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The relationship between computer security and privacy lies in the fact that adequate computer security, or lack of it, is a determinant of the level of privacy that a computer user can expect. Computers have become a vital part of modern day existence. People use computers to perform many tasks, including business, banking, socializing and storing of private information. If there is a breach of computer security, it will have a negative effect on the way these types of tasks are carried out. Computer security and privacy also refers to the unauthorized monitoring of people’s activities on the computer.
In the area of e-Commerce, the issue of computer security and privacy will determine the level of trust between the business parties. If there is any suspicion of a breach of security on either side, this will lead to a destruction of trust and an end to the business relationship. This includes risks and threats from third parties not even related to the business partners.
An example would be a customer who ordered some books from a company that sells publications online. If the customer discovers that the information entered while ordering the books has been used for other purposes without his or her permission, this will result in a severance of the trust the customer has in the business. It may not even matter if the Web site was hacked by a third party, because the damage would already have been done. The customer would feel that his or her privacy had been violated and would find it hard to trust the business again.
Another area of computer security and privacy is the unauthorized tools, such as spyware and tracking cookies, used to spy on the activities of people on the computer. These invade the privacy of people by monitoring how and when they use the computer and then sending the information compiled to a remote observer. Some marketers do this as a part of the collection of data for marketing purposes. Others do it with the intention of finding out the likes and dislikes of the Internet user so as to send ads specifically tailored to the user. The sending of unsolicited mails is an issue in computer security and privacy. Not only are these mails unwanted, but they often contain links that will infect the person’s computer with different types of virus if he or she clicks on them.