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Internet Security: Is Your Computer Ready?

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Jo-Ryan Salazar


John Hugunin

15 September 2004

Internet Security: Is Your Computer Ready?

Internet Security. Those are two words that hold a huge importance on our lives today. For the past half-century even more so in the past near quarter-century, computers have become an important staple to one's own way of living, and the world's largest network of computers, the Internet, has become one of the most useful and essential resources for legions of users around the world. However, this and e-mail communication can have their drawbacks, and very serious drawbacks at that.

There are those users, who we call hackers, who have the ability manipulate their own programs to infect, and attack various organizations and institutions around the world. And they perform these acts, "cyber-crime," in the form of programs called viruses, worms, Trojan Horses, and spam, or junk mail. Companies also do this in spyware and adware. This is where Internet Security comes into play. Many programs have been created to protect computers and their resources from those who want to invade them.

Symantec Corporation's Norton Internet Security, which has a new version every year, has been recognized as a benchmark program in providing the best protection for computers. This program is actually a combination of other Symantec products: Norton AntiVirus, Norton Personal Firewall, Norton Privacy Control, Norton Parental Control, and Norton AntiSpam. With this combination, Norton Internet Security blocks and removes Internet worms, e-mail worms, and viruses that are script-based, while allowing the user to go about his or her business on the Web. A new version of this product, which incorporates a simpler, easy-to-use approach for the user, has been scheduled to be distributed in fall 2004 (Chapelle 1).

There can be times when the world's best software companies can have their efforts backfire on them. One example of such an occurrence is Microsoft Corporation, whose operating systems Windows 2000 and Windows XP have been susceptible to flaws from other popular Internet security programs such as Internet Security Systems' BlackICE Defencer and BlackICE Agent, resulting in a number of possibilities for opportunistic hackers (Fairplay 1). Microsoft will be releasing later this year a second service pack for their Windows XP



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