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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