A variety of risks can exist when using the Internet. Risks can be divided into three categories:
• Risks to user safety and privacy
• Risks to data security
• Risks to system performance and integrity
We’ll look closely at all of these in this initial section of the course.
These risks may be closely linked. For example, a malicious program might reduce system performance, as well as stealing data which could pose a risk to user safety or privacy.
Risks can generally be countered by a combination of software defences, such as firewalls or anti-virus software, and cautious user behaviour.
Another area of risk is the amount of unreliable information available online, so we’ll also look at ways of checking the reliability of online information.