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Assignment 1: Information Literacy

Joanne M. Furman


Internet Security How Secure Are We?

Technology Current Article: Welcome To the Age of Hacks
Have you been ever been hacked? Would you even know if you were? As CNN Money
reported, Half of Americans adults were hacked this year (Pagliery 2014). What are hackers
looking for? One would think credit cards. After all, every time you swipe your debit or credit
card at a store, the transaction is processed by a computer connected to the internet. Hackers can
break into those computers (even from a distance of thousands of miles), infect them with a virus
and steal the card data. In fact, hackers obtained 40 million cards from Target customers last
year, costing Target $146 million. This crime will continue because retailers do not have the
knowledge to guard their Internet-connected payment systems. Plus, the credit and debit cards
used are fundamentally insecure. Magnetic stripes are still using 1950s technology.
Transferring data found on these card to a blank card is relatively easy. Companies in the United
States are slow to upgrade to chip-enabled smart cards, which are much harder to reproduce.
However, credit cards are not the commodity of choice for most hackers. That is because credit
cards only make $1 per card, while medical records go for $50 per record. Medical records can
be used to fraudulently bill insurance to get prescriptions for controlled drugs. The FBI
estimates that Fraud amounts to 10% of the $2.5 trillion the United States spends on healthcare
annually (Pagliery, 2014). Most alarming is that 90% of hospitals and clinics lose their
patients data to data breaches, and hackers stole data on 4.5 million patients when they broke
into a hospital network this year (Pagliery, 2014). So what can we do to protect ourselves from
this growing problem? First, never use a debit card. If a hacker obtains the information, there is
no protection on a bank account to prevent the account from being emptied. Most credit cards
Assignment 1: Information Literacy
Joanne M. Furman


offer protection in the event of theft. Second, change your passwords often and use ones that are
difficult to crack. Good passwords include wacky phrases, such as My23Lizardyellowsnow.

Additional Articles on the Same Topic:
The search engines utilized for this assignment were Bing and DuckDuckGo. The search
terms were technology, security, and 2014. DuckDuckGo is a valuable resource because
it guards the privacy of the user by not tracking data and selling the information. It also varies
the results for a search term, offering a unique perspective on the search item. DuckDuckGo
emphasizes the quality of the source and information, rather than simply supplying a large
quantity of redundant sources. The information provided in the articles went into greater depth
and were publically relevant, resulting in more meaningful results.
Bing is a search engine powered by Microsoft. Bing searches lacked quality compared to
other search engines. The information provided appeared to be more dated and not as
informative. Bing is an excellent search engine for obtaining the highlights of a news item, but
not for gathering in-depth insight.

TRAAP Your Sources:
The article found in Step 3 chosen for evaluation is Apple Promises Security
Improvements by Matthew J. Schwartz, published on September 5, 2014. This article has not
been updated since its original publication. The article does apply to my topic, which is Internet
security, because it addresses measures taken to prevent security breaches. The author of this
Assignment 1: Information Literacy
Joanne M. Furman


article is Matthew J. Schwartz. He is the InformationWeek Information Security reporter.
InformationWeek is an online information resource focusing on technology-related events.
InformationWeek conducts many research projects and publishes an online digital magazine.
This resource is considered to be a reputable resource in the industry. The information found in
this article appears to be trustworthy, as it was supported by other news articles on the same
subject. The purpose of this article is to inform the consumer of security measures being used to
protect information in the icloud. The information does not appear to be biased. Although the
author did believe that more could be done to protect information in the icloud, it did present the
measures Apple plans to implement objectively.

Journal Articles from the CCBC Library Database:
The keywords used to locate articles in the CCBC library database were technology,
security and 2014. The databases chosen were Current Issues / Newspapers and Criminal
Justice. Current Issues / Newspapers was chosen to obtain the most up-to-date, relevant
information on the topic. Criminal Justice was chosen because cyber security is a crime that is
increasingly gaining the attention of the global economy. Most cyber-terrorist groups originate
from Eastern Europe, with many residing in Russia. Uncooperative governments tend to protect
the identity of these terrorists, making it difficult to capture and/or prosecute this criminal

Comparison of Journal and Internet Articles:
Assignment 1: Information Literacy
Joanne M. Furman


The journal articles found in the CCBC Library Database were far superior to the Internet
articles. The Journal articles covered more details, referenced sources, provided background on the
editor/writer to establish credibility, and offered a complete background on the topic. One could gain
a much greater understanding of the topic in question by reading the journal articles. The CCBC
Library Database was quite easy to use and offered a wide selection of articles from which to
choose. The most recent articles were dated approximately 6-weeks prior to the date searched.
The journals provided detailed information on the authors of the articles, which enables the reader to
verify that the information is from a trustworthy source.
In contrast, Internet articles do not appear to explore a topic as thoroughly as journal articles.
Internet article are quite easily obtained and are very timely. It is relatively easy to search for an
article written in the past week. Journal articles are not as timely as Internet articles in this regard. It
is much more difficult to ascertain the credibility of the author in an Internet article. While it is
possible to search for the authors name in a search engine, the information found is not always
complete. The profile may not contain the authors education or other affiliations. Many articles on
the Internet do not even list an author, suggesting that the material contained was questionable in its
origin and that it may not be the original source.

Sources: APA Format
Search Engine: Google
Pagliery, Jose. "Welcome to the Age of Hacks." Money CNN, 4 Sept. 2014. Web. 8
Sept. 2014. <>.
Search Engine: Bing
Assignment 1: Information Literacy
Joanne M. Furman


Greg, K. (2014, September 8). Home Depot Finally Confirms Its Payment System Was Hacked
for Months. Retrieved September 8, 2014, from
Search Engine: DuckDuckGo
Matthew J., S. (2014, September 5). Apple Promises Security Improvements. Retrieved
September 8, 2014, from
Journal Articles:
Katel, P. (2014). Transnational Crime: Is Cross-Border Criminality Getting Worse? 24(30), 699-719.
(2014, August 29). Retrieved September 12, 2014, from CCBC - Current Issues / Newspapers
Ludwig, S. (2014). Privacy Matters: Security in Cyber Space, 51(6), 32-34. (2014, June 1). Retrieved
September 12, 2014, from CCBC - Criminal Justice Database.