25 February 2009
Cyber Security and Personal Information
Today, technology is almost everywhere we go and in almost everything we do as we carry on with our general daily lives. We have now become accustomed to a world of simplicity and velocity for everyday tasks, enhanced by the availability of all the current and ever-evolving technology in conjunction with the development and rapid expansion of the World Wide Web. Due to the accessibility, heterogeneity, and magnitude of this information highway each day the world grows smaller, bringing us closer together through information networking and data sharing or communication. Computers, networks, and the World Wide Web efficiently manage many aspects of a modern-day individual’s life, including routine scheduling, occupational projects, and personal records. Just like there is judicious and responsible usage of the technology and the World Wide Web, there has also been an increasing development of corrupt and damaging counteracts with the purpose of breaching individuals’ privacy, thus converting useful information networking or sharing into hazardous confidentiality violations. Apart from the diverse advantageous attributes contributed to modern society by the World Wide Web, there are also perpetually developing technological malpractices, which threaten the privacy and security of millions of Internet users, along with their banks, networks, and organizations.
As economic entities, banks have the ultimate responsibility to its clients of maintaining and securing all confidential aspects about each individual’s financial information. Banks have dedicated several hundred years to the perfection of systems for money protection, yet they still have much work to do and experience to gain regarding computerized systems designed to safeguard information which represents said currency since they are a primary target for frauds and cybercrimes. (In Search Of Computer Security) By illicitly trespassing a bank’s information security system and records, which contain sensitive client financial information, a cyber offender may engage in many types of cybercrimes, including credit card fraud, extortion, and even identity theft of any bank client. Even an industry giant like the Bank of America has been victim to this new age delinquency, having to warn holders of at least 1.2 million of its federal employee credit card accounts about a “major security breach, which left their account information exposed to theft or hacking.” (Burger) These occurrences obviously affect everyone involved directly, and inevitably affect society indirectly as a whole. There are several things we can do as individuals to prevent these specific types of violations, including complete concealment of bank information, regular password updating, and periodical revision of account status and balances. (Aytes and Connolly)
The variety of networking activities that make up the World Wide Web and the millions of individuals who engage in them daily make computer networks another primary target for attacks. Just like a bank’s information security system, a network contains loads of affiliate information, which can be just as harmful in the wrong hands. The information accessed may contain a myriad of details about an individual’s life, from their pastimes and professions to their schedules and written addresses. With this level of information users are exposed to more than cybercrimes, for an individual with a high income and a significant financial position is also vulnerable to firsthand criminal activity like burglary or kidnapping for exuberant ransoms. One of the technical solutions to address this issue includes “cryptography – the software art of protecting computer information with secret codes.” (Hacker Case Underscores Internet's Vulnerability) Even though the application of cryptography aids in the prevention of information loss, there are always certain flaws, which