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Studies & Degrees in Computer Security

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The invention of the computer has greatly changed our way of life as compared to say fifty years ago. We use the computer for work or play and surfing the Internet for information. We can play music or games, watch movies and even buy things through the Internet. The computer has created a lot of great opportunities for people, whether personal or business. Majority of the offices today have their own network with several computers interconnected to each other making communication and files sharing easier. However, there could also be dangers. As computers get more interconnected with one another through networks such as the Internet, the problem of security arises.

The moment one turns on a computer and goes online, that computer will always be facing threats of cyber attacks on the Internet and also within an organization's network if in case connected to one like in many offices all over the world. Upon opening your e-mail, you are most likely to receive a lot of spam e-mail in your electronic mailbox. Every website being visited runs the risk of one's computer getting infected with computer viruses, adware or spyware. Computer hackers can hijack your computer without knowing it, turning them to a zombie or part of their botnet army. A zombie or botnet army are computers that have been infected with a program with instructions to forward or receive transmissions like spams or viruses to other computers connected to the Internet. Another risk is the danger of someone hacking through someone’s computer and getting personal files and information like credit card number, password to online accounts and other confidential details. Imagine this happening to a large government office or organization. The result can be devastating.

With the increasing frequency and sophistication of virus attacks, spams, adware and spywares; there is an increasing demand especially from various institutions and corporations for Computer Security Specialists. A computer security specialist will design and implement security protocols regarding a user's access to a computer network. These security protocols could be implemented with the use of firewalls and password authentication. They are responsible for protecting the computer network system from attacks both from within and outside the system. Attacks from the outside will come from hackers who will try to intrude the system as well as computer viruses and worms. From within, the security breach might be accidental or intentional. An employee while surfing the net might stumble into a website loaded with spyware and adware or download files from the Internet that might be loaded with a virus.

A computer security specialist, aside from handling various computer network systems, will also deal with the various personnel of the organization from management to the rank and file personnel. Career wise, one could work in an institution or organization with the possibility that one might be promoted to positions like Network Security Manager or Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or could offer one's services as an independent contractor or consultant. In the United States the median salary of people who work in computer security related jobs can range from an annual salary of 60,000 to 100,000 U.S. dollars. The study of Computer Security though is an advanced under graduate or master’s level course. A student in order to qualify for this course must have graduated or have attain the required credits in Computer Science, Computer Programming or any technical related course.