Privacy and Security

Privacy and Security

  • Should employees have the right to the expectation of privacy while using an employer’s computer workstation? Why or why not? How far should an employer be able to take their investigation of off-work but online habits of employees? Should off-work but online behaviour have an impact on employment? Why or why not? What is the difference between a hacker and a cracker?

Privacy in a workplace is going to be limited primarily if your desk is located in a cubicle farm.  Using the worker’s computer and access to their network will also translate in a lack of privacy.  As an employee of a company I would expect not to have too much privacy while I am on the Internet, but at the same time, I do not expect someone to sit there and monitor what I do all day.  During the workday, the employee is expected to show up and do their work and not be surfing websites that are not appropriate for the workplace.  However, if the employee works for a couple of hours and needs to take a break and look at sports scores I think that would be acceptable, but they shouldn’t be doing that all day.  Off-work behaviour is off-work behaviour, as long as it is not illegal the employer does not have a right to know.  An employee may look at different things on the Internet at home or play poker online.

2) Regarding securing data, what reasonable practices should consumers be able to expect when submitting personal information, such as credit card information, social security information, physical and e-mail addresses? How might P2P sites, such as Kazaa, create unforeseen problems with data security?

When a consumer is submitting personal information over the Internet, there is no 100% guarantee that it will not be seen by those individuals who do not have a right.  One of the best practices when giving this type of information is to ensure that it is a website that the person knows of.  Sites that may offer things more appealing to consumers may, in fact, be fake and just out there to gain access to people’s information.  Another good practice is when giving this type of information to make sure the URL has “https” which is a secure way to pass this type of information of hypertext transfer protocol or “HTTP.”  Peer 2 Peer programs like Kazaa or Limewire can create a breach in how well proper safeguards their information. Kazaa contained anything from audio files, video files, to programs which originated from users who uploaded the file information the program (Perrin, C. (2009). Since these data originated from unknown sources, the data could contain spyware, viruses, or malware which can expose all of the secrets of the person who downloads it and opens the file.

 

3) How should copyrighted material, such as music, be handled online? Should P2P sites, where music can be easily and freely downloaded, be made illegal? How might this be handled fairly for artists and consumers both?

I do not think there is indeed a way to stop copyrighted material from being shared online.  When P2P programs like Kazaa, Limewire, Bearshare, and Frostwire came out the FBI was watching users and arresting those who were the most significant contributors to this material being shared.  However, some users sharing copyrighted stuff is way more than the FBI can handle so they resort to things like creating viruses that will crash an individual’s computer (Maniscalchi, 2010).  In the past couple of weeks, Pirate Bay was seized, and the website was shut down, but there is another torrent type of sites that arise in its place and are hosted in countries that protect these types of sites so the United States Government can’t control the people accessing these sites.  If one P2P site gets shut down, there will always be another one right behind it to take its place.

4) Provide the URL of at least one site that discusses the impact of the Internet on online criminal activities and provides a brief review of the information contained there. Did you learn anything new? Were you surprised by any of the information presented on the site? How will the Internet impact the future of crime and the solutions for combating it?

The article from the website http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361372310701172 discusses the human impact that comes from cybercrime.  Maniscalchi describes the most common types of attacks that users experience on a daily basis (such as malware and viruses).  The article discusses how cybercrime is seen differently by users that an offence that will happen face to face.  When a crime like an assault or theft is seen the police are the first one to be called to come and detain the person.  However, when a cyber-attack happens users tend to be more accepting of what happened and will draw their banks rather than contact the police.  One statement that shocked me was that 65% of adults consider themselves a victim of a cybercrime at one time, while 75% blame themselves for the attack rather than the person who committed the assault.  Cybercrime will be around for as long as the Internet is fully functional.  I think Law Enforcement agencies will always be responding to incidents that have occurred rather than being able to prevent these events from happening.
References

Maniscalchi, J. (2010). The human impact of cybercrime. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1361372310701172

Perrin, C. (2009). Hacker vs cracker. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/hacker-vs-cracker/

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