Introduction to Computer Security and Privacy

It is important to know how to protect yourself, your computer and your privacy, when using computers, mobile phones or the Internet, especially if you want to use the Internet to communicate with your friends or buy things online.

Your computer stores very detailed information about you. This might include bank details, personal letters or work information. You must protect this information so that other people cannot access it without your permission.

There are three main threats to your computer:

Natural threats such as earthquakes, flood and fire.

Environmental threats, such as loss of power, heat, dust etc.

Human threats, such as accidental damage from spilling liquids on your computer.

Another kind of human threat can be from other people, for example someone who steals your identity, or sends a virus to your computer.

These threats to your computer can be reduced by ensuring you have the right protection, for example by  using power surge plugs when connecting it to the mains electricity supply.

You should always be careful with liquids near your computer, as these can seriously damage the components inside your computer.

You can also take precautions against malicious attacks from other people,  for example by installing anti-virus software and updating it regularly.

Most home routers or modems also act as a firewall, protecting your computer against intruders. In any school, college or office where you share a network, there will probably be a server dedicated to preventing unauthorised people from accessing sensitive information stored on the network.

The most important rule is to make sure that you back up and store your private and personal data in a secure location away from your computer, so if anything happens to the data on your computer, you have a backup copy.

You can go directly to any page of this course by using the menus at the top of the screen, or you can continue to the next page by following the link at the bottom.

Next: Computer Security and Privacy