This is a follow up to my post Why is Internet Safety Important
Dangers of the Internet are relative to the perspective of those accessing it. That is to say, on the Internet “dangers” are completely dependent on who is accessing what data from where and what their intentions are for accessing it. For example, researching a list of poisons could be a considered “dangers to the Internet” if a seriously disturbed person intends to kill his or her spouse. On the other hand, if a parent is just wondering what house hold products are poisonous with the intention of protecting her children, can that be considered a danger?
So protection from dangers on the Internet should be proactive and involve human judgment at some level. Policies must be written, planned and implemented in advanced or ad hoc to suit the environment and the users accessing the Internet. Children at a school with access from the classroom will more than likely be different from employees at a skating rink.
Even the items commonly considered dangers on the Internet relate directly to how much access individuals and organizations allow to and from the web. Common “dangers” may include (but should not be limited to) the following:
Accessibility to personal – applies to educating users on the dangers of putting personal information on the Internet and protecting organizational data bases
Sensitive data – For a school sensitive data is likely linked to the grades and personal information of staff and student, but for a business sensitive information could include proprietary information that would hurt the bottom line if it were leaked to competition.
Financial fraud & criminal hackers/scammers- This applies to educating users about criminal hacker techniques such as malware, social engineering, email and website phishing
The access of impressionable and/or psychologically disturbed individuals to potentially harmful and destructive information – This is rather subjective however it should be a concern to schools from elementary – colleges, rehabilitation facilities and mental institutions. There are ways to block certain obvious material with web-blocker type applications, but no one can stop them all. Monitoring is a must if this danger is to be handled seriously.
The risks and damage of these dangers are dependent on the environment & the users involved. It is up to the system owners to ensure that the policies are properly planned, implemented and maintained as exposure to any Internet danger can disrupt the safety, mission and/or values of an organization or individual.