Lots of books have to do with computer and network security, which is to say they explain how to protect your files and other resources from malicious characters. Privacy Defended has more to do with protecting Internet users from themselves. The team of authors makes it clear that Internet entities (mainly commercial interests, though miscellaneous troublemakers fall into this category as well) have tremendous interest in finding out as many details as possible about you. This book goes into considerable depth on the technologies (such as browser cookies) and social engineering techniques (such as contests whose entry forms solicit your e-mail address) that have evolved to circumvent the inherently anonymous nature of the Internet.
Internet users willing to sit down and have a serious look at what this book has to say will be rewarded with a solid understanding of the implications of nearly everything they do online. Readers are, for instance, clued in to the undercover behavior of Netscape SmartDownload (early versions of the software reported your identity and the files you downloaded to a central server) and made to wonder about what other free utilities might be doing. Once they've instilled a bit of paranoia in their readers, the authors offer advice on securing typical home computers (and networks of them) against attack. They compare and contrast commercial products for this purpose, and go into helpful detail on the characteristic risks of cable modems and other broadband links. --David Wall
Topics covered: The privacy risks that confront everyday computer users (individuals and small businesses) when they connect to the Internet. Detailed discussion of the legal aspects of online privacy (in the United States), legal accumulation of demographic data by online businesses, and online credit card fraud are all included. A consumer's guide to technical Internet standards enables readers to see where holes exist, and advice on securing computers and network connections helps them seal security gaps.
From the Back Cover
Privacy Defended: Protecting Yourself Online is a comprehensive book that melds detailed, how-to information on PC hardware and operating system security within the context of protecting one's privacy in a digital world. It is designed for individuals who are serious about their privacy and who also want an accessible, one-stop source of practical information. The book offers clear discussion of privacy issues as they affect everyday users of digital devices, covering all current and near-future devices and technologies that pose privacy risks to users.
See all Editorial Reviews