Ryan Matheu

P.I.D. #: 3611448

Finding Fresh Ideas

Valuing Information
Security from a Phishing Attack

                In the world of cybersecurity there will
always be people who threaten your privacy and will try to steal sensitive
information from you, in order to either sell it or use it with malice. The
biggest problems with user’s and how they protect themselves in cyberspace, is
that they either believe they aren’t at risk or use the tools incorrectly,
leaving them vulnerable. As has happened to me, many users often times decide
to bypass certain security measures put in place by either the Operating
System, System Manufacturer, or installed by them, in order to access certain
websites or games online. The problem here is that many user’s make trade-offs
in certain situations; such applies when choosing certain security software.

 In many cases, according to the article the
amount of security people are willing to invest in directly correlates with the
amount of knowledge they have about cyberspace. People who are less informed
tend to either not take any security measures, or feel they aren’t vulnerable.
People who are mildly educated about cyberspace tend to take the middle ground
and implement firewalls, at the very least. Where people who are more aware of
cyberspace and tend to value their privacy and security, will often make
sacrifices in terms of money, latency and productivity in order to ensure their
security online.

A common mistake made by user’s as
well is that if certain programs or web applications don’t work due to a
firewall/antivirus/anti-fishing software being in place is that they may
all-together disable it in order to gain access. What they don’t realize, or
often times brush off, is that by disabling these security measures, even for
only a few minutes makes all of their information vulnerable. Often times,
games use certain ports, and people may even open certain ports in order to
allow the game to function properly. This is a problem because a port left open
can easily be used in order to penetrate the system.

This article mainly covers the
sacrifices that must be made by a user to ensure they system is as secure as
possible. These trade-offs, as listed above, include cost, latency, efficiency,
and productivity. The average computer user is not willing to pay a high
premium for higher latency, even if it means a more secure system. On the
contrary, those who are willing to pay high premiums, are willing to have
higher latency times, or wait times, and slightly lower productivity, but
knowing their systems are secure gives them peace of mind. The study found that
most people fall under Pragmatists, between 59% – 73.2%, as people who do in
fact want better cyber security but are not willing to sacrifice efficiency and
longer wait times, or latency, to get it. Online between 19.1% and 26.8% of
user are willing to have higher latency and less productivity in order to
ensure their systems remain secure. Lastly, are the minority of people, which
are those that are unconcerned of their systems integrity in cyberspace, which
are labeled the Unconcerned in the article. These are people that essentially
aren’t willing to make any sacrifices to productivity or latency, for any
amount of money, as they see security measures as obstacles to using a
computer, and just something which will “slow it down”.

Based on this article I would say
the most important thing is to ensure that the security measures you use on
your personal or work machines are able to provide you with sufficient productivity
and low enough latency where you can get work done, but enough security to
ensure you’re safe. It seems to me that many people may tend to not think long
term, as they don’t see that slightly longer wait times now and slightly less
productivity, means more security. In the long term, they just about break even
in terms of efficiency; as if your system gets hacked, it will take a
considerable amount of time in order to restore information, not to mention the
hassle of changing information if it gets stolen. This is of course assuming
your information can be changed, example in point would be social security. In
conclusion I would advise users, whether it be for home or business use, to
find an adequate middle ground in terms of cost, efficiency, latency, and productivity,
where you are still protected very well. A little extra time each day, to
ensure security, will pay itself off in the long term, to not have to deal with
the aftermath after being hacked. At the end of the day, people tend to go to
companies they can trust, if you get hacked, chances are you will lose at least
a portion of your clients, which is very bad for current customers, and future
customers as well.


Link to Academic Article:





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