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The dark side of authorization and identification is that it relies on information; the more the better. This information can be used to violate the privacy of those you’re trying to protect. Furthermore, hackers can more easily compromise your network via social engineering if they have access to personal or private information. Because of this, keeping personal information private is a major need for many organizations.

Key Points

  • Privacy is a relative term and it means different things to different people. How much of it someone has depends on perception and environment.
  • Privacy is not automatic and takes great effort to achieve and maintain.
  • Preserving digital privacy is difficult because information can be obtained quickly and easily. In a digital environment it is often difficult to determine if privacy is being compromised.
  • A data trail is inevitably left behind whenever interaction with a computer system occurs, unless the user wipes the trail as they go.
  • Organizations have social, moral, and sometimes legal obligations to protect the privacy of personal information that they have collected.


Various technologies can be used to minimize privacy exposure. Other technologies are explicitly used to collect information and invade privacy without the user’s permission. The following chapters explain how to use security tools to increase relative privacy. By managing spam, prohibiting tracking tools, and remaining anonymous whenever possible, a user can reduce the exposure of their private information.

  • Anonymity covers techniques for remaining untraceable or without an identity across a large scale network such as the Internet.

  • User Tracking examines techniques for tracking the patterns of usage of an individual computer.

  • Spam Management investigates ways to keep junk mail from clogging your network and wasting the time of your users.