Sample Essay Paper on Computer Information Security

Computer Information Security

Hacking refers to the practice that involves a modification of parts of a system in order to achieve goals and objectives outside the purpose of the original creator. A person who is perpetually engaging in this act and has acknowledged the practice as a philosophy and lifestyle of their choice is referred to as a hacker. It is good to point out that the computer based type of hacking is one of the most common forms of hacking in the conventional world. This is particularly in the domain of computer security. However, it would be naïve to assume that the former is the only form of hacking. This is however untrue because other forms of hacking do exist. The other forms manifest themselves in the form of mobile phone hacking, brain hacking and tablet hacking among others. This paper shall thus examine factors that render organizations vulnerable to hacking as well as possible ways to avoid this vice.

Today, millions of spammers, scammers and hackers are working hard. They are in search of bank information, accounts on social media as well as the social security digits. This way, they can steal capital from people and even trick friends into giving in theirs. The terrifying bit of it is that for as little as 3000 dollars, one can purchase a fully operational and complete exploit hacking kit. The kit operates in an automatic manner to undertake the illegal activities. Some of the most common hacking strategies include;

Phishing scam is one of the most common vulnerability indicators to hacking. For instance, one may be selected to lend a hand in smuggling millions from their country promising substantial returns. It is rational to point out that tens of thousands of people to fall for these scams every year. In addition, one may be awarded a contest or a job offer. The grasp is that one has to send their personal banking information or even pay a certain fee. This vice has in return had adverse impacts which amount to millions of dollars every year. The losses are at both personal and organizational terms. Phishing scams thus increase the vulnerability to hacking

The Trojan horse is another factor that makes organizations susceptible to hacking. In this scenario, a hacker may slither a virus on a personal computer. Consequently, the Trojan horse may record every single thing one types and decode it back to the hacker. The Trojan can also send spam e-mails as well as attack other computers. The Trojan horse always disguises the virus as being harmless. The Trojan horse is often delivered by phishing e-mail tricks. The emails may be a scam from a bank, a shipping service or a respected company. Having an up to date security program may go a long way in protecting a computer from Trojan horses.

Drive by computer downloads also makes one vulnerable to computer hacking. The security software may be standard, however, the programs on your personal computer may have weaknesses that the computer hackers may utilize to evade security software. For example, Microsoft updates for windows and internet explorer are security channels that hackers take advantage of. Using older versions of Oracle Java, Reader and Adobe Flash, also make a computer vulnerable to hacking. To avoid this individuals and organizations must always utilize the latest versions of programs.

Hackers also achieve their goals by bypassing passwords. In movies, hackers are depicted as masters of guessing passwords. In the real scenario, however, hackers go around passwords and they might access the user password from the database of the organizational password one uses. To this extent, therefore, it is crucial for individuals to use different passwords for different accounts. They might also access the passwords through the utility of Trojan horse. The use of different passwords is thus advisable to reduce the degree of exposure to hacking.

The use of open and unprotected WI-Fi at home and in the workplace also increases the vulnerability of an individual or an organization to hacking. The implication is that neighbors and strangers can access your network connection from outside. Additionally, they can see as well as record every single detail that one does online. They might also access bad web pages and download illegal files from your network. The implication is that a visit by law enforcement agencies may not be too far away. To avoid this problem, individuals and organizations must take time to secure their networks.

There are a number of ways to protect computers from hacking. No single method can effectively work on its own and therefore the principle of interdependence is crucial. This principle minimizes risks while at the same time maximizes rewards. Concisely, the more coats of defense one has, the harder it becomes for hackers to access personal computers. Some of these steps include the installation of Firewall, the installation of an anti-spyware program, the utility of secure as well as complex passwords and a frequent inspection of the security settings of the web browser. A detailed discussion of the above measures follows in subsequent paragraphs.

The installation of a firewall is one of the most basic steps to prevent hacking. A firewall plays a role similar to that of a security guard. Firewalls are of two types; this includes the software and hardware firewall. Each of them performs a different and distinct function. The installation and activation of a firewall is the first step to offer security to a computer. A firewall creates an obstacle between an unauthorized program and the computer through the internet. Anytime, one is using a system either in the workplace or at home, they ought to have their firewall permanently on. This makes one aware of any unauthorized efforts to use one’s computer. An active firewall is thus a crucial step in the protection of a system.

The installation of an Antivirus program is also another means to offer security to the computer. An up to date antivirus program is a software that ensures no software or unauthorized code creates an undesirable threat to the computer. Unauthorized programs and software comprises of viruses, Trojans and keyloggers among others. These unwanted programs affect the speed of your computer. Real time security is therefore the aim of antivirus programs. They play an early warning role that ensures the threats are detected and dealt with on time. Some Antivirus programs have advanced features that protect the e-mail from hackers and block pop-ups as well as identity theft thus eventually reducing the vulnerability to hacking.

Installation of anti-spyware programs also ensures computer security. Spyware plays a very fundamental role, that of collecting personal information without prior permission. An anti-spyware thus prevents this from happening. It offers a timely protection for a computer. For example, the Comodo antivirus has a pre installed spyware protection. It is thus essential for every computer to have an anti-spyware program to combat against spyware programs.

The utility secure and complex passwords on personal computers are the first line of protection to ensure the security of a computer system. The use of complex and strong passwords makes it an almost impossible task for hackers to access your computer. Complex passwords are those that possess at least eight characters that feature a combination of letters both lower and upper case, numbers as well as special characters. Computer hackers use specific tools to unlock simple passwords in minutes. As a matter of fact, empirical research studies indicate that a password with lowercase letters can be unlocked in less than six minutes. The use of complex passwords thus reduces the vulnerability to hacking.

Finally, the computer user must always ensure the security settings of their browsers. Every browser has an array of privacy as well as security settings that one should review and set to desired levels. This often ensures the resilience of a computer to hacking. It therefore follows that computer users ought not to use one, but a combination of the following strategies to keep hackers away and ensure the security of their systems both at personal and organizational contexts.

  1. What have you learned from the assignment?

From a general standpoint, the following lessons have been picked from this assignment. First, that hacking is a serious threat to information security. Hacking is a modern day vice and is dynamic in nature. It is thus this ever changing nature that makes it possible for the growth of information technology as well as increases difficulty in creation of innovative solutions to permanently address the problem. Hacking is also an illegal practice and thus not acceptable by any laws. The existence of cyber crime laws emphasize the extent to which hacking is treated as a criminal activity.

There are also a number of elements that render individuals to hacking. These include the use of unprotected Wi-Fi networks, the use of Trojan horse, the use of outdated programs, phishing scams as well as the use of simple passwords. However, this vulnerability can be addressed by utilizing a combination of strategies. Some of these steps include the installation of Firewall, the installation of an anti-spyware program, the utility of secure as well as complex passwords and a frequent inspection of the security settings of the web browser. Concisely, therefore, an organization that adheres to a combination of these strategies may not be 100% secure but has a substantial degree of safety from hacking.

  1. What is your personal opinion about information security?

It would be naïve to assume that the information possessed in personal computers is all secure. This is a myth because the innovations in technology have made it easy for hackers to access information of thousands of individuals; be it via email, social media, and bank account among others. It is the threat to information security that has led to the development, growth and evolution of a fairly new discipline in the name of cyber crimes. Today, illegal access to personal information is actually punishable by law if found guilty. Information security thus remains as vulnerable as ever as a result of the dynamics in the field of information technology.

 

 

Works Cited

Abagnale, Frank W. The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud-America’s #1 Crime. New York: Broadway Books, 2002. Print.

Bentley, Tom. Safe Computing: How to Protect Your Computer, Your Body, Your Data, Your Money and Your Privacy in the Information Age. Concord, CA: UnTechnical Press, 2000. Print.

Brown, Bruce C. How to Stop E-Mail Spam, Spyware, Malware, Computer Viruses, and Hackers from Ruining Your Computer or Network: The Complete Guide for Your Home and Work. Ocala, Fla: Atlantic Pub. Group, 2011. Print.

Lenardon, John. Identity Theft Toolkit: How to Recover from and Avoid Identity Theft. North Vancouver, BC: Self-Counsel Press, 2006. Print.