part i

General Security Principles


Chapter 2

What, Me Worry?

Before we dive into the general principles you need to know about online security, we think it’s best to start by answering a couple of questions that you may have.

The first is, “Do I really need to worry about Internet security?” In these days of intense media hype, it’s easy to look at the never-ending parade of stories about hacked Windows machines, denial-of-service attacks, and viruses and to wonder how much to believe. What’s real, and what’s made up? The second, related question is, “Why would anyone want to attack my machine?”

The answers to these two questions are simply, “Yes, you really do need to worry about online security” and “People want to attack your machine simply because it’s there.” We realize, of course, that you might not want to take our word for these answers. So consider some statistics.