Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World

One of the most important papers on computer security and usability was Why Johnny Can’t Encrypt, A Usability Evaluation of PGP 5.0 by Alma Whitten and J.D. Tygar.  They noted that user errors cause or contribute to most computer security failures.  

User error was manifest last week when it was detailed that the New York Times was penetrated over the course of four months by Chinese hackers who infiltrated its network and obtained passwords for a significant amount of the Times reporters and employees. 

Attempting to alleviate such user error issues, Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World is a helpful security awareness book. 

The book is written for the non-technical user, and attempts to provide a thorough overview of all areas where they need to be aware of the information security and privacy risks. 

Critical areas such as phishing, malware, social engineering, email issue, e-commerce and more. 

The book provides information about essential security topics in an easy to read manner. 

While the book is intended for non-technical users, it does take a somewhat technical slant.  For those readers that are comfortable with command-line edits and other configuration changes, they will not be intimidated by this book. 

Overall, Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World is a worthwhile guide for an organization to have in their information security awareness program.  It provides the reader with an understanding and appreciation for the magnitude of computer security.

Had the New York Times employees been aware of the risks and taken actions as written in Computer Security Literacy: Staying Safe in a Digital World, odds are that the effects would have been much less, and they wouldn’t have been a cover story in their own periodical.

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