different precautions available to you. Be on your toes on all the different types of cyber crimes, and the different precautionary measures you can take to protect yourself, thus preventing incidences like ‘James’ scenarios from recurring. No matter how much security measures a computer user applies, the computer will not be 100% safe. This does not however mean that there is nothing you can do to ensure your security. As an average computer user, there are several security measures that you can adopt. You could start by disabling features that are a security threat, for example cookies. Your private information is just that, private. Also, open service ports are a major point of weakness in cyber security and you should always avoid them (Bott, E. & Siechert, 2003).
In conclusion, as a computer user, you should never assume that every person is like James, who will just use your system and leave, no. Never leave it to chance. Use the above mentioned security measures to avoid such incidences. You can protect yourself by making use of programs that allow you to keep a record of who was allowed access to the network, at what time he/she accessed the network, and for how long did he/she access it. This way, you are able to control access to information, keep track of it, thus protecting your privacy. Overall, it is important to bear in mind that the cyber world is full of insecurity and one must always be extremely careful.
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