COMPUTER SECURITY AND PRIVACY Microsoft Learning Computer Security and Privacy Your computer is a very valuable and important device and you might depend on it for many things that you do throughout the day. Also, you might use computers for storing personal or official information, which you cannot afford to lose. However, your computer and the data stored on it are vulnerable to damage and destruction. Therefore, it is essential that you take some protective measures to keep your computer secure and updated. This course explains some of the common threats to your computer and how you can safeguard your computer and the data stored on it from these threats. Table of Contents - Course Overview • Navigation Overview • Course Information
Computer Security and Privacy • An Overview of Computer Security and Privacy • Protecting Your Computer and Your Data • Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Security Threats • Keeping Your Computer Secure and Updated • Computer Ethics • Module Summary Glossary
Course Overview Course Information This course gives you an overview of computer privacy and security. You learn about the types of threats to your computer, and how to protect your computer from these threats. You also learn about the ethical challenges that the computer and the Internet present, along with the legal concerns of information exchange. Course Details and Description Audience Description This course is intended for anyone who wants to acquire digital literacy skills. Prerequisites Students should have basic reading comprehension skills at the level required to read a local newspaper. Students should have completed the first course on Computer Basics, or have equivalent computer skills. Course Objectives After completing this course, you will be able to: • Explain the primary risks to both hardware and data from accident, device failure, the environment, human error, and malicious acts. • Take steps to minimize such risks. For More Information For more information, see the Microsoft Learning Web site.
Computer Security and Privacy Module Introduction Like any other electronic device, your computer is at risk from damages caused by accident or by intention. Some of these damages can be permanent. You can prevent your computer hardware, software, and the data stored on it from a number of damages by taking certain preventive measures. This module helps you to identify the various threats to your computer and the data stored on it. You will explore how to protect your computer from these threats by taking some preventive measures. Finally, the module explains the ethical and legal issues related to Internet usage. Module Objectives After completing this module, you will be able to: • Explain the terms security and privacy, and identify the forms and possible effects of different categories of computer threats. • Identify the various methods of protecting your computer and your data from threats. • Explain the good working habits used to enhance computer security and privacy. • Explain the purpose of different security settings on your computer and the options available for keeping your computer up-to-date. • Identify the basic ethical challenges that the computer and the Internet present to all users. (Study Sheet for this module.) Study Sheet COMPUTER SECURITY AND PRIVACY Lesson 1 An Overview of Computer Security and Privacy • Introduction to Computer Security and Privacy • Introducing Computer Threats and Solutions • Sort Game: Computer Threats and Solutions • Self Test Lesson 2 Protecting Your Computer and your Data • Protecting the Operating Environment and the Data on Your Computer • Securing Online and Network Transactions • Ensuring E-Mail and Instant Messaging Security • Sort Game: Measures to Protect Your Computer and Your Data • Self Test Lesson 3 Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Security Threats • Protecting Privacy • Online Predators • Guidelines to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Online Predators • Tile Game: Protecting Your Family from Online Predators • Self Test Lesson 4 Keeping Your Computer Secure and Updated • Configuring the Computer Security Settings • Keeping the Computer Up-to-Date • Self Test Lesson 5 Computer Ethics • About Intellectual Property • Copyright Violation and Prevention • Legal Concerns with Information Exchange • Tile Game: Understanding Computer Ethics • Self Test
Lesson 1 AN OVERVIEW OF COMPUTER SECURITY AND PRIVACY CONTENTS: √ Introduction to Computer Security and Privacy √ Introducing Computer Threats and Solutions √ Sort Game: Computer Threats and Solutions √ Self Test • LESSON INTRODUCTION You store your important documents, such as your tax papers, securely so that they are not damaged or lost. You also ensure that no one has access to them without your permission. If you use computers regularly, you may have a lot of information stored on the computer. This information may be in form of tax details, personal letters, or business correspondence. You need to ensure that this information is not viewed by other people without your permission. You also need to protect this information from getting damaged. In this lesson, you will explore the need for protecting your computer hardware, software, and electronic data from damage, loss, and theft. You will also learn about the various solutions and devices that you can use to protect the data on your computer. Lesson Objectives: After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Explain what the terms security and privacy mean as they apply to computing. • Identify the various threats prevalent in the world of computers and the corresponding solutions. INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SECURITY AND PRIVACY Any factor that can damage your computer or the data on it is a computer threat. There are different types of computer threats. Natural events such earthquakes or hurricanes can cause widespread physical damage. It is possible that you or someone else accidentally deletes some important files causing the computer to malfunction. When your computer is connected to a network, the computer becomes even more vulnerable to computer threats. For example, another user may use the network to gain authorized access to your computer. There are various measures that you can use to reduce the likelihood of loss due to damage. For example, you can restrict the access to your computer and create backups of important data, which you can use if the data is deleted or tampered with. By following basic guidelines, you can minimize the risks of damage to your computer and ensure its security and privacy. Computer Security The computer hardware can be damaged due to human carelessness or natural causes such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. Also, the data and software on the computer need to be protected from accidental or intentional loss and tampering. Computer security deals with the measures that you can take to avoid such damage to the computer and its data. Computer Privacy You store your personal files or documents on your computer and would not want anyone to read them. Computer privacy means that your data, such as personal files and e-mail message, is not accessible by anyone without your permission. Computer privacy deals with the measures that you can take to restrict access to your data. Computer privacy also includes being careful while giving out any personal information over the Internet. Any such information is likely to be misused to gain access to your personal accounts, such as your e-mail and bank accounts. INTRODUCING COMPUTER THREATS AND SOLUTIONS There are various threats to your computers and the data stored on it. For example, someone may try to steal your computer hardware. Some components of your computer can get damaged due to excessive heat or cold. You can categorize these threats into three main categories: 1. environmental or natural threats 2. malicious human threats 3. non-malicious human threats The following table lists the various threats to computer security and privacy. It also explains the measures that you can take to protect your data and computer from these threats.
Environmental/Natural Threats Category: Some of the major natural and environmental threats to computers are as follows: 1. Natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes: These disasters have the potential to cause massive destruction. The computers in the affected area can suffer major physical damage, which generally includes a complete loss of data. 2. Fire: Fire can damage your computer beyond repair. Even if the computer does not directly catch fire, the heat caused is enough to melt the delicate components inside the computer. Moreover, smoke can damage a computer, especially the hard disk because smoke contains tiny particles that do the damage. 3. Extreme heat or cold: Most of the components inside a computer are designed to operate within a specific temperature range. In case of excessive heat or cold, some components of your computer may start to malfunction, and you may need to replace them. If your computer has been outdoors and exposed to extreme temperatures, let it return to room temperature before you start it. 4. Voltage problems- surge/spikes: A surge or spike is a sudden increase in the supply voltage, which can permanently damage some components of your computer. For example, a sudden increase in voltage can destroy the motherboard of your computer. A charge surge can also occur due to lightning that strikes with a huge amount of electrical charge. This charge travels through power or phone lines into your computer and damages the components inside the computer. Solution: Computers require optimum environment conditions to operate smoothly. Here are some measures that you can take to protect your computer from natural and environmental threats, and also minimize the damages caused by these threats: 1. Backing up data: Backing up data involves creating multiple copies of your data. Events like floods and earthquakes can strike without warning. Your data is always unique and cannot be replaced. Creating a backup helps you to recover your data in case of any data loss. To provide better recoverability, try to keep a copy of your important data in a physically separate location, such as in another building or city. 2. Installing computers in secure locations: Install your computer in a place where it is not likely to get damage due to environmental factors. For example, avoid installing computers in rooms that are exposed to excessive dust or moisture. 3. Controlling operating environment: You should maintain an optimum temperature and humidity level to ensure the smooth functioning of your computer. You can do this by installing devices such as air conditioners and humidity controllers. 4. Surge protection and line conditioning: Use devices such as surge protectors and line conditioning devices, which connect the computer with the power source. This connection provides protection against spikes and surges on the power line. However, in case of a strong surge, the risk of damage remains and it is therefore important to keep backups of important data. In the event of a major storm, you should turn off the computer and unplug it from the power to avoid damage due to lightning. 5. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): Install devices such as a UPS that can provide an uninterrupted power supply to the computer. A UPS provides battery backup in case of power outage. This prevents software damage caused by abrupt shutting down of your computer. A UPS also provides built-in surge protection and line-conditioning features. Human Threats (Malicious) Category: 1. Discontented Employees: A discontented employee in your office can deliberately try to tamper with or destroy the data on your computer. 2. Hackers: A hacker is a person who tries to illegally access your computer when you connect it to the Internet. After accessing your computer, a hacker can steal or damage the data stored on the computer. 3. Physical Theft: Anyone can steal your computer or its components, if they have access to it. With the popularity of portable computers, such as laptops, physical theft of computers has become very common. 4. Virtual Theft: You can become a victim of virtual theft, which is again more common in cases of computers connected to the Internet. An example of virtual theft is identity theft, in which a hacker can steal your personal information to assume your identity. Using this false identity, the hacker can gain access to your finances or perform any illegal activity. Another example of virtual theft is software piracy, which refers to the theft of a computer design or program. It can also mean unauthorized distribution and use of a computer program. Program: People with malicious intentions can harm the data stored on your computer by using programs that are especially created for this purpose. Some examples of such programs are as follows:
1. Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses: Viruses are computer programs that can damage the data or
software on your computer or can steal the information stored on your computer. These viruses can reach your computer, without your knowledge, through the Internet or through storage devices, such as floppy disks and CD-ROMs. Some viruses are designed to create attacks against other computers. Worms are viruses that replicate themselves once they attack a computer, making it difficult to remove them. A Trojan horse is also a kind of virus disguised as a useful software, such as a game or a utility. Once a Trojan Horse reaches your computer, it starts acting like a virus causing damage to the computer’s data. 2. Spyware: These are programs that get installed on your computer without your knowledge. They can secretly send out information about your Web browsing habits or other personal details to another computer through the network. 3. Internet Scams: While using the Internet, you might come across some attractive offers through e-mail messages or chat room communications. You should be very careful before accepting any such offers because these offers can be part of well-planned scams that can cause you a financial loss. 4. Online Predators: Online predators are individuals who lure anybody online, into inappropriate and unethical relationships. You or your family members can become targets of online predators. Online predators develop contact with their targets by using e-mail or chat room communication. Solution: Following are some measures that you can take in order to minimize the risks associated with malicious human threats: 1. Data Storage in Safe Locations: Keep your data in safe and secure locations that have limited access to others. This minimizes the possibility of theft or tampering of the data. Windows XP Service Pack 2 provides you with folder-level encryption. Encryption of the folders results in encoding of the data in the folders. This can help prevent unauthorized access of the data. 2. Virus and Spyware Protection: There are some basic steps that you can take to reduce the threat of viruses and spyware. You must open an e-mail attachment or install any software from a Web site with caution. Built-in features in e-mail software, such as Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2003, allow you to block junk e-mail messages and provide features to check for viruses and worms. The most reliable way is to install antivirus and anti-spyware software from a reputable vendor. These software programs have the ability to check for viruses and spyware present in the computer’s memory and also prevent new ones from entering. It is also necessary to regularly update antivirus and anti-spyware software so that they are able to recognize new viruses and spyware. Most antivirus and anti-spyware software offer the automatic updates feature that automatically installs the updated version of the software on your computer. 3. Firewall: Installing a firewall is another effective step that you can take to protect against malicious threats. A firewall enables you to filter the Internet traffic before it reaches your computer or a private network. It provides additional protection against threats such as hackers and viruses. A firewall also helps to ensure computer privacy by restricting external access to your computer by any unauthorized user. Human Threats (Non-malicious) Category: 1. Human Errors: Many times, damage to a computer is due to unintentional human error. For example, you may accidentally delete an important file, causing the computer to malfunction. 2. Hardware Damage: Computer components, being delicate, run the risk of getting damaged due to carelessness. For example, if you accidentally drop your laptop computer, this might result in damage to the hardware components, such as motherboard or CD ROM. As a result you lose the data stored on the computer. Solution: Following are the measures that you can take to protect your computer against non-malicious human threats and minimize the damage caused due to these threats: 1. Protecting hardware from accidental and environmental damages: You can take various measures to avoid any unintentional damage to your computer. Keep the computer in an area that is dustfree, free from vibration, and out of the way of possible impact. The place where you keep your computer should be well-ventilated to prevent any damage due to heat. Keep the computer away from any magnetic substance, water, or static discharge. For example, do not put the computer on the floor or on a rug. Use a surge suppressor to prevent electrical damage. Avoid eating and drinking near the keyboard and use a keyboard cover to protect against any spillage. The table or shelf housing the computer should be steady and stable to keep the computer from falling, even if the computer is bumped. 2. Backing up Data: Regularly back up important computer data. Creating multiple copies of data provides protection against loss of data due to accidental erasure or destruction of data. SORT GAME: COMPUTER THREATS AND SOLUTIONS
Sort the various features as quickly as possible into their associated categories by clicking the appropriate bucket. You can also use keyboard shortcuts by pressing 1 for the left bucket, 2 for the middle bucket, and 3 for the right bucket. Environmental Threats: • Floods and Hurricanes • Power Surge • Temperature Extremes • Lighting Strikes Malicious Threats: • Hackers • Scams • Viruses and Spyware • Hardware theft • Virtual Theft Non-malicious Threats: • Human Errors • Accidental Hardware Damage SELF TEST Question: 1. Which of the following statements best describes computer privacy? Select the one best answer. o Securing a computer from fires and earthquakes o Protecting a computer from a power surge o Preventing your friend from viewing your computer data without your permission o Preventing important computer files from getting accidentally deleted 2. Which of the following security measures can you adopt to help protect your computer and its data against environmental/natural threats? Select all answers that apply. o Surge protection o Antivirus software o Firewall o Humidity control
Lesson 2 PROTECTING YOUR COMPUTER AND YOUR DATA CONTENTS: √ Protecting the Operating Environment and the Data on Your Computer √ Securing Online and Network Transactions √ Ensuring E-mail and Instant Messaging Security √ Sort Game: Measures to Protect Your Computer and Your Data √ Self Test • PROTECTING YOUR COMPUTER AND YOUR DATA Lesson Introduction You need to provide your identification to access your bank locker or your safe deposit box. This identification is to ensure that no one else is able to access your items. Similarly, you can implement various security measures to minimize the threat to your computer and the data on it. This lesson introduces you to some common best practices that will help you to protect your operating system, software, and data on your computer. Lesson Objectives After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Identify several common methods for protecting the operating system, software, and data on your computer. • Identify the various means of securing online and network transactions. • Identify the common measures for securing e-mail and instant messaging transactions. PROTECTING THE OPERATING ENVIRONMENT AND THE DATA ON YOUR COMPUTER
Imagine that you have saved a confidential project report on your computer. You have been working for weeks to prepare this report and now you want to share the project report with your supervisor. You have a single copy of this report on your computer and it is important to secure the report from being tampered with or deleted. However, another employee uses your computer in your absence and deletes the project report from your computer. To avoid such situations, you can take measures to secure the data on your computer. The following table explains the actions that you can take to safeguard the operating environment and data on your computer. Action and Description: Implement User Identification An effective way to minimize the risk to your operating environment and data is to keep unauthorized individuals from accessing your computer. One way to achieve this is by setting up accounts for authorized users of the computer, on the basis of which each user gets an appropriate level of access. For example, in Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2, you can set up user accounts for each member of your family or other users. You can decide to give yourself more privileges, or in the case of a child’s account, you can restrict the account’s capabilities. Set a Username and Password You can also increase security and limit unauthorized access to your computer by setting up a username and password. In most offices, each employee has a unique username and password to access their computers. You can set up users and passwords in Microsoft Windows. Keep Passwords Secure Your password acts like a key to your computer. Anyone who knows your password can access your computer and tamper with data. You must keep your password secure. Be careful while typing your password to prevent anyone else from seeing it. Do not share your password with others. Do not write the password and leave it on your computer or desk. If you think that the password has been compromised, change it immediately, before anyone else is able to misuse it. Lock Your Computer When you leave your computer on and unattended, someone can tamper with your computer software or data. You can prevent this by temporarily locking your computer while you are away. When a computer is locked, it immediately hides the content of the screen and does not allow any operation until the computer is unlocked with the correct username and password combination. The exact steps to lock your computer depend on the operating system you are using. For example, in Windows XP Service Pack 2, you can lock your computer by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL, and then clicking the Lock Computer button in the Windows Security box. Note that this feature is locking the computer is not available in all operating systems. Install Protective Software You need to continuously guard your computer against threats such as viruses and spyware. At times, the damage due to a virus is considerable and you may lose important data or need to reinstall the operating system and other software. You can protect your computer from viruses and spyware by installing antivirus and anti-spyware software. These protective software programs help you detect and remove viruses and spyware present in your computer. They also prevent new ones from infecting your computer. It is a good practice to install a firewall, which filters out the content that reaches your computer. Installing a firewall also protects against hackers by restricting access by other online users. Encrypt Data Converting your data on unreadable form to protect it from unauthorized access is called encryption. An authorized user can reconvert the encrypted data into a readable and usable form. This is called decryption. Various software products today include a way to encrypt data. In Windows XP Service Pack 2, encryption is transparent to the user who encrypts the file. That is, you do not have to manually decrypt the encrypted file before you can use it. You can open and change the file as you usually do. Back Up Data You can also help protect your files from loss or damage by making copies of important files and storing them on a different storage media, such as CDs, DVDs, or floppy disks. This process is known as backing up data. You should keep the backups in secure locations, so that you can use the backup data in case the original data is damaged or deleted. Keep Your Computer Updated As newer threats keep appearing, software companies regularly create updates that you can install on your computer. These updates make additions to the installed software or operating system in your computer to makes it less vulnerable to security threats. Ensure that you regularly update the antivirus software so that it can detect the newest viruses.
When you enter a secure Web site, most of the Web browsers display a message to confirm that you have entered a secure Web site. The locked padlock icon at the lower right of the browser screen also helps you identify a secure Web site. You can also check the security certificate of a Web site before performing any online transaction on that site. Configure security components by using Windows Security Center Windows Security Center is a feature in Windows XP Service Pack 2, which provides you a convenient utility to check the status of essential security settings and track the antivirus software installed on your computer. You can open Security Center from Control Panel. The Security Center has three broad components.
Windows Firewall: You should enable the firewall before connecting to the Internet. The firewall helps prevent malicious content, such as viruses and worms, from entering your computer. It also helps prevent hackers from gaining access to your computer. Internet Options: In the Security Center, you can configure the Internet options for your computer. By using Internet options, you can set the security level to low, medium, or high. Changing the security level affects the way your browser handles various Internet files such as cookies and active content. You can also restrict the type of content that reaches your computer through the Internet.
Disable active content. Active content refers to small programs that get installed on your computer while you are browsing the Internet. Their basic function is to provide you with an interactive Internet experience through videos and toolbars. However, in some cases, these programs can be used to damage the data stored on your computer or install malicious software without your consent. By using your browser settings, you can disable active content to prevent damage to your computer. Make use of security help from your ISPs. Make use of Internet Service Provider (ISP) support for online security. The support can be in the form of antivirus and anti-spyware software. Some ISPs even provide firewall protection, e-mail virus screening, and spam protection. ENSURING E-MAIL AND INSTANT MESSAGING SECURITY E-mail and Instant Messaging (IM) are widely used for business and personal communication. However, hackers, online predators, and the people who create worms and viruses use e-mail and IM for malicious purposes. For example, these people can send e-mail attachments containing harmful software. These people can also use e-mail to solicit sensitive information or to lure you into fake offers. It is therefore important for you to take certain measures to ensure e-mail and IM security. To ensure e-mail security, avoid opening e-mail with attachments, do not respond to junk mail, do not respond to unsolicited commercial mail, and protect yourself from phishing. To ensure IM security, chat with known people only and do not open attachments received over IM. The following table explains the actions to ensure e-mail and IM security. Action and Description: Avoid opening e-mail with attachments You can send e-mail attachments to share files with your friends. You might receive a photograph or a music file as an attachment in an e-mail message. However, you need to be cautious while opening any mail containing an attachment because it is the most common pathway for the spread of viruses. You may receive a number of irrelevant or unwanted e-mail messages from unknown senders. These messages are know as junk mail or spam. It is advisable not to reply to the senders of such e-mail messages. Junk mail is often malicious in nature and can include content that is harmful for your computer. E-mail programs, such as Microsoft Outlook, include a junk mail folder in which the suspected junk mail may be directed. You may receive a number of unsolicited e-mail messages from companies that are advertising their products or services. These messages may also be in the form of online surveys that require you to fill up personal information. However, these commercial messages carry the potential of identity theft, and you might accidentally share some sensitive information while responding to them. It is therefore advisable to not respond to these unsolicited
Do not respond to junk mail
Do not respond to unsolicited commercial mail
messages. You may also delete these messages whenever you receive them. Protect yourself from phishing Phishing is a common activity used to extract personal information from computer users and then use the information for malicious purposes. For example, someone sends e-mail messages to you, pretending to be from a bank or any other trustworthy organization, and asks for sensitive information, such as credit card number or password. This information is either sold further or used to cause financial loss to you. Therefore, you must verify the authenticity of such e-mail messages before responding with any personal information. You should limit your chat activity only to the people whom you know. Developing communication with new and unknown individuals makes you more vulnerable to threats such as online predators and scams. Instant messaging is a common pathway for malicious attachments. You must avoid opening any attachments that you receive in an instant message, unless you are absolutely sure about its origin. An instant messaging attachment might contain a virus or spyware, which can harm your computer.
Chat with known people only
Do not open attachments received over IM
SORT GAME: MEASURES TO PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER AND YOUR DATA Sort the types of solutions as quickly as possible into their associated categories by clicking the appropriate bucket. You can also use keyboard shortcuts by pressing 1 for the left bucket and 2 for the right bucket. Protect Computer Data • Set up username and password • Use lock combination • Back up data Avoid Online Threats • Clear cache memory • Use secure Web sites • Delete cookies periodically SELF TEST 1. One of the most effective ways to protect the software and date in your computer is to restrict the use of your computer to a defined set of individuals. Which of the following methods can you use for this purpose? Select all answers that apply. o Update your operating system. o Set up user accounts. o Install antivirus software. o Keep passwords secure. 2. Various types of files are created on your computer while using the Internet. Some of these might present a threat to security, but are actually present for the benefit of the user. Which of the following are examples of such files? Select all answers that apply. o Cookie o Virus o Active Content files o Worm 3. Which of the following methods will you use to secure your e-mail and IM transactions? Select all answers that apply. o Delete e-mail messages from unknown senders without opening them. o Forward unsolicited e-mail messages to a friend for advice. o Reply with personal information to an e-mail message if the sender is a bank employee. o Avoid opening attachments received in instant messages.
Lesson 3 PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM SECURITY THREATS CONTENTS: √ Protecting Privacy √ Online Predators √ Guidelines to Protect Yourself and Your Family from Security Threats √ Tile Game: Protecting Your Family from Online Predators √ Self Test • PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY Lesson Introduction Computers are not only used at schools, colleges, and offices, but are also commonly used in homes. You use computers for various purposes such as to keep household accounts, exchange e-mail messages with family and friends, browse the Internet, and play games and music. Every member of your family can find some use for the computer. With increase in the use of computers at home and at work, it is important that you and your family understand the various threats associated with the use of computers and the Internet. In this lesson, you will learn about the various measures that can help protect your computer from these threats. Lesson Objectives After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Identify the common measures used to protect privacy. • Explain how online predators operate.
Identify the guidelines to protect your children from online predators.
PROTECTING PRIVACY With the growing popularity of computers and the Internet, there are multiple ways in which your privacy is compromised. You and your family members need to prevent these threats to privacy. You can take the following simple measures to safeguard yourself and your family members against invasion of privacy. Shield Your Identity Avoid sharing your personal information with anyone, unless you know the person. This is the golden rule of protecting privacy. While exchanging e-mail messages or chatting through instant messenger, ensure that you do not reveal personal details about you or others known to you. Also, use strong passwords for access to your computer and e-mail connections. Make Regular Backups of Your Computer and Important Data It is a good practice to back up all types of the important and sensitive data on your computer. Important data might be documents, databases, or contact information. You can use various storage media such as compact disc or another hard disk to back up your data. If you regularly back up the data stored on your computer, you can recover the data in case the original data is damaged or deleted. Also, it is advisable to store the backup data in a secure place and restrict access to it by using passwords and encryption. Check Current Security of Your System Regularly Check the current security level of your computer regularly. Modern operating systems have built-in features that help you track the ability of your computer to safeguard against various threats to security and privacy. For example, Windows Security Center is a component in Windows XP Service Pack 2, which helps you maintain firewall settings, set up schedules for software updates, and check the validity of the antivirus software installed on your computer. Run Virus Scans Daily Each day when you access the Internet, there is a chance that your computer is infected by viruses. Therefore, it is important that you run a virus scan on your computer everyday. You also need to keep the antivirus software on your computer up-to-date to protect your computer from new viruses. Use Anti-spyware
Spyware programs can secretly enter your computer and transmit personal information about you and your family. Use anti-spyware software to keep a check upon these malicious programs, and keep the software up-to-date.
Perform Online Transactions on Secure Web Sites with Reputable Vendors When you perform an online transaction, you need to provide your personal information, such as your credit card details or bank account details, to the Web site. This information, if disclosed to others, can be misused for financial fraud. Therefore, it is important that you carry out online transactions only on secure Web sites. Report Abuse to the ISP Most reputable ISPs have a set of terms and conditions that does not allow its users to follow any unethical or illegal practices. You should report to the ISP whenever someone attempts to invade your online privacy by sending your spam or attempts to hack your computer. This allows the ISP to take action against such individuals. Filter E-mail Messages from Unknown/Anonymous Senders You may receive a number of e-mail messages from individuals unknown to you. Such e-mail messages, referred to as spam or junk mail, can often be carriers of viruses or spyware. Hackers attempting to retrieve your personal information can also send you junk mail. Therefore, it is important to be careful while dealing with them. With e-mail software programs, you can create e-mail filters that help you block the junk mail. You must also ensure never to respond to junk mail because it can lead to an increase in unwanted messages and accidental sharing of personal information. Encrypt Sensitive E-mail Messages, If Possible Using encryption is a simple and effective way to ensure that your e-mail communication remains confidential. Encryption is the process of encoding the e-mail message in such a manner that it appears unreadable to everyone except the intended reader. Most e-mail software, such as Outlook, provides this e-mail encryption feature. ONLINE PREDATORS The Internet is a popular medium of communication for people all over the world. You can get acquainted with someone while actually knowing very little about the identity and intentions of the individuals. This aspect of the Internet communication can be misused by people to lure young individuals into inappropriate or dangerous relationships. The people who engage in such activities are known as online predators. Online predators generally target children, especially adolescents. It is during adolescence that children gradually move out of parental control and look for new relationships. Online predators attempt to establish a relationship of trust and intimacy with these children. The predators try to gain the attention of their targets, such as children, for the purpose of establishing inappropriate relationships. However, children are not the only ones who are targeted by these predators. Online predators can also target adults with the objective of financial exploitation. Online predators trap their victims by developing contact through chat rooms, instant messaging, e-mail, or discussion boards. Among the various tools, chat rooms are the ones most commonly used by these predators. Online predators often assume a fake identity as a member of a specific chat room. For example, if the chat room belongs only to children, an online predator can easily assume the identity of a child in order to participate in that chat room. GUIDELINES TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM ONLINE PREDATORS You and your family members can become the target of online predators. These predators may try to establish contact with you or your family members to exploit you financially. The predators may also try to involve you and your family members in inappropriate relationships. Guidelines to protect yourself and your family from online predators: Know how predators behave Online predators have some predictable behaviors, which can help you identify them easily. Online predators tend to get intimate very quickly. They often express a great deal of interest and affection toward their targets. You need to ensure that you and your family members can detect such behavior to avoid contact with potential online predators. Be suspicious about gifts offered
Online predators usually lure their targets with gifts or other tempting offers. You should be cautious about such gifts or offers. Also, educate your family members to be suspicious about gifts offered over the Internet. Educate your family about online safety measures Educate your family members on appropriate chat room behavior to avoid being targeted by online predators. Tell them to use nonsuggestive and neutral screen names. The screen names must not give away their actual name, age, gender, or contact information because this information can be misused. Tell your family not to give out personal information Some Web sites try to extract information under the pretext of feedback or surveys. Tell your family not to reveal any personal information to these Web sites without your permission. Also, ensure that your families do not give out any personal details, such as name, last name, address, and phone number, in chat rooms and bulletin boards. Your family members must not share their username and password with anyone, including friends. Guidelines to protect your children from online predators: Guide children when they visit Web sites As parents, restrict young children from visiting Web sites that are inappropriate for them, or those Web sites that bring them in contact with potential online predators. It is recommended that parents guide their young children when the children visit any Web site. Be aware of the Web sites that your children visit It is important for parents to regularly check the type of Web sites their children visit. You can tract the previously visited Web sites by viewing the browser history or by using software that help you track the online activity of a computer. Block access to inappropriate Web sites You can enable your browser’s Content Advisor feature to control the type of Web sites that your family members can visit while browsing the Internet. By using this feature, you can restrict children from visiting Web sites that contain adult content. You can also install certain software programs that help you block specific Web sites. Monitor chat activities on your computer Specialized software can monitor chat activities and flag inappropriate information exchange on your computer. You can install these software to track the chat activities of your children. Instruct children to leave unpleasant Web sites As a parent, instruct your children to leave a Web site if it makes them uncomfortable or if the site contains any unpleasant content. Also, educate your children to leave a Web site that asks for excessive personal information. TILE GAME: PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM ONLINE PREDATORS Each tile contains a true statement and a false statement. Click the tiles in row or column until each tile displays the true statement, and then click the arrow at the side of the row or top of the column to check your answer. You use a turn when you click Submit or an incorrect tile. Remove all tiles before you use all your turns. True It is UNSAFE to share personal information in chat room. Online predators GET intimate very quickly. Parents NEED TO know the Web sites their children visit. It is POSSIBLE to monitor chat activity. You CAN restrict the Web sites that children visit. Online predators TARGET children. Children SHOULD NOT be allowed to visit Web sites alone. Online predators LURE their targets with gifts. It is NOT SAFE for children to enter a private chat area. False It is SAFE to share personal information in a chat room. Online predators DO NOT GET intimate very quickly. Parents NEED NOT know the Web sites their children visit. It is NOT POSSIBLE to monitor chat activity. You CANNOT restrict the Web sites that children visit. Online predators DO NOT TARGET children. Children SHOULD be allowed to visit Web sites alone. Online predators DO NOT LURE their targets with gifts. It is SAFE for children to enter a private chat area.
SELF TEST Question: 1. Which of the following actions can help ensure online privacy? Select the one best answer. o Instead of chats, use e-mail messages to share personal information. o Use strong passwords to access your e-mail accounts. o Run a virus scan whenever you believe a virus has infected your computer. o Open all unsolicited e-mail messages to identify the senders before responding. 2. Which of the following statements describe the way online predators operate? Select all answers that apply. o They provide children with extra attention and affection. o They try to infect your computer with viruses. o They lure children into inappropriate relationships. o They lure children to buy a product. 3. Which are some of the steps that parents can take to protect their children from online predators? Select all answers that apply. o Avoid discussing Internet use and experiences with children. o Monitor the chat room communication of children. o Trust young children to decide which Web sites are safe to visit. o Educate children to avoid sharing personal information on the Internet.
Lesson 4 KEEPING YOUR COMPUTER SECURE AND UPDATED CONTENTS: √ Configuring the Computer Security Settings √ Keeping the Computer Up-to-Date √ Self Test • KEEPING YOUR COMPUTER SECURE AND UPDATED Lesson Introduction When you connect your computer to the Internet, your computer software and data are accessible to the rest of the world. Connecting to the Internet increases the threat to your computer from viruses, spyware, hackers, However, you can minimize these security threats by configuring the security settings on your computer and keeping security-related software up-to-date. In this lesson, you will learn how to maximize the security of your computer by configuring the security settings on your operating system. The lesson also explains how to configure your computer to automatically update its security software. Lesson Objectives After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Explain the purpose of different security settings on your computer. • Identify the options available for keeping your computer up-to-date. CONFIGURING THE COMPUTER SECURITY SETTINGS Over the Internet, the biggest security threats to your computer come from hackers and viruses. Most of the time, these threats occur because the security settings on your computer are not set properly or the security software is either missing or obsolete. Security settings are configured on your computer when you install the operating system. However, you can modify these security settings according to your requirements. For example, in Windows XP Service Pack 2, you can view and modify the security setting by using Windows Security Center. In the Security Center, you can:
• • •
Use the Internet security options to specify the privacy and security levels for the Web sites that you visit. Modify the firewall settings to help protect your computer from unauthorized access through the Internet. Configure your computer to automatically download and install updated security software to provide better protection from new viruses.
In this demonstration, you will learn to configure the security settings of a computer running on Windows XP Service Pack 2. Demo: Configuring the Computer Security Settings Demonstration Overview Chris Preston recently bought a computer and he regularly uses it to connect to the Internet. His friend Andy Ruth tells him that connecting a computer to the Internet may expose it to hackers and viruses. Andy himself has faced this problem when his computer was infected by virus. He advises Chris to set appropriate security settings in his computer by using Windows Security Center. Step List Demonstration: Configuring the Computer Security Settings Keeping Your Computer Secure and Updated Demonstration Transcript When you install Windows XP Service Pack 2, it automatically configures the security settings on your computer. You can view and modify these security settings by using the Windows Security Center, which you can open from Control Panel. Control Panel contains items that you can use to modify your computer settings. For example, in Control Panel, you can add new hardware devices, add or remove software, and change the system time and date. Control Panel also contains items for configuring the security settings on your computer in the Windows Security Center. The Windows Security Center provides you with three options: Internet Options, Windows Firewall, and Automatic Updates, to configure the privacy and security settings on your computer. When you open the Windows Security Center, it indicates whether these options are activated. The first option available in the Windows Security Center is the Internet Option link. When you click this link, the Internet Properties dialog box opens. You can specify the Internet settings in this dialog box. The Internet Properties dialog box contains seven tabs that contain options for modifying your computer’s security settings. The tabs are General, Security, Privacy, Content, Connections, Programs, and Advanced. The first tab in the Internet Properties dialog box is the General tab. You can use these options to specify the Web page you want to appear first when you open a Web browser. You can specify if you want to keep track of the Web pages that you visit. You can also specify to delete the temporary Internet files that are stored in your computer when you visit Web sites. The second tab is the Security tab. You can use this tab to categorize Web sites according to the security risks associated with the sites. Using this tab, you can specify whether a Web site is reliable or unreliable. You can set a higher security level for unreliable Web sites to ensure better protection of your computer. The third tab in the Internet Properties dialog box is the Privacy tab. This tab contains settings for blocking Web sites from saving temporary Internet files on your computer. You can also prevent pop-up windows from appearing while you browse the Internet. The fourth tab is the Content tab. Using the settings on this tab, you can control the types of content that can be accessed from your computer. For example, you can restrict children from visiting adult Web sites. The fifth tab in the Internet Properties dialog box is the Connections tab. On this tab, you can set up an Internet Connection. You can also specify the local area network or LAN settings for your computer. The sixth tab is the Programs tab. You use this tab to specify the programs that Windows automatically uses for Internet services such as e-mail, newsgroups, calendar, and Internet calls. You can use this tab also to restore the original Web browser settings. The last tab in the Internet Properties dialog box is the Advanced tab. This tab contains advanced features that you can use to fine tune your Web browser, such as Internet Explorer. For example, you can
configure the Web browser to make it more accessible for people with disabilities. You can also turn off graphics, so that Web pages can load faster. After configuring the settings in the Internet Properties dialog box, you must save the changed settings by clicking OK. The second option available in the Windows Security Center is the Windows Firewall link. After you click this link, the Windows Firewall dialog box opens. Note that this option may not be available in the earlier versions of Windows XP. The Windows Firewall dialog box contains three tabs that contain options for protecting your computer from unauthorized access through the Internet and blocking information from unreliable sources. The first tab in the Windows Firewall dialog box is the General tab. Use this tab to turn on or off the Windows Firewall. However, it is recommended that you do not turn off Windows Firewall to avoid exposing your computer to virus and spyware attacks. You can also use the settings on this tab to block all unwanted requests to connect to your computer. The second tab in the Windows Firewall dialog box is the Exceptions tab. Use this tab to allow a program to communicate through Windows Firewall. For example, to allow someone to send you a file through a chat program, you need to specify the program in the Exceptions tab. Only then the firewall allows the chat program to send the file. Remember that these exceptions make your computer vulnerable to security attacks. So, make an exception for a program only if you really need it, and remove the exception as soon as the need is over. The last tab in the Windows Firewall dialog box is the Advanced tab. Use this tab to specify the security settings for an individual network connection. This tab also enables you to restore the original firewall settings. After configuring the settings in the Windows Firewall dialog box, you must save them by clicking OK. The third option in the Windows Security Center is the Automatic Updates link. Use the settings on the Automatic Updates dialog box to automatically download and install security updates on your computer. You can specify the time and frequency for the automatic download and installation of updates. After configuring the settings in the Automatic Update dialog box, you must save the changes by clicking OK. In this demonstration, you learned about the various privacy and security settings that you can use to protect your computer from viruses, unauthorized access, and other security threats. Demonstrated procedure 1. Demonstration: Configuring the Computer Security Settings. 2. To display Control Panel, click Start and then click Control Panel. 3. To open Windows Security Center, in Control Panel, double-click Security Center. 4. Notice the three links in the Windows Security Center. 5. To view the Internet options, click the Internet Options link. 6. Notice that the Internet Properties dialog box contains seven tabs. 7. Click the General tab to view the options. 8. Click the Security tab to view the options. 9. Click the Privacy tab to view the options. 10. Click the Content tab to view the options. 11. Click the Connections tab to view the options. 12. Click the Programs tab to view the options. 13. Click the Advanced tab to view the options. 14. Click OK to close the Internet Properties dialog box. 15. To view the firewall settings on your computer, click the Windows Firewall link. 16. Notice that the Windows Firewall dialog box contains three tabs. 17. Notice the options in the General tab. 18. Click the Exceptions tab to view the options. 19. Click the Advanced tab to view the options. 20. Click OK to close the Windows Firewall dialog box. 21. To automatically download and install security updates on your computer, click the Automatic Updates link. 22. Click OK to close the Automatic Updates dialog box. KEEPING THE COMPUTER UP-TO-DATE You may be aware that new medicines are continuously invented to counter new diseases. Similarly, the computer industry keeps updating the versions of antivirus software and similar products to counter new
viruses, worms, and spyware. You need to keep you computer up-to-date with updated versions of security software to ensure better protection of your computer. The Microsoft Windows Update Web site provides you with security updates that are necessary to protect your computer’s operating system. You can download these security updates from this Web site and install them on your computer. If you find it difficult to keep track of the security software that you need to update, you can automate this updating process by configuring your computer. In this demonstration, you will learn about the options that you can use to keep the security software of your computer automatically up-to-date. Click to launch the demonstration. Demonstration Demo: Keeping the Computer Up-to-Date Demonstration Overview Two months ago, Susan Burk installed antivirus software on her computer. However, today her computer displays a message that some of its files are infected with virus. She discusses the problem with her father. Her father tells Susan that her computer needs to have regular security updates to prevent attacks form new viruses. He also tells her that she can configure her computer to keep it security software automatically up-to-date. Transcript You can keep your computer up-to-date by downloading system updates and other security software from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site. This Web site provides you with necessary security updates that help protect your computer from security threats. When you visit this Web site, Windows Update scans your computer and informs you about the updates that you can download and install on your computer. The Microsoft Windows Update Web site lets you view the list of updates already downloaded on your computer. The Web site also provides you with answers to frequently asked questions or FAQs and the necessary help and support to solve problems related to Windows Updates. To benefit from the latest security updates available on the Microsoft Windows Update Web site, you need not keep visiting the Web site. You can automate the process by configuring the settings in the Windows Security Center. The Automatic Updates option enables your computer to automatically download and install security updates from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site. This downloading process does not stop you from downloading other files and it does not interrupt your work. However, you may be prompted with a message if an update requires you to restart your computer. When you click the Automatic Updates link present in Windows Security Center, the Automatic Updates dialog box opens. You can choose from the four options in the Automatic Update dialog box to decide when to download and install the security updates. When you use the first option, the updates are automatically downloaded and installed on your computer at 3 a.m. everyday. You can change this time and frequency. Remember that your computer needs to be connected to the Internet at the specified time for the update to work. When you use the second option, your computer downloads the updates automatically, but does not install the updates on your computer. Instead, you receive an alert after the updates are downloaded. You can install the desired updates as soon as you receive the alert, or at a time more convenient for you. When you use the third option, your computer does not download and install security updates automatically. Instead, when an update is released, you receive an alert. You can then choose to download and install the desired updates at any convenient time. If you select the fourth option, the updates are not downloaded or installed automatically and also you do not receive any alert when updates are available. It is recommended that you do not use this option because this may leave your computer vulnerable to security threats. You can also use the Automatic Updates dialog box to visit the Microsoft Windows Update Web site by clicking the Windows Update Web site link. After configuring the settings on the Automatic Update dialog box, you must save the changed settings by clicking OK. If your computer has additional security software, such as antivirus and antispyware installed on it, remember to follow the procedures to keep the software updated. In this demonstration, you learned about the options available to keep your computer automatically up-to-date with latest security software.
Demonstrated procedure 1. Demonstration: Keeping the Computer Up-to-Date. 2. To open the Microsoft Windows Update Web site, click Start, point to All Programs, and then click the Windows Update. 3. Notice the links displayed under Options. 4. The Windows Security Center has been opened for you. To automatically download and install security updates on your computer, click the Automatic Updates link. The Automatic Updates dialog box opens. 5. Notice the four options in the Automatic Updates dialog box. 6. To automatically download and install security updates at a predefined time and frequency, click Automatic (recommended). 7. To receive an alert after security updates are automatically downloaded, click Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them. 8. To receive an alert when security updates are ready for down load, click Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them. 9. To turn off Automatic Updates, click Turn off Automatic Updates. 10. Notice the Windows Update Web site link available in the Automatic Updates dialog box. 11. Click OK to close the Automatic Updates dialog box. SELF TEST Sort the types of solutions as quickly as possible into their associated categories by clicking the appropriate bucket. You can also use keyboard shortcuts by pressing 1 for the left bucket, 2 for the middle bucket, and 3 for the right bucket. Internet Options • Display selective content • Block pop-up windows • Specify LAN settings Windows Firewall • Make an exception for a program • Block unwanted request Automatic Updates • Enables automatic download • Receive an alert for download • View answer to FAQs
Lesson 5 COMPUTER ETHICS CONTENTS: √ About Intellectual Property √ Copyright Violation and Prevention √ Legal Concerns with Information Exhange √ Tile Game: Understanding Computer Ethics √ Self Test • COMPUTER ETHICS Lesson Introduction On the Internet, you can find a wide range of information that includes news, articles, pictures, songs, movies, and software. Searching the Internet is often the fastest and easiest way to gather information, at any time. For example, you can use the Internet to search for information for your school assignments, or ideas to include in an office presentation. You can also download songs and movies from various Web sites. You do not have to pay money to download information from most of the Web sites. But, these free downloads may not actually be free. The information in a Web site is legally owned by the author who created it or by the Web site which published it. Therefore, you may need the permission of the author or the owner of the Web site to use the contents. You need to be aware of the rights or permissions you have on the contents available in a Web site before downloading them. This lesson explains the meaning of intellectual property in the field of computing, and how unauthorized use of intellectual property can lead to copyright violation. In this lesson, you will also learn about the various legal concerns associated with information exchange.
Lesson Objectives After completing this lesson, you will be able to: • Explain what the term intellectual property mean as it applies to computing. • Identify the various copyright violation acts and the preventive measures for the same. • Identify the various legal concerns associated with information exchange.
ABOUT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY Bob Kelly works for a newspaper agency. He needs to write an article about computer technology. Bob copies some information from a Web site and uses it in his article. However, he does not mention the source from where he copied the information. After the article is published, Bob faces legal charges for violating copyright laws. This is because he used an intellectual property without the owner’s permission. Any information available on the Internet is an intellectual property, which is legally owned by the person who created it. For example, when you publish an article on a Web site, the article is your intellectual property. As the owner of an intellectual property, you have the exclusive rights to control the use of the material to: 1. Copy, reproduce, or distribute the property. 2. Share or sell the rights to the property. 3. Give away the rights to the property for free. NOTE: The actual rights to an intellectual property can vary based on the permission the owner gives. You do not have the right to use intellectual property without the permission of its owner. There are laws to protect the rights of a person to an intellectual property. These laws are called copyright laws. Violation of these laws may lead to legal problems. COPYRIGHT VIOLATION AND PREVENTION When you use copyrighted intellectual property without the owner’s consent, it leads to copyright violation. The reasons for copyright violation and the measures that you can take to avoid it are explained as follows. Plagiarism When you copy someone’s work and use it as if it is your own work, without mentioning the source, it is known as plagiarism. Suppose you create an exact copy of a graphic displayed on a Web site. You then post this graphic to another Web site as your own creation, but do not mention about the Web site form where you copied it. This results in plagiarism. In many countries, paraphrasing an existing work and passing it off as an original work is also considered as plagiarism. Misuse of Copyrighted Material The following table explains some of the common misuses of copyrighter material that you need to be aware of and avoid. Copyright Misuse and Description Copying music There are many Web sites that allow you to download and share songs. However, some of these Web sites may not have the legal authority to offer the songs for free download. When you download songs from these Web sites, it is misuse of copyrighted music. You misuse copyrighted music when you take any of the following actions: 1. You download copyrighted music from a Web site without the owner’s permission or without paying a copyright fee. 2. You download copyrighted music from a Web site and create CDs or DVDs containing the downloaded music. 3. You create copies of copyrighted CDs or DVDs and share the copies with others. 4. You share copyrighted songs on the Internet through Web sites that facilitates sharing of songs. Using software without license/permission Unauthorized copying of copyrighted software without obtaining the license or permission of its copyright owner is software piracy. Be aware of the following situations to avoid software piracy:
1. When you download copyrighted software from a Web site without the owner’s permission or without paying a fee, it results in software piracy. 2. When you buy a legal copy of software, create copies of the software, and distribute the copies to others, it also results in software piracy. 3. Some computer vendors install unlicensed copies of software on the computers that they sell. They do this to save on the license fees. However, purchasing computers with unlicensed software results in software piracy. Therefore, while purchasing a computer, ensure that you have the license documents for the software preinstalled on the computer or sold with the computer. Copying logo A logo is a copyrighted material that is used as an identifier by its copyright owner. It is illegal to copy or use a logo without the owner’s permission. For example, using the Microsoft logo on your business card without obtaining permission from Microsoft is a copyright violation. Sometimes, a person may have the permission to use a logo, but there may be limitations to this usage. For example, a person may have the permission to use the Microsoft logo only when making business dealings on behalf of Microsoft. Now, if the person uses the Microsoft logo to make business dealings for personal gains, then it is a misuse of the copyrighted logo. Legal Concerns with Copyrighted Material A Web site may allow you to download copyrighted information. However, when you download such information, you may face legal charges for it. Usually, the information available in a Web site is officially copyrighted, and carries a copyright notice or copyright symbol. However, the absence of a copyright notice or symbol with any information does not mean that the information is not copyrighted. According to the U.K. copyright law, as soon as a person transforms an idea or concept into a physical form, the work automatically becomes a copyrighted material of the person. Similarly, according to the U.S. copyright law, a copyright owner holds exclusive rights over the copyrighted material, even without official registration of the copyright. Any form of copyright violation is a punishable offense. The copyright owner can take legal actions against the person violating the copyright laws, or can demand huge amount of money for it. Therefore, be aware of the international and local copyright laws before downloading information from a Web site. Legal Uses of Copyrighted Material The following table explains a few legal uses of copyrighted material. Legal Use and Description Using copyrighted material for educational purposes If you use small portions of copyrighted materials for educational purposes and mention the source, it is fair usage of the copyrighted material. For example, you can use small portions of contents from a book along with a mention about this book in your school or college assignment. Similarly, if you are writing a book review, you can quote extracts from the book. Sharing links instead of downloaded material Instead of copying contents from Web sites and using it in your own work, you can provide references or links to the contents. For example, you may want to mention about the contents of a specific Web site in your article. Instead of copying the contents from the Web site, just provide the link to this Web site in your article. In this way, you can completely avoid plagiarism of the copyrighted content. Using copyrighted material with the copyright owner’s permission You can use copyrighted materials in your own work by obtaining permission from the copyright owner. In most cases, you need written permission to use a copyrighted material. Remember that the copyrighted owner has the discretion to: 1. Grant or not grant permission for using the copyrighted material. 2. Grant rights to a part of the copyrighted material or to the entire material. 3. Charge a fee for granting permission to use the copyrighted material. 4. Set the terms for using the copyrighted material. For example, you may have the permission to download and share copyrighted software, but may not have the permission to use the software for making profits. If the copyright of a material has expired, or the idea or process used in the copyrighted material is very well-known, you can use the material or the idea without obtaining permission. LEGAL CONCERNS WITH INFORMATION EXCHANGE With the extensive use of the Internet, there is potential for you to get involved in illegal and unethical activities, such as gambling and defamation. You need to be aware and cautious of these illegal and
unethical issues. Also, remember that these issues vary from country to country, and even within parts of a country. The following table explains some unethical and illegal uses of information exchange. Illegal Activity and Description Defaming someone’s reputation When you communicate with other by using e-mail, chat, or online public forums, be careful not to make any statements that may result in defamation of someone. Defamation means making false statements about a person that can negatively affect the person’s reputation. For example, suppose you post a message on an online forum falsely stating that your neighbor, who is a celebrity, owns illegal property. This can be considered as defamation because you are spreading false information that may harm your neighbor’s credibility. Note: A false statement can be considered defamatory, even if it is not derogatory. Sometimes, even true statements can be considered as defamatory if the statements harm someone’s reputation. Libel and slander are two forms of defamation. Libel means written defamation which has been published, whereas slander means verbal defamation. The legal system of most countries considers both libel and slander as punishable offenses. You may face criminal or civil penalties according to the legal system of your country. The punishment may range from monetary penalty to severe punishment like jail terms. Sometimes, the severity of the offense depends on the situation. For example, in some countries, any insult to the President is a criminal offense. However, in some other countries, public officials have less protection than the average citizen. Therefore, be aware of the local laws before making any defamatory statements. Visiting inappropriate Web sites Internet provides you free access to all types of Web sites, some of which might promote illegal activities. Some Web sites offer services that carry out activities that are restricted by the legal system of your state or country. It is possible to access these sites over the Internet because there are no boundaries and policing over the Internet. For example, you can access a gambling site even if the law of your country bans gambling. But, this may cause legal troubles for you. You also need to be aware that the legal system is different in different states and countries. For example, the products that you can legally buy or sell in one country may be an illegal purchase or sale in another country. So, though a Web site may not restrict you from buying an item that is illegal in your country, you may face legal charges for buying the item. TILE GAME: UNDERSTANDING COMPUTER ETHICS Each tile contains a true statement and a false statement. Click the tiles in a row or column until each tile displays the true statement, and then click the arrow at the side of the row or top of the column to check your answer. You use a turn when you click Submit or an incorrect tile. Remove all tiles before you use all your turns. True Unauthorized use of intellectual property is ILLEGAL. A painting IS legally owned by its painter. The author of a book CAN control the use of the book. A copyright owner CAN sell the copyrights. Copyright violation CAN lead to legal problems. Sharing a copyrighted song IS copyright violation. Libel is WRITTEN defamation. Slander is VERBAL defamation. Online gambling CAN cause legal problems. False Unauthorized use of intellectual property is LEGAL. A painting IS NOT legally owned by its painter. The author of a book CANNOT control the use of the book. A copyright owner CANNOT sell the copyrights. Copyright violations CANNOT lead to legal problems. Sharing a copyrighted song IS NOT copyright violation. Libel is VERBAL defamation. Slander is WRITTEN defamation. Online gambling CANNOT cause legal problems.
SELF TEST Question: 1. Which of the following is a legitimate use of copyrighted material? Select the one best answer. o Creating some content from a Web site and using it as is in your own Web site o Creating copies of CDs purchased online and selling them o Using paragraphs from an online article and citing the source o Creating copies of licensed software and distributing them to your friends 2. You are very angry with your supervisor. While still upset, you post a message in an online forum stating that your supervisor is a dishonest person. What kind of offense have you committed? Select the one best answer. o Libel o Copyright violation o Slander o Plagiarism
• MODULE SUMMARY Lessons and Description An Overview of Computer Security and Privacy Your computer needs protection from various security and privacy threats. The treats can be in the form of: 1. Natural disasters 2. Human errors or accidents 3. Malicious acts like theft, unauthorized access by computer hackers, or virus attacks Both standalone computers and computers on a network face these threats. You need to take some security measures to protect your computer’s hardware, software, and data. Protecting Your Computer and Your Data You need to protect your computer and the data stored on it from various security and privacy threats. Take the following measures to protect the operating system, software, and data on your computer. 1. Implement user identification. 2. Set username and password. 3. Keep passwords secure. 4. Use lock combination. 5. Encrypt data to prevent unauthorized access. 6. Back up data in another storage device. 7. Update system and vulnerable software. The computers connected to a network or to the Internet require some more security measures than standalone computers. For computers connected to a network, some good practices are: 1. Use updated security software. 2. Protect your computer against hacking and spyware. 3. Clear history and cache periodically. 4. Delete cookies periodically. 5. Perform online transactions only on secure sites. 6. Never give out your personal history to a Web site. 7. Enable and configure security components in the Windows Security Center. 8. Disable active content. 9. Use security help from your ISPs. E-mail attachments can be carriers of viruses or worms. Some security measures that you should follow while using e-mail or chat are: 1. Use updated security software. 2. Avoid opening e-mail messages that have attachments. 3. Delete junk e-mail messages or spam messages. 4. Delete unsolicited commercial e-mail messages. 5. Protect yourself from phishing. 6. Limit chat activity to people whom you know. Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Security Threats To protect the privacy of your computer, you can take some safety measures, such as: 1. Shield your identity.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Regularly check your computer’s security status. Run virus scans daily. Use antispyware software. Perform online transactions on secure Web sites with reputable vendors. Report abuse to ISP. Eliminate or reduce spam. Encrypt sensitive e-mail to prevent unauthorized access.
Keeping Your Computer Secure and Updated Proper security settings on your computer can prevent and detect unauthorized access of your computer through the Internet. The Windows Security Center provides the following security settings: 1. Internet Options 2. Windows Firewall 3. Automatic Updates For better security of your computer, check the security settings and modify them if required. The measures that you can take to keep your computer up-to-date are: 1. Keep your computer updated by downloading necessary security updates from the Microsoft Windows Update Web site. 2. Configure Automatic Updates to enable your computer automatically download and install security updates. Computer Ethics The owner of an intellectual property has the exclusive rights to use the property. The copyright laws protect the rights toward the intellectual properties. Copyright violation can be in the form of the following: 1. Plagiarism 2. Software piracy 3. Unauthorized download of copyrighted material from Web sites There 1. 2. 3. are some legal ways to use copyrighted materials. To legally used copyrighted material: Make limited use of copyrighted material for educational purposes and mention the source. Provide references or links to copyrighted material, instead of copying it. Seek and gather permission to use the material from the copyright owner.
The Internet provides you with the facility to get involved in illegal and unethical activities, such as defaming someone, gambling, or buying items that are illegal to buy or sell in your country. Therefore, be aware of local and international laws before indulging in any such activity.
Encryption - the process of converting data into an unreadable and unusable form. Encryption is done to prevent unauthorized access of data, especially during data transmission over the Internet. Firewall - a filter that blocks unreliable information from the Internet before it reaches your computer or a private network. It provides additional protection against threats such as hackers and viruses. A firewall also helps to ensure computer privacy by restricting external access by any unauthorized user. Hacker - a person who uses computer expertise to gain unauthorized access to a computer, and then misuses or tampers the programs and data stored on the computer. Intellectual Property - any information available on the Internet is intellectual property, which is legally owned by the person who created it. The owner of an intellectual property has the exclusive rights to control the use of this information. Internet Service Provider (ISP) - a company that provides Internet connectivity to individuals, businesses, and organizations. Libel - written defamation that has been published. Libel is a punishable offense. Online Predator - an individual who develops contact with Internet users, through chat rooms, online forums, or e-mail, to exploit them financially or involve them in dangerous relationships. Password - a unique string of characters that a user types in as an identification code. It is a security measure used to restrict access to computer systems and sensitive files. Phishing - the act of extracting personal information, such as passwords and credit card details, from computer users and then use the information for malicious purposes. Plagiarism - the act of copying someone’s work and using it as if it is your own work, without mentioning the source. Power surge - a sudden increase in line voltage, which may lead to the damage of electronic devices, such as computers. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) - an Internet security protocol that ensures data communication by encrypting the information transmitted. The SSL protocol certifies that a Web site is genuine and ensures that the data provided to the site is not misused. Slander - verbal defamation. Slander is punishable offense. Software Piracy - unauthorized copying of copyrighted software without obtaining the license or permission of its copyright owner is software piracy. Spam - an irrelevant and unsolicited e-mail message sent by an unknown sender. A spam is sent to distribute a message to many recipients at one time. Spyware - a computer program that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. Spyware can secretly send out information about your Web browsing habits or other personal details to another computer through the network. Trojan Horse - a destructive computer program disguised as a game, utility, or software. When run, a Trojan horse does something harmful to the computer system while appearing to do something useful. Username - the name by which a user is identified to a computer system or network. To access a computer protected by username and password, a user needs to enter the correct combination of username and password. Virus - a computer program that is designed to cause malfunctioning of a computer or damage the data stored on the computer. Worm - a computer program that propagates itself across computers, usually by creating copies of itself in each computer’s memory. A worm might duplicate itself in one computer so often that it causes the computer to crash.