Computer Security Literacy

Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World

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ISBN 9781439856185
Cat# K12637

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Features

  • Assesses computing actions in the context of security
  • Describes computer security terms and best practices
  • Covers the strengths and weaknesses of security mechanisms
  • Provides examples of common security threats and their sources and motivations, including how phishing emails deceive users
  • Explains the role of users in protecting their own computing environment and personal and confidential information
  • Discusses current event topics and how they relate to everyday computing tasks

Summary

Computer users have a significant impact on the security of their computer and personal information as a result of the actions they perform (or do not perform). Helping the average user of computers, or more broadly information technology, make sound security decisions, Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World focuses on practical security topics that users are likely to encounter on a regular basis.

Written for nontechnical readers, the book provides context to routine computing tasks so that readers better understand the function and impact of security in everyday life. The authors offer practical computer security knowledge on a range of topics, including social engineering, email, and online shopping, and present best practices pertaining to passwords, wireless networks, and suspicious emails. They also explain how security mechanisms, such as antivirus software and firewalls, protect against the threats of hackers and malware.

While information technology has become interwoven into almost every aspect of daily life, many computer users do not have practical computer security knowledge. This hands-on, in-depth guide helps anyone interested in information technology to better understand the practical aspects of computer security and successfully navigate the dangers of the digital world.

Table of Contents

What Is Information Security?
Introduction
How Much of Our Daily Lives Relies on Computers?
Security Truisms
Basic Security Terminology
Cyber Ethics
The Perception of Security
Threat Model
Security Is a Multidisciplinary Topic

Introduction to Computers and the Internet
Introduction
Computers
Operation of a Computer
Overview of the Internet
Computers and the Internet
Security Role-Playing Characters

Passwords under Attack
Introduction
Authentication Process
Password Threats
Strong Passwords
Password Management: Let’s Be Practical

Email Security
Introduction
Email Systems
Email Security and Privacy

Malware: The Dark Side of Software
Introduction
What Is Malware?
How Do I Get Malware?
What Does Malware Do?

Malware: Defense in Depth
Introduction
Data Backup
Firewalls
Software Patches
Antivirus Software
User Education

Securely Surfing the World Wide Web
Introduction
Web Browser
"HTTP Secure"
Web Browser History

Online Shopping
Introduction
Consumer Decisions
Spyware and Key-Loggers
Wireless Sniffing
Scams and Phishing Websites
Misuse and Exposure of Information

Wireless Internet Security
Introduction
How Wireless Networks Work
Wireless Security Threats
Public Wi-Fi Security
Wireless Network Administration

Social Networking
Introduction
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Information Sharing
Malware and Phishing

Social Engineering: Phishing for Suckers
Introduction
Social Engineering: Malware Distribution
Phishing
Detecting a Phishing URL
Application of Knowledge

Staying Safe Online: The Human Threat
Introduction
The Differences between Cyberspace and the Physical World
Consider the Context: Watch What You Say and How It Is Communicated
What You Do on the Internet Lasts Forever
Nothing Is Private, Now or in the Future
Can You Really Tell Who You Are Talking with?
Cameras and Photo Sharing
I Am a Good Person, That Would Never Happen to Me
Is There Anything I Can Do to Make the Internet a Safer Place for My Child?

Case Studies
Introduction
Unable to Remove Malware: Help!
Securely Handling Suspicious Email Attachments
Recovering from a Phishing Attack
Email Account Hacked? Now What?
Smart Phones and Malware
Hey! You! Get off My Wireless Network
Bad Breakup? Sever Your Digital Ties
"Display Images Below"? The Meaning behind the Question
Phishing Email Forensics
It’s on the Internet, So It Must Be True
Buying and Selling Online

Moving Forward with Security and Book Summary
Introduction
After the Completion of the Book
Defense-in-Depth Tasks
Chapter Summaries

Glossary

Appendix A: Reading List
Appendix B: Basics of Cryptography
Appendix C: Web Surfing Security Technologies

A Summary and Bibliography appear at the end of each chapter.

Author Bio(s)

Editorial Reviews

"… a practical, application-oriented introduction to security education and literacy. While the information is technical enough to provide value to information systems professionals, the organization around specific topics makes it accessible to non-technical users looking for information on specific issues. … the book would be appropriate for an upper-division introductory course on information security … a good book for use in educational training programs developed by corporate information security managers. Technical information security professionals could also benefit from reading the book. … the material is well-written and effectively organized."
—W.T. Neumann, Computing Reviews, March 2013

"User error was manifest last week when it was detailed that the New York Times was penetrated over the course of four months by Chinese hackers who infiltrated its network and obtained passwords for a significant amount of the Times reporters and employees. Attempting to alleviate such user error issues, Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World is a helpful security awareness book. … The book provides information about essential security topics in an easy-to-read manner. … a worthwhile guide for an organization to have in their information security awareness program. It provides the reader with an understanding and appreciation for the magnitude of computer security. Had the New York Times employees been aware of the risks and taken actions as written in Computer Security Literacy, odds are that the effects would have been much less, and they wouldn’t have been a cover story in their own periodical."
—Ben Rothke, RSA Conference.com, February 2013

"… a good primer for laypersons who use computers, giving this audience a broad understanding of important points. … Recommended"
—S.A. Patton, Indiana State University in CHOICE Magazine, June 2013