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4.1 Introduction

Section 2 explained that information is an important asset to an organisation. In this section you will study, in some detail, the characteristics of information assets that make them valuable, and so worth protecting.

In recent years, a combination of computerised processing systems and electronic communication technologies has made possible new forms of working and trading based on the electronic exchange of information. Such activity is called e-business or e-commerce.
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2.3 What is information security management?

Information security management is the process by which the value of each of an organisation's information assets is assessed and, if appropriate, protected on an ongoing basis. The information an organisation holds will be stored, used and transmitted using various media, some of which will be tangible – paper, for example – and some intangible – such as the ideas in employees' minds. Preserving the value of information is mainly a question of protecting the media in which it is
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4.1 Email attachments

Following some simple rules should help you to minimise the risks from malware. The first rule is:

  • Never ‘double click’ to open a file attached to an email

Instead, what you should do is:

  • Create a folder called ‘Attachments’ (or something similar) in an accessible location within your file structure. Mine is in ‘My Documents’ and is called ‘My Received Files’.


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4.3 Search

When you submit your query, the search engine will look up each word of the query in the index and construct a list of hits. Hits are pages that contain all of the words in your query.

If you perform an advanced search, additional filters are applied to the hit list. For example, if you search for documents in the .ac.uk domain only, pages from other domains will be excluded from the hit list.

Some search engines provide extra features. Most will check the spelling of the words yo
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6.6 ZigBee

Development of the ZigBee standard is the result of a group of interested parties coming together to form the ZigBee Alliance. When approved it will be an open standard sitting within a subset of the IEEE 802.15.4 low-data wireless standard. At the outset ZigBee was designed specifically for networks set up for the purposes of monitoring and control. Two of the major development aims were that it should be low cost (so that it is cheap to install and maintain), and low power (for long battery
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6.2 Devices in the home

Activity 24: exploratory

Take a mental ‘walkthrough’ of a typical morning in your own home, making a note of all the events and activities that involve electrical devices!


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5.6 Reliability and usability

In this context we will define reliability as the ability of a technology to perform its intended function, without failure, under stated conditions and for a stated period of time. It is beyond the scope of this unit to provide a detailed comparison of the reliability of WiFi and Bluetooth – we simply want to alert you to some of the issues. Broadly these are:

  • What is the likelihood of data errors being introduced during transmission?


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1.1 Getting an overview

This section starts with an article from a technical journal – the sort that is read by academics and professionals working in a related technical field. It sets the scene for some of the technologies and issues that you will be encountering later in this unit.

We're not going to ask you to read the entire article, but we would like you to get an idea of the article's contents, the kind of points the author is making, and the range of issues that it throws up. With this aim in mind, w
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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Figure 1 ENIAC Computer. Photo © Science Photo Library

Rozin, D. ‘Wooden Mirror’, 2001, IEEE Spectrum, March 2001, p.29. Co
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8 Online shopping – what it means

Shopping online is already very big business, and is growing rapidly. This suggests that the concerns of consumers discussed earlier are being addressed by the industry. People wouldn't shop online if they didn't trust it. But in a way the most profound impact of online retailing is being experienced in the ‘real’ world. According to the Economist magazine, for example, the Internet is profoundly changing consumer behaviour in the real world.

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7 What's going on with online shopping

Most e-commerce sites are designed to mimic as far as possible the process of shopping in real life – find store, locate goods, go to checkout, pay. The only difference is that you cannot take the goods away with you, but have to wait for them to be delivered by post or courier. (Even then, there are parallels in real life – for example, when I buy a washing machine or a fridge from a department store, I do not expect to take it home with me; instead I pay and make arrangements to have th
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4.2 Sound and light input

Figure 5 shows a model of a camcorder at a lower level of abstraction than Figure 4, c
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2.6 New media

From film to videotape

Taylor now describes the era when film was replaced with analogue electrical video.


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References

Giles, K. and Hedge, N. (1994) The Manager's Good Study Guide, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
Dodson, S. (May, 2004) Miracle of the moor [online] Guardian Newspapers Ltd [Accessed 3 October 2006].

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2.3 ICTs and you

Sometimes it's useful to stop and think a bit about your own experiences and focus on your own views. This can help you understand issues in more depth. For example, when studying the impact of ICTs on everyday life, your own experiences are a useful resource.

Activity 4

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6.12 Self-assessment questions

SAQ 1 Actors

  • (a) Explain why the actors in a use case diagram do not represent actual individuals.

  • (b) Suggest a guideline that will help you decide whether or not to include
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6.4 Scenarios

The purpose of a use case is to meet the goal of its associated actor(s), such as a guest making a reservation with a hotel. This implies that a use case should include everything that must be done to meet that goal. For example, if it is necessary to check the availability of rooms in the hotel for the desired length of stay before accepting a reservation, then we expect the use case to contain that check. In general, a use case contains a narrative about the flow of events that specifies a
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7.1 What is a business model?

The aim of this section is to look at some of the business models which have been used to drive internet applications. A business model is a high-level description of an application type which contains all the common features which can be found in specific examples of the model. For example, one of the most popular business models is the e-shop which describes a website that sells products. The model is general in that it does not describe the item that is sold or the mechanisms that a
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5.2 Programming and abstraction

In the early 1990s programming an application for the internet was a tough proposition. I remember that I once had an application which required a very simple form of communication with another application located at a remote computer. I used a technology known as Winsocks which required me to carry out some pretty arcane code development just to send a simple test message to another computer and to receive a reply from that computer.

Java, when it appeared in 1996, enabled developers t
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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to c
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