Internet Security v2.1 (October 24th, 2000)
The previous edition of the Online Security document, Version 1.2 (released June 2000) was concerned with informing the home and small business user about how to secure their Internet access against intrusion by such malicious software (aka “malware”) as trojan horses, viruses and hostile scripts. Research has shown that many Internet “technologies” are both a security and privacy threat to the home and small business user, as a result several additions have been made to the information contained in this document.
The present threat to Internet users is a combination of the old (e.g. trojans, viruses, hostile scripts) and the new (e.g. web bugs, confidential data being stored in plain-text cookies, unique identification numbers, ad-ware, spyware and unauthorised transmission of the user’s personal data). Most of the problems orginate in the methods by which online advertising companies track and store data about Net surfers in order to compile statistics for more “effective” advertising. They claim it is to make the World Wide Web a better place for everyone but so far they have only caused un-necessary worries for all Net users.
This document will seek to explain some of these problems and where possible, provide solutions. It is important to note that this document is about informing users about potential Internet threats. Everyone who uses the Internet is subject to their influence in one form or the other; the chances of being victimised by these “technologies” and “malware” are directly related to user awareness of their existance.
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