Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Internet Security and Its Role in Education

The benefits of the Internet are inarguable and what makes this technology even more welcome is its inherent ability to serve the cause of learning. Schools and students alike have been using this as a very effective tool not only in performing educational tasks but in promoting them as well. With the Internet, every educator is offered an avenue to reach out to his students in incredibly big ways. There just seems to be no limit as far as what a teacher can impart to his student with the use of the web. The spread of information is easy and so is communication. These days, even with a remotely located professor, education is still possible. This is how much the Internet has helped educational systems worldwide.
However, even with this seemingly perfect scenario, there remains a problem. Some people just can't help abusing it. These are online criminals who will stop at nothing to pursue their evil intentions from pedophilia to identity theft. Yes, even with the Internet's revolutionary advantages, it won't be foolproof. Someway, somehow, somebody's going to find a way to mess things up either with your computer or what's in it. Fortunately, there is a way to protect yourself.
In fact, staying safe online is no longer a hobby for the tech-savvy but simply a lifestyle for the Internet-smart. Simple security guidelines such as setting up a firewall can go a long way. However, it is also important to keep in mind that these online crooks are getting wiser and wiser everyday and there's always a new strategy of getting into your computer one way or another. The good news is, when it comes to protecting yourself, you can still rely on the basic precautionary measures plus a good deal of research. That means you do have to be updated on the latest viruses, worms and other online contaminants that may just find their way into your computer. By knowing what they are, how they work and what the experts recommend to ward them off, you should be fine.
If you haven't given Internet threats any serious thought, you probably don't even know what they are. There are even people who actually think these threats aren't for real. But if you know your Internet and you know your computer, you know what can happen. Take, for example, children who've had to see many ugly things online. If you have kids, it is always worth your while to keep a tab on the sites they visit. There are programs that allow you to do this so that even if you're not at home, you'd still know. However, when you can, it's best to monitor your kids' online activities personally and you can do this by putting the computer in an area where the rest of the family will be around.
Ensuring your online security basically has a lot to do with common sense. By avoiding revealing any type of sensitive information about yourself or your financial transactions through the web, you save yourself a great deal of trouble. For example, some scammers will email you while posing as a certain bank official and asking you to reveal your PIN or any other identifying information supposedly to update your account. This is, of course, bogus. We all know no financial institution or any other for that matter will request for such sensitive information over the Internet. However, some people can still be so naive they actually end up with their identities stolen.
There are more ways you can do to keep yourself safe online such as using advanced authentication tools with your bank or even your Internet service provider. Another basic measure is to simply ensure that you're typing the correct URL on the address bar or you could end up in a hacker's site. You can pretty much imagine what happens from there.
Even educators and students alike need to practice these Internet safeguards. This is important for these mentors in order to fully take advantage of the tremendous power they have in their hands in shaping young people's minds as well as their future. There can be many technologies they can use to ensure security such as firewalls and anti-malware.