Essay on Critical Thinking

Submitted By jannawang1
Words: 941
Pages: 4

Individual Critical Thinking/Writing Assignment
Bus 121, Lab B01 In the current technological era, people are comfortable doing important things online as long as their information is protected by passwords; however, news of the “Heartbleed” bug in April has brought the public’s attention to computer security again. It is advised that web users should always be security-conscious when they use online services and developing a good security habit could effectively reduce the opportunity of being hacked. Online security is often misunderstood. In reality, online services are not as secure as many make it out to be. For example, Heartbleed, the computer security bug in OpenSSL cryptograph library, allows hackers to extract passwords from websites and to steal personal information from the accounts. According to a HYPERLINK "http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2014/04/02/april-2014-web-server-survey.html" \t "_blank" Netcraft web server survey that included nearly 959,000,000 websites, 66% of sites utilized OpenSSL encryption and were affected by Heartbleed in April CITATION Kyl14 \l 2052 (Russle), and this includes the companies like Amazon, Ebay, Gmail, Facebook and Yahoo!. As a result, developing an online security-conscious habit would be crucial for protecting web users’ critical information. An extensive research conducted by the Tel Aviv University shows that users who change their password at least once in 14 months are 65% less likely to be hacked than the ones who do not (Alon, 2012). This evaluation was performed using a dataset containing over 780 students. This claim is further supported by the essay, the psychology of password management: a tradeoff between security and convenience, written by Professor L.Tam (Tam, 2010). The essay states that the more time the user spends on creating a complex password, the less likely he will be attacked by hackers. Although the Heartbleed bug was catastrophic to Internet, it reminded people of the importance of having good online security. Though it is true that we do not have control of how a website is powered or encrypted, we can still be conscious of problems and be prepared to react if anything goes wrong.
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Analysis
The claim of the argument is that “web users should always be security-conscious when they use online services, and developing a good security habit could effectively reduce the opportunity of being hacked.” It is a contestable claim and the author has represented it clearly in the first paragraph of the article by using the cue word, “it is advised”. There are two evidences used to support the claim. One is the study conducted by Tel Aviv University using the database of 780 students. The other evidence is the essay, the psychology of password management: a tradeoff between security and convenience, written by Professor L.Tam. The first is quality evidence and it is authorized by Tel Aviv University, the largest university in Israel. The article was published with IEEE, the world wide professional association of technology. The number of students that the study looked into is sufficient and the result is precise. However, the sample population is from Israel so it might not be representative of the users in North-America. The second evidence is also high-quality as it is representative and highly relevant; however, it is not precise or accurate as it did not specify the probability of being hacked or the study population. Both pieces of evidence are highly related to the claim. After introducing how vulnerable the websites are, the author proposed two studies that demonstrated how effective security management could reduce the opportunity of being hacked. However, when readers read the article, they may believe that security management is useless as a hacker can always find…