Are you Protected?

In this day and age, computers have become a common necessity of everyday life. Anyone who has not joined in this new era of technology will soon be left in the dark ages. Along with the computer advancement has come the Internet, which is an intricate connection of millions of computers around the world. The Internet has become today\'s form of communication, totally reinventing the mail system, telephones and even business meetings. With these great new advantages come many serious new problems that concern anyone that communicates through it. Those that are connected to it are in essence a community of their own, an online community.
When people communicate with each other over the Internet everything they do is passed along a string of computers that are all linked together. So for example say you were writing an e-mail letter to a friend, when you click on send it is not transferred directly to that person\'s computer. The file first goes to your particular server then to another computer and so on until it reaches the destination server and finally you\'re friend. What this means to you is that at any one of those computers, it would be possible to intercept the e-mail and be able to read it. This process then would apply to anything you do on the net, including chatting, downloading, and even online purchases. As you can see it obviously would be very tempting to intercept a transfer during a purchase where you unsuspectingly fill out a form with your credit card number and send it to through to the online store.
This is where security comes into play, but it is not how you would picture it in the real world, because there aren\'t the physical barriers to stop people from going anywhere or doing anything. The only thing that can be done is to encode the data being transferred, using some form of cryptography which is the science of translating messages into ciphers or codes. The easiest form of cryptography is a SSL, or Secure Socket Layer, which is a protocol developed by Netscape for encrypted transmission of TCP/IP networks. The SSL provides an end-to-end link over which an SSL-encrypted HTTP can operate.
Having these forms of security and others for those of us linked to the Internet provides relatively worry-free communication while online. Not only that though, it helps to instill one of the major beliefs of those in the online community, and that is privacy. Ever since the beginning of the Internet, many people have felt the need to stay unknown, everywhere including not only in what they\'re sending across the Internet, but even in chat rooms.
As you can see, security online can be used for good and bad purposes. Hopefully one day we will be able to filter out all the bad uses. But until then we just have to see the benefits of having encryption and anonymity which includes being able to stay away from stalkers and people of that sort. Aside from all that, the Internet is a safe place to be and communicate with others.