The main privacy and network security issues affecting online businesses
In this research, I found out that most businessmen store their information online. Hartman (2003) states that online information storage is a convenient method of data storage since the company does not have to manage its own data storage system.
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On the other hand, this process is risky and can result into loss of valuable data and subsequent financial loses (Shaw, 2012). In line with this Miller (2002) indicates that even though most organizations want to shift to online data storage, the issue of network security and privacy of the information hinders the companies from using this form of storage.
Miller (2002) claims that for the trader to have confidence in the computers and internet systems there is a need for them to have up-to-date computer protection systems that will prevent unintended transfer of information. Such systems include firewalls, logins prompt among other systems (Garfinkel, 2002).
Hence, it clearly appears that these security systems have been developed to prevent loss of information. Despite the security measures that have been developed, loss of information is still very common. Erbschloe and Vacca (2001) insist that further research and development of better methods of protecting information online should be encouraged.
The other point to be considered is that by use of online data storage system traders obtain their files through the internet and do not have to keep any back up hardcopies. This means that most of the information is only stored online and there are no other physical records. In line with this, Hartman (2003) argues that soft copies are easily retrievable, can be located with ease and occupy less space. By and large, Information can also be compressed making the filling system easy and less tiresome but prone to online attacks.
In spite of this, online databases are prone to attacks by hackers and these result into loss of information. Shaw (2012) indicates that hackers demand payment before releasing the information and this may lead to financial losses. In addition to the mentioned above, Myriam (2008) argues that though many solutions have been developed to curb information theft, the problem is still prevalent as hackers master the current security measures and formulate strategies of overcoming them.
During the review of literature, I came to the fact that most businessmen investing in online data storage methods have to continually update their systems and databases which is costly and expensive in the long run (Shaw, 2001). In spite of the fact that most organizations and individuals monitor their websites to check who visits them, there is a lot of fraud and internet scam cases.
Identity theft is still on increase. It entails the use of personal information or data without the owner’s knowledge to commit a crime. Identity theft in online business environment takes many forms, for example, credit card information loss and IP address. Hartman (2003) indicates that there are many advantages associated with sharing information online stated in this research but there also exist a large number of unsecured websites that sell stolen credit/debit cards worldwide.
These sites affect sharing information online since a trader may fall a victim of online crime by giving his credit or debit card information to a fraudster. Khosrowpour (2004) indicates that the lost information does not only affect the buyer and the seller, but also the trust that people have in online data transfer and online business in general. Camp (2000) insists that online security and privacy must be improved if traders and customers wish to trust the system.
In terms of this research conducted, I concluded that phishing is another security and privacy issue affecting online traders. It entails the use of fake personal data, which is very similar to the original with the intention of defrauding online traders. The most common form of phishing is fraudsters making automatic bank cards similar to the original ones and requesting customers to change their particulars only to defraud their funds thus affecting their businesses negatively (Khosrowpour, 2004).
Salehnia (2002) indicates that false information is another great security threat found to affect online business environment. It must be stated that giving false information on the internet greatly affects the trust that customers have in the system and this reduces e-commerce activities. Most customers and business persons are prone to this security threat due to the virtue nature of online businesses.
It is impossible for the trading parties to meet physically. In some instances, businessmen and customers give false information with the intention of defrauding the other party (Shaw, 2012). This problem has resulted into increase in the risk of transferring money, which hampers the development of online shopping procedures. In the past, customers and businessmen have incurred heavy financial losses leading to failure of trust in e-commerce.
Shaw (2001) indicates that most traders operating online businesses have no proper business ethics. This fact also increases the risk of e-commerce as well as reduces the trust among trading parties (Shaw, 2001). It is, therefore, important that proper security measures and appropriate strategies are undertaken to ensure that the customers’ and businessmen’s information is secure and confidential.
In this research, I came to a conclusion that most of business sites are regularly updated (Martha, 2009). This is a great advantage to the traders since they get very useful information to develop their business. In overall, businessmen receive bulk information via the internet most of which is false and compromised. Moreover, this information is hard to distinguish if it comes from a potential customer or a fraudster. Failure to differentiate a fraudster and a customer results into a huge number of transactions lost.
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According to Kloseks (2000), there is a big increase in infringement of personal information since most of online traders have their personal rights violated. Kloseks (2000) indicated that internet has a great negative impact on the intellectual property rights of individual, i.e. patents, copyrights, and other individual rights.
Even though it is possible to protect information in the online environment, there is no enforcing body as the internet spans across many countries. It should be stated that most innovative ideas, songs and literature are propagated around the internet without the consent of the owner. From this point of view of the subject it may be concluded that this discourages the use of online trading methods. Yaniv et al. (2012) indicate that lack of privacy has resulted in infringement of the personal rights of many individuals in the social media.
What are the ethical issues arising from internet security and privacy in the online business environment?
Salehnia (2002) insists that there are several ethical dimensions related to e-commerce privacy and security. Most of business persons agree that security and privacy are major human rights. However, most online companies are infringing on the security and privacy rights through their abusive policies. In addition, Camp (2000) argues that privacy and security of data are important to personal liberty and personal trust.
I also found out that privacy is an essential necessity for any business or company because it protects businesses from violations of business autonomy and independence. Having control of one’s business information and the right to reveal it to specific people only is essential to any developing business. This could be helpful in reducing identity theft, credit or debit cards theft and increase traders trust in online systems.
Moreover, the lack of proper information privacy and security hinders beneficial relation between different firms. This is caused by the fact that the increased number of internet fraudsters claim to be legitimate traders. According to Salehnia (2000), most businessmen find it unethical when their data is displayed during negotiations. They especially fear the threat of correction, poor judgments, criticisms and plagiarism. Most of them are also afraid that this display of information will lead to patents developed being brought back for implication resulting in loss of individuality.
In this study, I discovered that most businesses are located in different regions worldwide with different cultural values. Most businesses from these diverse cultures value information privacy and security. These regions with varying cultures have different methods of ensuring that their information is not tempered with. Salehnia (2002) states that cultural values play an important role in the determination of business view on security and privacy.
It was made clear that capitalism ethics was another factor affecting online trading. Traders campaign for decreased privacy and security can access their site and buy from them so as to ensure that customers. They do not take into consideration the privacy and security issues affecting most of the business persons in their day-to-day activities. According to Keenan (2005), there should be registered laws regulating security and privacy on these sites to protect the users.
It is worth mentioning that social media push for less privacy and security. This is harmful in the business society because it sometimes leads to psychological harm. For example, a business plan meant to be shared to one particular group only is displayed for all to view. On the other hand, some companies view this as a reward. Hartman (2003) argues that professions like journalism use public sharing in building personal brand and advertising their products.
Myriam (2008) states that due to the increased online privacy and security threats, there are many legal arguments concerning the rights to privacy and security. Business persons, in particular, strive to have the right to privacy and security on their business data to protect business ability to make important personal information without unwanted disclosure.
The solutions to network security threats and privacy
I found out that there are many technological developments that have evolved to minimize the problem of information privacy and security in business-related internet activities, e.g. ordering purchases, browsing business information and responding to orders. In addition, it is possible to disassociate the identity of the business persons from the information/data revealed in the rest of the information. This would decrease identity theft and other related crimes as stated by Erbschloe and Vacca (2001).
Garfinkel (2002) indicates that web-based redirector is one of the modern technologies used to minimize chances of data security and privacy. He argued that redirector allows one to hide his IP address. This helps in cutting the possibilities of sensitive information theft, and is best suited for the businessmen who browse rarely (Garfinkel, 2002).
Another solution is the use of a proxy which is a very common protocol dependent method of protecting business information and security. The most common type of proxies used are web proxy which assists traders when browsing, remailer proxy which helps when emailing, and socks proxy which are more universal and allow business persons to work with many internet protocols.
I clarified that secure connectivity enables companies and business persons to protect their confidential information from eavesdropping. This is achieved by implementation of Virtual Private Network (VPN). Encryption ensures that any unauthorized person cannot access information passing across VPN by the use of mathematical algorithms.
Business persons should also monitor their network system for attacks and regularly test the security infrastructures. This can be achieved by the use of network vulnerability computer scanners which identifiy weaknesses. Intrusion detection systems can be used to minimize chances of security threats that may occur. Identity mechanisms also help in ensuring that only authorized users access the companies information system, this is achieved though accurate identification and authorization of network users.
In conclusion, internet security and privacy are the most serious threats affecting e-commerce. These threats have many negative impacts which discourage traders and consumers from online transaction. There are many cases of privacy breach, stolen credit card details and many other security issues.
These issues must be addressed for the e-commerce to thrive. There are many solutions that have been developed to curb internet security threats which include the use of third parties to store credit card details, firewalls, antivirus, and the use of authentication when logging into websites and databases. There are also many ethical issues surrounding regulations and strategies used to curb online security and privacy threats. It is imperative that these ethical issues are addressed properly.
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