Computer Security On Business and Personal Levels

computer-securityComputer security is one of the key highlights that we talk about here at Saint Joseph Web.  We want our readers to be well informed of the most current knowledge in terms of keeping your computer safe and happy.  That means keeping all of your data out of the hands of people who would seek to use it for ill purposes.  There are always new things to learn about security because there are always criminals who are coming up with new ways to exploit the system and steal data.  It’s quite a huge problem and one that doesn’t really get solved overnight.

However if you can keep abreast of all the latest things going on you can do reasonably well in terms of protecting your personal data.  Here are some tips to go by:

1.) Ensure that you’re always backed up

If you’re always backing up your data then you can worry less about whether or not a virus will cripple your system.  This goes for physical malfunctions as well.  There are a myriad of different things that will cause your data to be lost to the ether, and you’ll really wish that you had a good backup strategy in place.  This will also protect you from one of the worst types of malware: ransomware.

2.)  That brings us to number two: ensure that you have a few security programs running at all times.  If you have at least an antivirus software program running and you have a spyware removal program in your back pocket, you should be just fine.  The best spyware removal software programs are Spyhunter and Malwarebytes.  Bill Gordon of We Hate Malware said, “Probably the best ones I’ve come across is Malwarebytes and Spyhunter, two of the safest malware protection programs on the market.”   He’s a security blogger who has been in the field for several years.

3.) Instruct employees not to browse “dangerous” internet neighborhoods.  This means that you need to ensure that you’re not browsing adult, gambling, and other strange areas of the internet.  It’s well known that these areas of the ‘net are notorious for drive by malware installations and other bad stuff.  So just don’t do it.  If you really need to browse an adult site, then you should get a separate cheap netbook for the purpose.  Don’t do it on the same computer that you do your banking or business – don’t mix.

4.) Stay up to date.  Read blogs like this, or WIRED Threat Level blog.  It’s actually kind of fun in a James Bond type of way.  These blogs will keep you abreast of the latest in terms of security threats as well as tips on how to avoid getting the latest ransomware or virus.

5.) Always update your software.  If there’s a browser update that needs doing, drop everything and DO IT.  Same goes for software and other things.  99% of the time these updates are there to fix gaping security holes, and if you leave it till later then you’re putting yourself at risk!  Don’t do it!

NASA on Quantum Security

Quantum security is a very interesting topic.  The fact that the first quantum computers will likely have the capability of cracking government level security encryption in seconds is very concerning.  So how will we stay one step ahead of these beasts of innovation?


The Beginnings Of Databases

databaseIt’s interesting to look back on the earliest databases and how they were constructed.  There were usually both text databases and numeric databases.  These were cutting edge back in the day and enabled businesses and administrations to finally be able to deal with large quantities of data in a more effective way.

Full-Text Databases

A relatively new trend in electronic databases is the creation of full-text databases for search and retrieval on the systems that traditionally have provided bibliographic databases. A full-text databases contains the entire text of documents such as wire service stories, legal cases, statutes, encyclopedia articles, journals, or textbooks (7). The Mead Data Central (MDC) LEXIS database is not only one of the largest databases in the world but was one of the first full-text databases, having begun in the 1960’s. LEXIS contains the full text of legal cases as well as statutes and many other types of legal documents. Competing with LEXIS in the legal database area is WESTLAW of West Publishing Co. Initially, the two took different approaches, with LEXIs going the full-text route and WESTLAW following the more conventional surrogate (digest) route. WESTLAW provided indexing and surrogates, together with case names, citations, headnotes, and key numbered topics. In 1978, West added full-text information to the WESTLAW database to remain competitive.

Law was the first economically successful application area for full-text databases because lawyers often require the full texts of cases together with applicable statutes, rulings, and so on. The legal databases keep growing as the body of knowledge expands with new cases and with new and changing statutes and regulations. Unlike many fields where recent findings replace prior ones, in law the earliest case of a given type may set the precedent and become the linch pin of a subsequent case. The same is true with respect to patent databases–new patents do not supplant older ones; the object of most patent searches is to determine whether there is prior art. The database is constantly expanding and the recorded data, regardless of age, are essential for practitioners. These are two of the reasons for the tremendous success of legal databases.

Newspapers (for example, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal), wire services (for example, United Press International and Associated Press), news magazines (for example, U.S. News and World Report and Newsweek), and newsletters (for example, World Environment Report and Financial Management Advisor, which are among the 250 newsletters offered by the NewsNet search service) are examples of full-text databases providing access to news. For a number of ayears, the New York Times Information Service (NYTIS) was in the forefront of news databases offering its InfoBank database online in 1973. In 1981, NYTIS first put the full text of New York Times articles online, but MDC beat them with NEXIS, a full-text database covering newspapers, news magazines, and the wire services. In 1983 MDC took over the NYTIS databases through a long-term license agreement, making MDC the leader in news databases as well as legal databases.

Among the full-text databases available for researchers are journals, reference works, and encyclopedias. The electronic version of Encyclopaedia Britannica is available through MDC, the Academic American Encyclopedia from Bibliographic Retrieval Services, Inc. (BRS), Dow Jones, and CompuServ, and, of interest to chemists, is the Kirk-Othmers Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. In 1961 CAS produced the first electronic database offered for searching by the public, and by 1983 the full texts of 18 ACS journals were available for searching on BRS. BRS and BRS/Saunders provide more full-text scientific journals than any other online vendor. BRS/Saunders’ Colleague system provides easy access to databases in the Comprehensive Core Medical Library of databases, including major medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet and textbooks (8).

The legal full-text databases have been eminently successful in terms of wide use and high revenues, but the record, to date, with encyclopedias and full-text journal databases, such as the Harvard Business Review database, has not been remarkable. Full-text databases may well be more successful on the optical disk medium, which can accommodate extremely high volumes of information (billions of characters) that can be recorded on a single disk and disributed to the user at relatively low cost. Optical disks may replace some magnetic disk databases and may complement others by providing a means of displaying pictorial information which is often needed with medical texts, for example.”

Williams, Martha E. “Electronic databases.” Science 228 (1985): 445+.


So there you have it – the first databases that were becoming available and were largely used for education.  The computers of the time were only capable of certain things.

In the future, quantum computing will make databases infinitely faster.  They will be able to search large amounts of data in incredibly fast speeds.