Engl 298 Research Paper - Wireless Security In todays...

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Wireless Security In today’s rapidly evolving society, the internet is playing a larger role in one’s life than ever before. Due to this, a large amount of personal and corporate information is transmitted via the web. In addition, today’s fast paced global society motivates consumers to utilize devices capable of wireless activities. Due to the increased internet usage as well as the move towards wireless technology, consumers are more at risk today than ever before. While utilizing the proper combination of security methods can alleviate this risk, enhanced security measures are still needed. Today, the average person utilizes the internet in nearly every aspect of their daily life. Consequently, an increasing amount of personal data is released over the internet. Consumers utilize social networking, retail, and informational sites. The majority of these websites all claim to adhere to a privacy policy; a claim which can lull users into a false sense of security. In fact, The New York Times revealed that “19 of the top 21 health websites” failed to live up to their privacy policy (Hollings 2001, p 2). In addition, often times the user creates unnecessary risk. Many websites, especially social and retail related, require an account to be created. These accounts often contain many personal details such as home address, phone number, credit card information, and e-mail addresses. Information such as the preceding is exceeding useful in perpetrating acts of identity theft. Many of these created accounts are guarded by poor passwords. Cerf (2001) explains that users often choose passwords that are easy to remember, and consequently easy to guess. Hackers are able to figure these passwords out, and as a result, gain access to personal information. Cerf (2001) elaborates that hackers accomplish this by exploiting website encryption. The basic principle of encryption is “to scramble…communications” over a wireless connection (Baker 2007). Essentially, a password is run through a program that converts the actual word into a code. Once the coded word has been transmitted to the website, it is run through a similar program again to change it back into the password. Hackers are often able to decipher the coding program and use it to encrypt all known words in the dictionary as well as common passwords. They then run these coded words and phrases through the system in search of a match. While some risk can be prevented by users, other can’t be. Other types of online dangers appear in the form of phishing and spyware. Both phishing and spyware pose a threat to all users connected to the internet, regardless of their actions. Sensenbrenner (2005) explains that spyware are malicious programs that are installed on a computer via the internet. These programs collect data regarding the user without their knowledge or consent. He elaborates that phishing is a term used to describe fraudulent e-mails and websites. These e-mails and websites appear to be
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This note was uploaded on 09/15/2008 for the course ENGL 298 taught by Professor Dephtereos during the Spring '08 term at Washington State University .

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Engl 298 Research Paper - Wireless Security In todays...

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