Solving and Reducing Internet Problems

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This report was produced by undertaking research into the ways of solving and reducing some of the problems associated with different types of business activities. I have identified the problems and what solutions would be. The report was produced by Haroon Sheikh and requested by Websters Supermarket. The report was compiled and submitted on 25th FBY 2008.

Findings:

I have found that less than one-third of Internet users have any idea what phishing is, and less than four percent have changed their online habits, despite most users being the target of numerous phishing scam attacks. Phishing scams are criminal attempts to steal users’ personal information by masquerading as a trustworthy business, such as a bank or auction site, in emails or other electronic communications. Any personal data captured is used for identity theft, credit card fraud, and other crimes.

Risks of Internet Connection

A business with only physical premises to look after still needs to consider security, a business that presents it self on the Internet immediately has many other forms of threats.

There are some issues that can affect e-commerce businesses at any time and these must be considered and monitored. These include:

Spam – Not-required rubbish or junk mails, which can be blocked through easily installed filters on email accounts.

Spyware – uses different methods to get installed on your PC and attempt to sell you things or in some cases scam money from you by hacking your password/ card details.

Adware – irksome advertising and snooping software

Scams – For example, phishing, where users are taken to spoof web sites pretending to be legitimate businesses where they are asked to re-register. Newer browsers have an anti-phishing scanning feature to counteract this.

Key Internet Issues

Privacy – Much of the discussion related to data protection and privacy revolves around issues related to the WHOIS databases. These databases are used to register information about Internet resources (such as domain names, IP addresses, and related resources). Discussion in this area is generally within the context of domain name registration, specifically how to strike an appropriate balance between making relevant information publicly available for operational purposes and protecting the private information of individuals.

Security – The Internet is for everyone and is committed to promoting the Internet’s development, stability, and security. Malicious activities, such as denial of service attacks, spam, viruses, phishing scams, and other fraudulent activities, abuse the freedoms of the Internet. Such activities can cause damage to others and interfere with the right of everyone to a safe and rewarding online environment.

However, it is important that responses and solutions to Internet security problems are proportionate and do not, themselves, diminish the potential for the Internet to improve the quality of life for people around the world.

Spam – Spam has grown to be a major concern for Internet users and policy makers not only congesting networks and disseminating viruses and fraudulent messages, but also undermining trust in the Internet and the digital economy.

Giving the consumer the confidence to conduct transactions online is one of the internet’s headaches. Web site privacy and security, anti-virus software, secure payment solutions and data protection are some of the fastest growing areas of the internet business.

Web sites contain valuable information and need protecting from hackers, fraudsters and random visits by viruses. It is a false economy to ignore these silent threats to your business and vital to make room in your budgets for reputable advice and security products to safeguard the business and customer data transaction systems and server integrity.

Customer Confidence is absolutely vital for online payments. Newspaper headlines about fraud, hackers and phishing quite obviously put people off. To be secure, all payments need to be:

1 Private and Confidential between the buyer and the seller.

2 Authentic because both people are who they claim to be.

3 Conveyed intact and without any changes or alterations during transmissions.

4 Erased from the system after the process has been completed.

This is achieved by specific security:

1 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) allows a standard browser, such as Microsoft Explorer, to transmit and receive information securely. This is because the data is encrypted using encryption keys that change every time the browser is used.

2 Secure Electronic Transfer (SET) is a more sophisticated system for credit card transactions. When the card holder buys online the credit card company authenticates the card via a digital signature. This proves that the cardholder is genuine. It will then only pay the seller when it has checked the seller’s identity against a digital certificate. Again, critical information, e.g. the card number, is encrypted and decrypted but is never actually made known to the seller except the card’s issuing bank.

Businesses can basically arrange to receive payments in three ways:

1. Include an order form on the website that can customers can complete with their credit or debit card details. When this received by the seller the card details are processed in the same way as telephone orders. This method is rarely used because most customers are reluctant to email credit or debit card details, despite the fact that their internet browsers will SSL encryption as standard.

2. Pay a Payment Service Provider (PSP) to collect and process payments on its behalf. This is very useful small businesses. In this case, when the customer makes a payment, it is captured on the secure site belonging to the PSP. PSPs charge a fee for this service. They also hold on to the money for between 30 and 60 days as a precaution against fraud. Only then they will pass it on to the suppliers. Examples include World Pay and NetBanx.

3. Arrange with their bank to operate their own merchant service and process their own payments on a secure website. Banks will only agree to this if they are convinced of the financial status of the business, the security arrangements in place and are satisfied with the terms and conditions of online trading.

1. Ebay is a target for fraudsters as they can easily create pop ups allowing the user to save their password and in return they will steal all your personal details. However there is a solution to this problem as instead of using passwords to log on to your page on ebay then finger print could be used. The reason for this is passwords not the solution for identity theft as they can be inconvenient to memorise and they are impractical to safe guard.

2. HSBC may have problems with phishing as customers will provide details to an email claiming to be the bank itself and the email will provide a link through which the user will open to a website. Which will steal all of their personal details through fake updating personal information? To resolve this problem the user could use the phishing filter or pop-up blockers, which is usually provided with the new computers on the market. This phishing filter is a toolbar, which warns the user and helps protect their personal information from these web sites.

3. Music Downloading providers, For Example, LimeWire might have risks towards the user PCs because sometimes there are virus attachments to the downloading files which can erase the whole computers. There is a Solution to not download viruses by installing firewall and especially Anti-virus software which automatically updates the virus definitions, this will help the user to detect and remove the viruses safely when the virus are downloaded from the internet or sent by someone.

4. One of the risks on the internet when the virus or worms are caught on the computer which can delete the who hard drive and solution to this problem is by backing up data which means that even if the data is lost, people would have a copy of their files on removable drive.

Firewall – A firewall is a dedicated appliance, or software running on another computer, which inspects network traffic passing through it, and denies or permits passage based on a set of rules.

A firewall’s basic task is to regulate some of the flow of traffic between computer networks of different trust levels. Typical examples are the Internet which is a zone with no trust and an internal network which is a zone of higher trust. A zone with an intermediate trust level, situated between the Internet and a trusted internal network, is often referred to as a “perimeter network”.

Anti-virus software is a computer program that detects, prevents, and takes action to disarm or remove malicious software programs, such as viruses and worms. You can help protect your computer against viruses by using antivirus software. Computer viruses are software programs that are deliberately designed to interfere with computer operation, record, corrupt, or delete data, or spread themselves to other computers and throughout the Internet.

To help prevent the most current viruses, you must update your antivirus software regularly. You can set up most types of antivirus software to update automatically.

Backing up data – A simply security measures that is advisable for individuals as well as businesses is to back up the data that is stored on your computer. A business that uses an intranet will have a lot of crucial data on file. Malicious hacking or loss of data can be very harmful to the organisation. Computer systems are automatically configured to back up data. This means that creating an additional copy of all files and storing this separately.

Conclusion:

I have found out that some technology buffs have recommended that the whole structure of the web should be reviewed and upgraded version launched with more controls.

I have also found that to help avoid viruses, it’s essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates and antivirus tools, stay informed about recent threats, and that you follow a few basic rules when you surf the Internet, download files, and open attachments.

I have found that without proper configuration, a firewall can often become worthless. Standard security practices dictate a “default-deny” firewall rule set, in which the only network connections which are allowed are the ones that have been explicitly allowed. Unfortunately, such a configuration requires detailed understanding of the network applications and endpoints required for the organization’s day-to-day operation. Many businesses lack such understanding, and therefore implement a “default-allow” rule set, in which all traffic is allowed unless it has been specifically blocked. This configuration makes inadvertent network connections and system compromise much more likely.

I have also found out that to help reduce the risks to computer security, organisations can implement sensible procedural precautions, such as IT technicians switching off features that automatically open attachments to email, ensuring that operating system updates are always installed and instructing staff about the danger of opening email attachments from unknown senders, In addition to this Anti-virus software needs also to be installed as A computer program designed to detect and respond to malicious software, such as viruses and worms.

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