The State of PC Security

Essay by wisehymerUniversity, Master'sA+, October 2004

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Privacy and security is the number one concern of Computer users today. Survey after survey indicates people's mounting concern for the protection of their identities and the safeguard of their data. While our computer security and privacy faces threats from both private and probably governmental intrusions, the existing patchwork of laws and practices fails to provide comprehensive protection. Instead, we live in a confusion of information that fuels a sense of distrust and skepticism, limiting the potential of the Internet's power.

Gone are the days of carefree Internet surfing. Even the most ignorant computer user is at least aware of viruses. We now must make an effort to be informed, educated, and equipped to protect our digital assets but most of all our privacy. Just as we all know to keep our homes locked for protection from intruders we must start learning how to lock our computers from digital intruders.

There is hope. A unique combination of tools: legal and technical, is being designed to address the privacy concerns of Internet users. Top-priority objectives include ensuring that new information and communication technologies are designed in ways that protect our privacy not diminish it, This work is intended to educate computer users about online privacy, and offer current and practical suggestions. These solutions are many years away. We have to use the hardware and software tools currently available to combat the threats to your privacy and security.

We must also discard any notion that there is a "one-size-fits-all" security method. Today's multitude of threats and endless amalgamation of computers, software and hardware devices demands we become educated in the methods used to defend our data.

If you use a Windows personal computer to access the Internet, your personal files, your privacy and your security are all in jeopardy. A criminal...