Security On The Internet: Problems And Solutions

The Internet is integral to many of today’s day-to-day functions such as shopping online or storage of data on cloud servers. However, despite best efforts, there are still many problems with security and which have been exploited.

Security Issues

One of the main security issues on the Internet are phishing scams. These have existed for a very long time and continue to persist, with scammers adapting to changes as people become more aware on how they are presented. Phishing involves directing unsuspecting Internet users to websites controlled by scammers and are asked to input personal information such as bank details, under the guise of telling users that their accounts need updating. The websites are near replicas of actual websites that scammers are trying to emulate.

Another concern for online security is targeted attacks, whereby hackers target certain organizations. A recent examples of this is the 2015 Ashley Madison hack, where hackers got access to every member of the website where users could find other people to have affairs with. An estimated 37 million people were affected by the scandal. Another example is hackers who hacked into JP Morgan and other financial institutions to manipulate stock prices online, and made millions through their exploits. Three people responsible for this have recently been arrested.

Solutions

Many solutions have been developed to counteract the security issues that exist on the Internet. Many solutions for phishing rely on educating people on how to spot such scams. For example most banks follow protocol where security questions, such as passwords and personal information, are never requested by email. Firewalls and antiviruses also help with reducing the chances of falling for a phishing scam, as they warn users about dangerous websites, which are untrustworthy, secure websites where the URL begins with https also helps in spotting phishing scams.

There are a variety of ways in which cyber attacks targeting companies and organisations occur. One of these is that employees are unsuspectingly tricked into giving away information that can be used to access corporate resources. One way to curb this is, again, to educate employees to not divulge information to suspect communication online and how to spot this. Another way in which hackers attack companies is to look at certain exploits in the security software employed by organisations. Such exploits are usually not known to either the organization or those who provide the security. This then allows hackers to access huge swathes of data and personal information, possibly damaging lives. The solution to this is for organisations to ensure they have the latest up to date security installed on their servers, as new updates fix certain loopholes present in previous versions.

Due to the rise of the Internet and its growing importance and dependence, it is of utmost importance that the population is educated on Internet security and how to prevent being a victim to a scam or a cyber attack.

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