Computer and Internet Security

For more information on computer and Internet security, select the source and summary below:

Informational Publications and Websites: 

1. AARP Technology - Privacy & Security

        The AARP Technology section of the AARP website features articles and links focusing on Seniors on the Internet. The site has dedicated links to information on social networking, general computer use, and online security. Consumers may also subscribe to receive AARP e-mail alerts when certain topics are updated. Also, contributors to the site regularly post articles about current topics and trends for computers and the Internet.

2. AARP - Online Safety and Your Money

        AARP shares 12 tips for avoiding financial scams and identity theft while surfing the Web. It provides information on how seniors can protect their finances on the Internet. For instance, it advises seniors to keep anti-virus programs up-to-date, be wary of possibly suspicious Internet sources, and pay attention to online privacy.

3. The Senior’s Guide to Computers

        This website is dedicated to helping seniors understand computers and provides a free step-by-step guide on how to use them and the internet properly and safely. This is a great source for seniors just starting out with computers or for those who want a refresher course as every aspect of computer use is explained in plain English and organized into chronological lessons.

4. Homeland Security - Stop. Think. Connect. Program for Older Americans

        This is a public awareness campaign for Internet security by the Department of Homeland Security and features resources and materials to help consumers stay cyber safe. It includes tips and resources from the National Cyber Security Alliance, information on the most common fraud schemes aimed at older Americans from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ways to avoid scams, protect your identity and secure your computer, as well as how to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center or your State Attorney General’s Office. Handouts and presentations are also available entitled “Cybersecurity 101 Tip Card,” “Older Americans Tip Card,” “Cybersecurity for Older Americans,” and “Connecting Generations.”

5. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - Internet Fraud

        This website focuses generally on Internet fraud and provides links to senior resources. While not directly targeted toward senior consumers, it covers all the basic risks Internet users may encounter, provides general safety and security tips, and links to research via the FBI Annual Reports on Internet crime.

6. Internet Crime Complaint Center

        This is a federal government website consumers may use to report Internet crimes like fraud or identity theft to the federal government.

7. - Secure Your Computer is a collaboration of government agencies to help you be safe, secure and responsible online. The Federal Trade Commission manages, in partnership with the Stop Think Connect campaign, led by the Department of Homeland Security, and part of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It provides information on computer security, disposing of old computers, steps you can take to keep your laptop from getting lost or stolen, P2P file-sharing risks, malware, etc.

8. SeniorNet - Nonprofit organization

        SeniorNet is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to familiarizing seniors with computers and the Internet. SeniorNet has operations in multiple states that centers on providing seniors with live classroom training on how to use computers. Seniors can attend classes in many major cities. For a $43 yearly Membership fee, seniors will have full access to all Learning Centers and Members-Only areas on the SeniorNet website.

Scholarly Articles, Research, and Analysis:

1. Richard Adler, The Age Wave meets the Technology Wave: Broadband and Older Americans, 2006

        This article discusses and analyzes the growing trend of Internet use among older Americans. It argues that the growth of technology can be a great benefit to older Americans by strengthening intergeneral connections, keeping older Americans active. Additionally, it advocates for greater investment and efficient government oversight to protect older Americans.

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2. Ruth Shillair, Online safety begins with you and me: Convincing Internet users to protect themselves, Computers in Human Behavior Volume 48, July 2015, Pages 199–207.

        Serious and pervasive threats confront all Internet users. Despite frequent reports of losses due to computer security breaches, many individuals still do not follow basic safety precautions. Understanding the mental processes that motivate users to follow safe practices is key to strengthening this weak link in the security chain. Using protection motivation theory (PMT), a model within the class of social cognitive theories (SCT), we develop and assess the value of interventions strategies to enhance safe online behaviors. Furthermore, we integrate the concept of personal responsibility within the PMT approach to better understand what motivates safe, online behaviors.

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3. Ruogu Kang, Laura Dabbish, Nathaniel Fruchte, “My Data Just Goes Everywhere: ”User Mental Models of the Internet and Implications for Privacy and Security, Human Computer Interaction Institute (2015)

Prior literature diverges on how people’s Internet knowledge affects their privacy and security decisions. We undertook a qualitative study to understand what people do and do not know about the Internet and how that knowledge affects their responses to privacy and security risks. Lay people, as compared to those with computer science or related backgrounds, had simpler mental models that omitted Internet levels, organizations, and entities. People with more articulated technical models perceived more privacy threats, possibly driven by their more accurate understanding of where specific risks could occur in the network.

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4. Eric J. Karson, Exploring a Valid and Reliable Scale of Consumer Privacy and Security Concerns on the Internet and their Implications for E-Commerce, Part of the series Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science pp 104-109 (2015)

        Smith, Milberg, and Burke's (1996) scale of concerns over information privacy concerns is adapted to the Internet. Results show that concerns over data collection and errors are directly adaptable to the Internet, while unauthorized secondary use of data collected and improper access to collected data merge into one factor.

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5. Sutirtha Chatterjee, Suprateek Sarker & Joseph S. Valacich, The Behavioral Roots of Information Systems Security: Exploring Key Factors Related to Unethical IT Use, Journal of Management Information Systems Volume 31, Issue 4, 2015.

        Unethical information technology (IT) use, related to activities such as hacking, software piracy, phishing, and spoofing, has become a major security concern for individuals, organizations, and society in terms of the threat to information systems (IS) security. While there is a growing body of work on this phenomenon, we notice several gaps, limitations, and inconsistencies in the literature. In order to further understand this complex phenomenon and reconcile past findings, we conduct an exploratory study to uncover the nomological network of key constructs salient to this phenomenon, and the nature of their interrelationships. Using a scenario-based study of young adult participants, and both linear and nonlinear analyses, we uncover key nuances of this phenomenon of unethical IT use. We find that unethical IT use is a complex phenomenon, often characterized by nonlinear and idiosyncratic relationships between the constructs that capture it. Overall, ethical beliefs held by the individuals, along with economic, social, and technological considerations are found to be relevant to this phenomenon. In terms of practical implications, these results suggest that multiple interventions at various levels may be required to combat this growing threat to IS security.

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6. Hamisu Alhaji Ali, Cloud Computing Security: An Investigation into the Security Issues and Challenges Associated with Cloud Computing, for Both Data Storage and Virtual Applications, International Journal of Information and Technology Volume 1, Issue 1, pages 31 ‐ 41, September, 2015.

        An overview of the cloud deployment model, the services they offer and the security issues and challenges of cloud computing in both data storage and virtual applications/servers. Also a summary of the cloud computing risks was also produced in form of risk analysis table containing the risk, its probability of occurrence and impact on an organization.

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7. Pengfei Ji, Study on the Legalization of Minor Internet Security,  Beijing Law Review

Vol.06 No.01(2015)

        As a virtual place with the feature of double-edged sword, the adverse effects the Internet has on the minors can be seen not only from the information it carries but also from a series of Internet products developed based on the virtual Internet environment. Since these adverse effects have imperceptibly endangered the minors who are in their critical growth period from all aspects, we must learn from the foreign advanced legislative experience and take measures including the definition of legislative regulation, improvement of guardianship system, establishment of regulatory authorities and so on to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the minors.

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