Our Security on the Internet

Internet Security

The words internet and secure don’t really go together to well in peoples minds. Sure there are risks, just like anything really! Sending a cheque or cash in the post to a relative, would this be safer than a bank transfer over the internet? Think abut how many hands that letter has to go through, it only takes one of those people to realise it has money inside. Personally I don’t know which is safer, but what I do know is that internet transactions aren’t going to get lost in the post, or delayed by holidays.

The reason why a lot of people are scared for the on-line security is really due to the press, and its availability. There have been many recent issues in the news about on-line safety, one of the biggest ones was the Playstation network. Millions of people saw their data taken from a place which they thought was secure, passwords, credit card details and more. Another far more recent issue has been the Facebook hacking, where 45,000 of its users have had their password stolen. A third story was around hacking organisations like anonymous, and the effect they had on any website they chose. Sadly these things do happen, but writing endless stories scaring people into not using the technology isn’t the way forward. The older generation are often terrified by these stories and what might happen if they buy something off Amazon.

But out of all of this that happens, the amount of issues people have is minuscule, for example every 60 seconds over 618,000,000 e-mails are sent, or 695,000 facebook updates. What are the chances of your small transactions being actually affected? I haven’t done the math, but they are going to be pretty slim. I think that figures like these should be given more attention, those who are afraid of using the internet should know how small they really are on the internet, and their chances of actually being affected by an attack.

Then we have other stories of how Facebook helped gangs organise attacks, or riots. This is the downside of helping people with shared interests get connected, we can’t say which groups can’t get together! But the we have groups of people like “Occupy” who believe that Facebook have too much control and that its wrong for the server to search through the information we freely give Facebook to try and prevent these problems! That I am afraid I do not understand, and I am a little concerned about them creating their own Open-Source social media service, if there is a risk to our personal information being on the internet, then Open-source options aren’t going to be the way forward in my opinion.

The final thought about security on the internet is about storing your files on the internet. A lot of people are afraid of putting their data on the internet for storage, not matter the encryption used because they believe the internet isn’t secure. When you save something on Google, it doesn’t stay in the “internet” its on a server owned by Google, in what’s known as a data warehouse. A data Warehouse is what it says on the tin, they are huge compounds storing information on millions of servers, which share their information with other compounds around the world to make sure that if one entire warehouse stops operating, you can still access all of your data. The amount these companies spend on securing your data is in the millions, because the safety of your data is basically their interest! It’s going to be safer there than on your laptop, because if your laptop hard drive breaks, that data is gone! Even if you back -up your data, if you don’t keep your back-ups in a separate building, a flood or house fire could mean you have lost it all.

Security is at the forefront of a lot of peoples minds, which is a good thing! However, it should be put into context, which, from my experience so far, is something that most of us don’t do so well.

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Clouds

OK, so technology is my thing, I love reading about it, and talking about it, and I’m sure there will be many things I’ll put on here about it. But Cloud Technology is a fascinating topic at the moment I think, most people have seen or heard about it whether its word of mouth, at work, or maybe and advert at the train station. The thing is, how many of those people actually know what cloud technology is? Even the proprieters of this new form of computing haven’t defined what it is, and if you ask everyone in that company to write down 10 words to describe cloud computing, most of the words they wrote wouldn’t be the same as each other.

So why is it so hard to understand? Technology is supposed to make our life easier, not more difficult (although I know plenty of elderly who would beg to differ) and cloud technology is all about making it even easier, by turning the software we use into a utility, just like gas and electric. Put simply, that is cloud technology, it is the ability to outsource you computing needs. Although there are lots of variations, SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, that’s really what it is.

Outsourcing though causes issues, as I’m sure everyone on the planet knows. Although the famous economists Smith and Ricardo demonstrate that people doing what they are good at means the we can help the world become a better place, a lot of people see outsourcing as a negative thing. People lose jobs, and careers are lost, are often arguments that I receive when talking about cloud computing. But, in reality, this is not true.

So lets say the business you work for now outsources its IT to a company like Google. The IT staff within your company will have less need to do maintenance, but now they can focus on making sure everything that the IT systems are doing is going to help the business develop faster. If a business cuts down on IT staff, those people are not out of work, Google will need IT staff for example. But one of the main things that change, is that careers will move into different areas, instead of needing someone to maintain servers, jobs will be created to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud, and to ensure the cloud technology is working well for them as a company. Consultants are in even mre need as the number of cloud computing providers increase to find out who will serve the customer the best, and how can they make sure it happens? and so, Cloud Specialists are born. Just like when the UK moved from industrial to services, yes jobs will be removed from one organisation, but jobs will be created elsewhere.

The we all progress in our chosen specialisations the more we will benefit! The faster the world will become, we will be able to do more in less time. Is this a good thing? That’s for another time.