Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Final Exam

The Internet has radically changed the way we communicate. Social network sites like Facebook and Mixi help us keep in touch with our childhood friends with so much ease. We can also have as many friends as we like without any restriction. Sites like LinkedIn help in forming and maintaining business connections, as well as connections which could be immensely helpful in one's career. 

The Internet has revolutionized the way we access information, starting with Google in 1998. Google and Yahoo help us find information with so much ease, a degree of ease never imagined before their creation. With Google Documents, we can create, edit, and share documents online, which is quite economical.

However, coexisting these advantages are potential disadvantages. They include malware and online scams. Recently, social networking sites such as Facebook have been the target of malware attacks. In these, malware gets installed on a user's computer through advertisements. Also, criminals try to access users' confidential information and gain unauthorized access to their system by pretending to be friends or acquaintainces of the recepients. Online scams also include fake iTunes gift certificates in which the scammers deceive online users by claiming to be from iTunes Store to make customers download the attachment and get the certificate code in order to redeem the gift certificate. The attachment is a zipped file containing the malware Mal/BredoZp-B which can provide unauthorized access to hackers to steal confidential information such as credit card numbers and passwords.

Currently, the Internet is accessible not only through computers, but also through smartphones. Since Android is presently the most commonly used operating system on smartphones, malware authors have been targeting smartphones using Android. Basically, they target devices which are the most used. When computers and/or smartphones get infected with malware, users' privacy and important details can be compromised, the device does not function propoerly, and it is likely that the malware could be spread to other users.

Also, once information (particularly images) is uploaded on the Internet, it circulates and cannot be retrieved. This is not just one of the worst aspects, but also a potentially embarrassing one. One example is that of the circles for a blog post that Scott Hanselman made. On Facebook, he discovered the image he used was on a stranger's wall, and that the image spread very rapidly within Facebook.          

Thus, the best aspects of the Internet include ease of communication and instant access to information. The worst aspects include malware, online scams, and the inability to retrieve information once uploaded.






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