The Types Of Computer Security Risks Computer Science Essay


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Internet and Network Attacks includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and rootkits; botnets; denial of service attacks; back doors; and spoofing.

Unauthorized Access and Use of a computer, network or data without permission for unapproved or possibly illegal activities.

Hardware Theft and Vandalism involves the act of stealing, defacing or destroying computer equipment.

Software Theft involves the act of stealing software media, intentionally erasing programs, illegally copying programs or the illegal registration/activation of programs.

Information Theft occurs when personal or confidential information is stolen.

System Failure is the prolonged malfunction of a computer which can cause a loss of hardware, software, data or information and has a variety of causes.

2) Identify ways to safeguard against computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, denial of service attacks, back doors and spoofing.

Computer Security Models are schemes for specifying and enforcing security policies. A security model may be founded upon a formal model of access rights, computation, distributed computing, or may have no particular theoretical grounding at all.

Anti-Virus Software detects and removes known viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

Firewalls ensure that crackers, Trojans and backdoor applications can't gain access to your computer while you're connected to the Internet.

Patching improves, updates or fixes a particular problem or vulnerability within any software program. It is these flaws that attackers often use to gain access to your computer.

Anti-Spyware is software designed to detect and remove Spyware.

3) Discuss techniques to prevent unauthorised computer access and use.

Identifying and Authorising Users

Access control is a security measure that defines who has access to a computer, when they may access it and which resources they are allowed to access on a computer.

User Names and Passwords

A user name is a unique user identifier and should be accompanied by a password which is a private combination of characters. This is used to allow access to a computer and its resources.

Hardware and/or Software Firewalls

A firewall helps protect a computer from unauthorized incoming and outgoing data.

Biometric Devices

Authentication by means of personal characteristics, such as fingerprints, translated into a digital code usually replacing passwords.

4) Identify safeguards against hardware theft and vandalism.

Physical access controls such as locked doors and windows.

Alarm systems

Cables and locks with which to lock equipment to desks, cabinets, or floors.

Real Time Location Systems to identify and track items using RFID tags.

5) Explain the ways software manufacturers protect against software piracy.

License Agreements

Specific conditions a user must accept before having the right to use the software.

Product Activation

Users have to provide a software product's identification number to receive an installation identification number unique to the computer on which it is installed.

6) Define encryption and explain why this is necessary.

Encryption is the process of converting readable data into unreadable characters to prevent unauthorized access. It is used to protect information on the internet, networks and computers.

7) Discuss the types of devices available that protect computers from system failure.

Surge Protectors/Suppressors

Smoothes out minor electrical noise and provides a stable current flow to keep under- and over voltage from reaching electronic equipment.

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

A device that contains surge protection circuits and one or more batteries and provides power during a temporary or permanent loss of power.

8) Explain the options available for backing up computer resources.

Full and Selective Backups

Full backups copy all of the files on a computer. With selective backups users choose which files to include in a backup.

Onsite and Offsite

Backups can be kept onsite in a fire- and heatproof safe, or offsite where the backups are kept at a location separate from the main site.

Backup Programs and Utilities

Most Operating Systems include a backup utility and various programs are freely available on the internet.

9) Identify risks and safeguards associated with wireless communications.

Unsecured Wireless Networks

Wireless networks that use default SSIDs and no wireless security are subject to attack by means of packet interception and monitoring with the intruder's purpose being to gain access to the network.

Secured Wireless Networks

Wireless networks that make use of one or more security protocol/standard such as WPA/WPA2 and which has a hidden/un-broadcasted SSID which is different than the default.

10) Discuss issues surrounding information privacy.


A file stored on a computer by a web server to collect data about a user.

Spyware and Adware

Spyware programs secretly collect user information and Adware programs generally display advertisements in a pop up/ banner form.


Unsolicited digital messages sent to multiple recipients at once, generally online junk mail.


Scams with which the perpetrator attempts to obtain the user's personal or financial information for nefarious gain.

11) Discuss ways to prevent health-related disorders and injuries due to computer use.

Take frequent breaks, use precautionary exercises and techniques, and take ergonomics into account when planning the workplace.

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