should COMPUTER SECURITY be required learning?

every school / university has certain classes most students HAVE to take. given the extreme lack of knowledge of computer security shouldn’t even a remedial course be one of them?

4 replies
  1. Jessica Queller says:

    Only if by “computer security” you mean getting people to understand the benefits of a limited user account and the dangers of social engineering.

    If by “computer security” you mean installing this “antivirus” and thinking your computer is invincible until you get malware and then switching to that “antivirus” and thinking your computer is invincible until you get more malware… then, no.

  2. Chrisallis says:

    If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.

    Consider this – car drivers must be educated, practiced, and licensed in order to drive a car. But, does this ensure absolute road safety for all? Not in practice it doesn’t. Far from it.

    A licensing requirement doesn’t stop drunk drivers from getting into a car and killing innocent victims. And it certainly doesn’t eliminate our exposure to the speeders, tailgaters, and the road ragers that seem to plague our highways. Licensing then, doesn’t seem to eliminate the risks we face on the road.

    Still, the need to prove competency behind the wheel, while it doesn’t eliminate all risks, is effective in reducing risk exposure to manageable, and acceptable levels.

    So, would an Internet license requirement reduce risk exposure to manageable and acceptable levels?

    Unlike the need to be educated and practiced, in order to qualify for a driver’s license; to access the Internet all that is required is a modem attached to a computer. There’s no need to prove qualifications. There’s no need to prove an awareness of the very real dangers that the Internet presents.

    Why do I care? It’s pretty simple really – unaware computer users simple don’t know, what they don’t know, when it comes to adequately protecting themselves – and by extension, you and me – on the Internet.

    There’s little doubt, that part of the problem is simply fear. People do not understand computers, so they are afraid of them in a sense.

    Secondly, people generally, are simply not interested in learning about computers sufficiently to make the fear go away. The question is, of course, should they need to know anything other than how to turn on a computer? Should users be forced to comply with a license requirement. Well, maybe not.

    Computer experts seem to agree that it is often flawed computer software, and not just inadequate user knowledge, or lack of proper procedure, that contributes to the proliferation of unsecured computer systems and cyber-crime, on the Internet.

    It seems to me then, what is needed as a good first step, rather than compulsory licensing, are machines that are designed with simple, but internally sophisticated operating systems, secure and easy to use for the majority of users; where limited user interaction is required to maintain the security of the system.

    Equally as important, in my view, is a concerted level of effort from law enforcement, at every level, to actively pursue those who continue to cause havoc on the Internet.

    Unless we develop a rational approach to the underlying security issues surrounding the Internet, cyber crime will continue to flourish, and successful attacks on computers over the Internet will continue to proliferate.

    So maybe your suggestion is a good one.

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