The Internet – How Equipped are We?

Introduction: The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that interchange data by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP). It is a "network of networks" that consists of millions of private and public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope that are linked by copper wires, fiber-optic cables, wireless connections, and other technologies.

The Internet carries various information resources and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, file transfer and file sharing, online gaming, and the inter-linked hypertext documents and other resources of the World Wide Web (www).

We have been using the word Internet and World Wide Web without much distinction between the two. However, they are not one or the same. The Internet is a global data communications system. It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connectivity between computers. In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet. It is a collection of interconnected documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs).

History: The internet was conceived back in the year 1958 when USSR launched 'Sputnik' that spurred the United States to create the Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as ARPA to regain technological lead. ARPA created the Information Processing Technology Office (IPTO) to further the research of the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) program, which had networked country-wide radar systems together for the first time. Then there was no turning back.

We have been using the word Internet and World Wide Web without much distinction between the two. However, they are not one or the same. The Internet is a global data communications system. It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connectivity between computers. In contrast, the Web is one of the services communicated via the Internet.

After much work, the first two nodes of what would become the ARPANET were interconnected between UCLA and SRI International in Menlo Park, California, in 1969. The ARPANET was one of the "eve" networks of today's Internet. Following on from the demonstration that packet switching worked on the ARPANET, the British Post Office, Telenet, DATAPAC and TRANSPAC collaborated to create the first international packet-switched network service. In the UK, this was referred to as the International Packet Switched Service (IPSS), in 1978.

Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn developed the first description of the TCP protocols during 1973. Use of the term "Internet" to describe a single global Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP) or TCP/IP network originated in December 1974. The first TCP/IP-based wide-area network was operational by January 1, 1983 when all hosts on the ARPANET were switched over from the older protocols. Although the basic applications and guidelines that make the Internet possible had existed for almost a decade, the network did not gain a public face until the 1990s.

It was in the year 1989 that the World Wide Web was publicized. During the 1990s, it was estimated that the Internet grew by 100% per year, with a brief period of explosive growth in 1996 and 1997. This growth is often attributed to the lack of central administration, which allows organic growth of the network, as well as the non-proprietary open nature of the Internet protocols, which encourages vendor interoperability and prevents any one company from exerting too much control over the network.

The internet then kept on growing endlessly. With the emerging technologies, it is possible to get the internet on mobile devices. The Internet can now be accessed virtually anywhere by numerous means. Mobile phones, data cards, handheld game consoles and cellular routers allow users to connect to the Internet from anywhere there is a cellular network supporting that device's technology.

Common uses: The internet is commonly used for Email, chatting, blogging, World Wide Web, share data, Remote access and many more. We can download songs, videos, images and photos, play games, banking, pay phone bill, work online, shop and sell anything.

Threat on the Internet-Viruses, Spyware and Adware: Anything in this world will always come in two ways. The good will always accompanied by the bad. Same is with the internet. We can share just about anything on the internet, but, it is also the best channel to share viruses, spyware and adware. A little bit about Viruses, Spyware and Adware:

A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. The term "virus" is also commonly used to refer to many different types of malware and adware programs. The original virus may modify the copies, or the copies may modify themselves, as occurs in a metamorphic virus. A virus can only spread from one computer to another when its host is taken to the uninfected computer, for instance by a user sending it over a network or the Internet, or by carrying it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, or USB drive. Meanwhile viruses can spread to other computers by infecting files on a network file system or a file system that is accessed by another computer.

Viruses are sometimes confused with computer Worms and Trojan horses. A worm can spread itself to other computers without needing to be transferred as part of a host, and a Trojan horse is a file that appears harmless. Worms and Trojans may cause harm to a computer system's hosted data, functional performance, or networking throughput, when executed. In general, a worm does not actually harm either the system's hardware or software, while a Trojan's payload may be capable of almost any type of harm if executed. Some can't be seen when the program is not running, but as soon as the infected code is run, the Trojan horse kicks in.

A Trojan horse, by definition, smuggles in something dangerous in the guise of something desirable. Some spyware programs spread in this manner. Spyware can also come bundled with other software like shareware or other downloadable software.

A Spyware is malicious software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer’s operation without the consent of the machine’s owner. The term is used to suggest software that secretly monitors the user, but it has now come to refer more broadly software that alters the computer’s behavior for the benefit of the person who planted the software. They differ from viruses and worms in that it does not usually self-replicate. But like many viruses, spyware can exploit infected computers for commercial gain.

The term Adware refers to any software which displays advertisements, whether or not it does so with the user’s consent. Many free email programs always display advertisement as an alternative to registration fees.

Bugs and Security Holes: A software bug (or just “bug”) is an error, flaw, mistake, failure, fault or “undocumented feature” in a computer program that prevents it from behaving as intended. This eventually produces an incorrect or unexpected result. Most bugs arise from mistakes and errors made by people in either a program's source code or its design, and a few are caused by compilers producing incorrect code. A program that contains a large number of bugs, and/or bugs that seriously interfere with its functionality, is said to be buggy.

Bugs can have a wide variety of effects, with varying levels of inconvenience to the user of the program. Some bugs have only a subtle effect on the program's functionality, and may thus lie undetected for a long time. More serious bugs may cause the program to crash or freeze leading to a denial of service.

Security Hole is a vulnerability part in a program in which a hacker (computer expert) can breach the security system. All programs have their own security system and if there is any security hole, a hacker can gain access into a system.

For example, Microsoft sells Windows, Office and many other packages. But even these highly developed software, they still have lots of Bugs and security Holes. Microsoft and other software companies are always trying to fix all these bug and holes. Thus it is important to keep your system up to date.

How to Equip Our Self? Now since we knew about most of the danger in the internet, it is time for us to learn how to equip ourselves. When we use internet, there are three things that we should do. Always keep an Anti-virus, anti-Spyware and a Firewall program in your computer.

Most of us I believe must have good knowledge about anti-virus. And we are aware about it. So I would recommend for home user to use any free antivirus available. Some of the free anti-viruses are AVG Free, Awil Avast, BitDefender etc. That will be more than enough for protection if they do not use the internet.

But when you use internet, make sure you get the other two things. Well the anti spyware is a program that blocks Spyware from hijacking your computer. A Spyware is a program that runs in the background without your knowledge, and it has the capacity to even take control over your computer. So getting a good anti-spyware is important. Just like antivirus there are also free anti-spywares. AVG free contains an anti-Spyware in it, then the good free one are, Spybot Search & Destroy, Spyware Terminator etc.

Firewall! What is it? When we use the internet, most of us do not know is that there is always two way traffic. Means we connect to other computer in the world, and they can also connect to ours. Sometime an evil minded programmer creates a program that would connect to our computer, where he can then take control of it. The basic function of a Firewall is to monitor the traffic, meaning the outward connection and the inward connection. When a program or computer tries to connect to your computer, the Firewall scan and check if the program is safe or not and block the traffic if required. When Microsoft programmed Windows, there is a built in Firewall. In windows XP the firewall is monitoring only the outward connection and not the inward connection. In Windows Vista, Microsoft ships with a better firewall named “Windows Defender”. This software monitors both inward and outward connection. Security researchers commented that windows defender doesn’t really defend windows. Thus it is important to get a third party firewall especially when using Windows XP. A good free Firewall, ZoneAlarm, is available. Microsoft released a new version of its operating system called Windows 7 on 22 October this year. This new Operating System is expected to be better than all the previous ones. There are also other Operating System such as Mac OSX from Apple and many Linux distro (like Ubuntu 10.9), which are more secure.

I hope this little piece of information can make us fully equipped to roll the net and keep surfing and enjoying it in our daily uses.

Just a Few More Information:

  • Browser: It is a program which we can use to visit the World Wide Web. There are many Browsers available these days. Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari and a new one Chrome.
  • Download and Upload: When you are trying to get information from somewhere else to your own computer is known as download. And when you are sending some information, files, photos etc to others in the internet is known as upload.
  • Spam: It is an unsolicited mail sent to a large address. Their main objective is to sell some products. And sometimes it carries a virus along with it.
  • Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites (Youtube, Facebook, Myspace), auction sites (eBay), online banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase), online payment processors (PayPal), or IT Administrators (Yahoo, ISPs, corporate) are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting.
  • Smshing this is similar to Phishing except that the media used is through sms. A good example is the famous TM-Congrats where an sms saying you have won $2500. Well if you respond I bet they'll ask money from you to process your luck! So be aware, don't be happy for winning something you didn't compete.



F Diengdoh.com: The Internet – How Equipped are We?
The Internet – How Equipped are We?
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that interchange data by packet switching using the standardized Internet Protocol
F Diengdoh.com
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