The Potential of the Internet as a source of Information and Communication for the Elderly

The Internet has helped man to carve a world in which everything is a short distance away. It has aided a globalized world in which the speed of transportation and communication is quickened. People do not have to wait for long periods for many things that they used to have to wait for. Reponses are quickened and made so much more convenient to the extent that one can even get a number of jobs done while sitting at home.

This indeed refers to the availability of facilities on line that allows one utmost convenience. A elderly person sitting at home can now access his or her bank account on line and have bills paid. In addition to this, direct access allows one to perform a number of transactions, which allow one the convenience of sitting at home or even saving time when one is at the office. No doubt, there is so much that Internet banking and other online facilities have provided for people today, and businesses save an immense amount of time as well.

Though much doubt has been cast on Internet activity and transactions because of the chances of interceptions during a transaction, it still remains a vital source of information and communication for people, particularly the elderly. In view of the risks involved, clarification is required: passwords, usernames, and other confidential information are believed to be at risk because of particular Internet functions, and this needs to be protected or familiarity with internet functions need to enhanced. Elderly people who learn these techniques usually do not have a problem at all communicating and searching for things online. It also must be mentioned that some of the things online that appear to be fearful, help a user; it is known that most of the Internet functions aid a person during daily usage of the Internet, but it is thought that these same functions such as Internet cookies are capable of revealing information that is naturally undesired. The result is that there is considerable confusion over the safety though the world is largely turning to this facility that is both timesaving as well as convenient. Elderly people need to know all that is out there in order for them to feel comfortable using the Internet. Once this is done, the Internet is not a difficult tool to utilize, and elderly people may communicate easily with people and organization in any part of the world. Introduction:

The world in which one lives today is indeed a fast-paced one. This fast-paced environment has evolved because of various actions, each of them interacting and producing a variety of results, and creating effects that favor the current situations today. This may all sound complex, but in truth it may be simply described as a vast number of actions causing a very situation that one witnesses today. This complex situation does not mean that there is total chaos because there is in fact an organized system in place. This organized system is one that helps many countries stay in contact with each other.

In the organized system with which all kinds of people live, it must be asserted that elderly people have an important place. This is purely in regard to the use of the Internet and the way that the elderly may communicate using the Internet. Communicating through the Internet and using the Internet as a source of information, is important in this day and age. The period in which one lives today is one that requires all individuals to be in contact. Everything is available online today, and there is much more to come online. It must be noted that if people are unaware of using Internet services, they may be left behind. Particularly, people need to be concerned about those that are not really in touch with modern communications. The Internet utilities are being transformed day-by-day, and this means that if people do not learn how the Internet functions as a source of information and communication, they will be alienated from it.

This also indirectly means that people can be alienated and segregated from their own families and friends. So, instead of people (the elderly) being segregated from their loved ones simply because of lacking technological knowledge, it is better for them to learn about it. Learning how to communicate through the Internet and using it as a source of information is not really a big deal as some may make it out to be. Today, the systems that are in place make it easier for one to communicate and locate information. The elderly should not really face a problem, especially when children now know how to use things like ATMs to withdraw cash in emergency.

Methodology:

Observing the manner in which there are so many people accessing the Internet daily, there is need to look into the types of users that are online. In addition to this, there is need to realize how many people are dependent on the Internet for information, communication and transactions. In view of this, there is due consideration given to the number of important business communications through the Internet. Each of these forms of communications is a small but significant part of the daily online activity. Here, it needs to be emphasized that the elderly should be an important part of these users. This would mean that not many of them are being left behind. Also, if they are fit for using the Internet for online transactions it means that they are suing the Internet for communications and as a source of information. Reviewing literature that pertains to communications, information and business, and people's lives and activities being affected by Internet utilities, is indeed an appropriate way to understand how the elderly could be an important part of an Internet community. Through this review of literature, there is a great deal revealed about the safety of the process and what the risks of Internet usage might be. Each point is discussed at considerable length and targeted from an unbiased and broad angle. This has helped to present the facts as reported in the sources and allow analysis to be conducted fairly.

Analyzing the literature reveals to what extent the fears of Internet usage are real. Aside from this analysis, an analysis of the arguments made reveal to what extent effects of Internet communication and information systems is legitimate. With both analyses, the effects of Internet utilities and the authenticity of it as well are exposed. Studying the Internet and usage associated with it, is a pervasive subject. There are many angles to consider this subject from, which means that the study has to be limited to specific boundaries. These boundaries in the study include: the use of the internet for online transactions, people (young and old) and organizations that rely on internet communications, advantages, disadvantages, dangers to the process of internet transactions, and security and safety. Observing all these reveals several issues that the elderly and people in general are unaware of; these are the underlying factors such as spy software (internet cookies), hackers, caches, etc., some of which are discussed in the paper.

Ahead of the problems experienced on the Internet as far as transactions and communication is concerned, there is also a description of what can be provided within the home of an elderly person. The use of interfaces is a currently costly suggestion, but one that is expected to grow increasingly important in time to come. The latter part of this paper deals with the potential of the Internet as a source of information and communication for individuals that are elderly and/or disabled. The factors being studied are ones that are obtained from other studies and presentations. This helps to bring together a wider range of opinions and facts that can be analyzed from different angles. Sources for the literature review are ones that are relative to the issue and are authentic, as they are taken from books, journals as well as official websites, newspapers and magazines.

After analyzing these facts and making use of opinions as well, the study is concluded. The conclusion illustrates the possibilities with Internet communications and sources of information regarding elderly people and people in general. With a description and analysis of the way that so many people and organizations have turned to and are still turning to Internet communications and sources of information, the overall situation can be easily seen, which means that one get an even clearer view of the current as well possible impact of the elderly using the Internet for communication and information to. Literature Review:

To begin with, there is plenty of doubt cast over the safety of transactions via the Internet. In particular, Internet banking is an issue of grave concern even though most people are turning to the Internet for the sake of convenience and saving time. In addition to this, businesses and individuals too have little choice, and in time to come, everyone will be compelled to use Internet banking services. Elderly people with their life's savings would naturally be concerned. What the Elderly Need to know about what's on the Internet:

The problems that one faces with Internet transactions by and large have everything to do with the interference that one receives from files such as Internet cookies and hacking software, and these are the kinds of things that can damage the confidence with which consumers, retailers, etc. conduct day to day business. These are files that are able to interfere or extract personal information from any computer that it enters. This can take place at any time when we are surfing the net or opening up any important website (Blake, 1998, 44). What these Internet cookies actually do is they enter a user's Personal Computer when it is on, and then settle itself into it. When the user switches on the P.C. again, these files are activated, and send information back to the site that it came from. Thus it helps to maintain a record of the patterns that a particular Internet surfer uses. In doing so, these Internet cookies can use these patterns to keep sending the user information, available schemes, attractive offers etc. from different companies that are relevant to the kind of sites that s/he downloads. This is sometimes seen as an advantage because of the good schemes that might come up with the use of Internet cookies, but aside from this there may be serious implications. There could be very personal information that could be leaked out at the same time of using these cookies. This is essentially a problem for business organizations because there may be some very sensitive information that could be leaked out due to these cookies, and therefore, jeopardize the business. It must also be noted that elderly people would naturally need to download files and the like that interest them or that they need to help them with their work at home (Czaja & Sharit, 1998, 329-40).

Further, this is such an acute problem that could eventually affect the reliability with which we are presently trading locally and internationally, and could very well destroy the whole concept of globalization. Along with the Internet cookies are the software hackers that are seemingly more inclined towards executives' computers than governmental ones. It seems that they have lost interest in the heavily protected security systems in places like banks, perhaps because the risk is far too high. However, this does not mean that such organizations should be left unguarded. Elderly people in particular would need to feel comforted knowing that their life's savings are safe (Echt et al, 1998, 3-25).

Critics on the other hand, argue that there is nothing to be worried about, as these Internet cookies are harmless text files that extract only information of search patterns. They say that it does not retrieve personal information, such as e-mail addresses. In response to this, one cannot really say whether the capability of the Internet cookie is related to this alone. If it is capable of tracing and recording search patterns, it could be capable of extracting more than just this. This is the reason why, many a time, one can come across, especially after a particular website has been down loaded, un-requested mail seeps into ones account. Surely, this is no coincidence, but purely a result of the Internet cookie picking up ones personal information. If this had been a case that occurred rarely, it would be unfair to blame it on the cookie. However, this happens much too often. Also, there may be more serious security concerns; national security concerns (Echt et al, 1998, 3-25). How Vulnerable is the Computer System?

This problem is virtually non-existent. What these little pieces of information do is tell the server whether one has already browsed through a particular site. This is made possible by the fact that the cookie uses the information of the browser like the user number. This is probably the reason why people have started to fear it. The questions asked might be what does the cookie do once it knows our user number? Most Internet cookies last only for a short while, that is they don't exist once one has quit browsing. There is also another kind of cookie that exists, for instance there are cookies that have their expiry dates fixed. These are called persistent cookies and their expiry dates are stored on the user's hard disk (CIAC Internet Cookies 1998) What does it really do?

The persistent Internet Cookie can be used to track the user's searching habits whenever he or she hooks up to the web. The cookie already knowing where you come from and the type of files that you tend to access does this. It is actually assumed that a user's personal information can be tapped in to while the cookie is in existence. Confidential information such as credit card numbers and passwords can be gathered. Rumors have it that these cookies are detrimental programs that expose your privacy. (CIAC Internet Cookies 1998) What the server actually does when you access it is that it sends you a cookie that you send back to it every time you request data from the same site. It is widely believed that during this process the web server can extract personal information from the user. A cookie is sent to a browser that includes a certain amount of syntax in the header of an HTML document. The header is already removed from the document before the browser displays it. Hence the header will not be visible if you execute the View, Source or View, Document Source commands in your browser. (CIAC Internet Cookies 1998) Cookies are only short strings of data that are sent from a web server to web browser when a browser visits a particular site. Undoubtedly the Internet cookie is stored on your computer and only comes in to operation when you visit a website. It is certainly not an executable program that can filter out confidential information as rumors have it. (CIAC Internet Cookies 1998) Cookies are thought to be harmless by their users. Further more they are of extreme help though critics suggest that they are digital agents of bother that are potentially capable of great harm to your computer as well as to your privacy. The truth of this criticism falls somewhere in between; this is when one observes that they can be of great help in searching out what we want or they can make you the recipient of a whole lot of junk mail. This is when your PC can get corrupted and valuable information lost (Echt et al, 1998, 3-25). According to a report on Internet Cookies released by the U.S. Department of Energy's Computer Incident Advisory Capability noted: "The popular rumors about Web cookies describe them as programs that can scan your hard drive and gather information about you including: passwords, credit card numbers and a list of the software on your computer. None of this is close to the truth" (Solver, 1998). The problems have started since the time private citizens and businesses were allowed access to the Internet. Allowing them access was important because this meant an overall benefit to the country with respect to finance. Since the access was allowed businesses were not the only ones to benefit from this form of communication. Virtually every man in the street is aware of the many wonders the Internet can provide. Among these people the evildoers can be found such as ones who release software viruses into cyberspace and hackers. (Author not available, 2001) And what is worse is the fact that the number of these elements of our society seems to be growing larger day by day. In order to deal with them every day there are a large number of programs being created to protect our valuable and personal information. However, the problem remains that there isn't any one such software program that can guarantee us one hundred percent safety. (Lazarus 1998) The Problems We Are Facing:

Internationally people find themselves victims of junk mail every year, and it is this mail that accounts for ten million dollars being spent annually as a result. A lot of money every year is also spent on Spam. (UK Electronic Communications Bill) Spam consists of everything from pornographic material to schemes on how to get rich in no time. These are actually spread out far and wide in order to exploit the interests of people who have got nothing else better to do. Even though companies have tried their level best to restrict the amount of junk mail they receive just isn't enough . Companies have been known to receive up to eighty percent Spam in spite of software protection being implemented. (Lazarus 1998) Cookies:

This is a neat ploy to curtail the amount of Spam filtering in but is it intruding our privacy? It is said that having cookies on your PC seems to encourage more Spam. A Look at How many companies have tried to solve this problem?

Hundreds of Software companies have attempted to solve this Cookie problem but most of them face a number of limitations and fail to contend with it. It is intriguing to know that when we are hooked up to the web we are constantly presented by messages offering us cookies. The fact is that companies are now using these in their sales kits in order to boost their sales. People might think that it is obvious that if we want to purchase something from the net we will opt to request it ourselves . However, elderly people do not really understand that the electronic system is part of the sales kit being employed through the net because there are no such salesmen standing before you who can convince you that you are looking at the right product. In the field of sales cookies have had there share of success but there are certain things that they cannot achieve. They are not capable of gathering personal information from your PC and transmitting it, and they certainly cannot plant Viruses in your machine. They are much smaller in size as compared to their program files. The program files are considered to be their cousin files and this is another one of the reasons that the cookie has got a bad name. It is only the viruses that carry the real threat and should be screened by anti virus programs. Only the site that has created a cookie can read it, so that even if there is any confidential information stored in it, it will remain undisclosed. The Elderly Should Know How their Systems are Being Used:

Stanton McCandish, program director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has said that there are still ways to abuse the information stored within and it is for this reason the European Economic Community is following a law that has made it illegal for any one to share personal identification for commercial uses without the consent of the person concerned. (Lazarus 1998)

The best way to turn out a Cookie is to turn them off completely. The only minor problem is that the same website from where we've turned out the cookie becomes inoperable. You will realize that the site where you've rejected the cookie's use will steadily decrease in speed and almost to a halt. (Lazarus 1998) It has also been known that the web server continues to transmit information to remote websites. It is this information that can help trace the paths you take and store this information at their sites rather than them storing it in your PC. Web browsing habits are being recorded no matter what you do to prevent them from being recorded. Even the most effective "anonymizers" will not prevent Web browsing habits from being recorded. With this kind of prevailing situation it is no wonder that we find people worrying about their safety and privacy. The following that are not considered safe are: e-mail, browsing habits, news group postings and to be safe the contents of the hard drive of any machine hooked to the Internet. All important work and important information should be scrambled using encryption software if confidentiality must be maintained. One thing that we must remember is that no matter what kind of elaborate set up we have, no matter how secure it is supposed to be, someone somewhere is able to read our work and personal information. In his own words Mclandish said, "I don't trust in Internet security, but I don't actually distrust it." He believes that there is no such thing as one hundred percent bug free. (Slover, 1998) Along with other things the cookie has stored on along with its name, are its unique identification number, its expiry date and its domain. What happens when a browser requests a particular page from the server that sent it the cookie, it sends the same back to it. Generally speaking most cookies are actually placed in our systems by the web sites that we visit.

Aside from this some sites allow a third-party cookie to enter them. What we mean by third party cookie is a cookie from another domain being placed in the PC of a user and then being sent to another website to recover a page that is required. These cookies may be either "session" cookies or "persistent" cookies. Session cookies are generally short-lived and are used or are active only when a user is on line. They are automatically deactivated when the user exits the browser. These kinds of cookies can generally be used in interactive opinion survey. (Government Accounting Office Report, 2001) Persistent cookies are text files that remain stored on an individual's PC until a specified date of expiry. These can be used to trace a web browser's browsing patterns. Noting the browser's linkage with other relevant data does this. Although these aid us in commerce there are also the big questions of privacy risks due to their usage, even if they themselves do not collect the identifiable data contained within them . Links may be made even if it was not the actual intent of the website. For instance, individuals searching through a particular website are sometimes compelled to feed in some of their personal information such as names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, etc. What happens is the persistent cookie links itself to this identifiable personal information and this makes it easy for the path or pattern of the browser to be retraced. This is the practice that has led to much concern of visitor's of federal websites (Government Accounting Office Report, 2001)

Limiting the Use of Cookies and Ameliorating Browsing and Communication for the Elderly: Browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer accept cookies that are able to track a user's pattern of browsing. Presently browser designs allow browsers to block the cookies upon request, and the Internet Task Force recently proposed changing browsers in order to automatically block them. This would largely limit their use. A survey found that cookies are an integral part of IAB (Internet Architecture Board) companies and are particularly used in measuring site users, developing user profiles for advertisers and for advertising targeting, the vast majority of respondents said. They also indicated that cookies are important to plans that are used to support higher value for advertising.

Respondents have overwhelmingly favored cookies, as their use will benefit both marketers and consumers by helping to ensure the right message reaches the right targeted market at the right time. In addition to this it was found that more than 85 percent of respondents opposed having their browsers set to automatically disable the use of cookies. Further, in the survey it was estimated that 80 percent of the IAB members did not see cookies as potentially threatening. Although there were a few who felt that consumers might feel that the use of cookies is an invasion of their privacy. Others described this to be a misperception. In another piece of research it was found that 86 percent of respondents said that there was a need for a dependable and consistent form of "digital identification". The reason for this is the importance of increasing Internet advertisement revenues and improving consumer experiences on the Internet. Analysis:

It is obvious that privacy needs to be protected as much as possible. If one's privacy is not protected in the manner it should be, there can be no guarantee about anything on the Internet. It also means that democracy is only limited to the physical space that people live in and cannot be extended to cyber space. The differences between existence in one's physical space and cyber space have been disputed for a while; many are skeptical about the extent of control that authorities have in cyber space. This is legitimate to a great extent because of the fact that there is little control over programs that are not visible and sometimes not even detectible. Federal laws and various other approaches have been sought and rightly so because in time to come it is expected that one will be dependent on the systems that are presented to the common man. This means that if Internet banking systems are ones that the common man is compelled to use then there will be little or no way of escaping it. Whether or not risks of security will be present or not is another matter, but with the way that everything is being globalized it is expected that Internet Banking will grow more and more common. Undoubtedly, this is a necessity for the pace of business to increase and greater gains to take place. However, the problem is that there has to be a way of dealing with the current security problems that are feared. Only appropriate litigation and technological advancements can deal with these, and it is hoped that some solution will be formulated. The problem:

There is no reason why there can be only one type of Internet cookie. There may a wide range of them, or even ones that are in disguise. The fact is that we don't really know whether or not they do exist in other forms as well. Most of the explanations put forward regard them as harmless and incapable of leaking out personal information, unless it is voluntarily given to them. But people seem to be taking these assumptions to be the Gospel truth. It is only when they face a real threat or a real breach in security that they might wake up with a start. These Internet cookies are ones that should be taken as seriously as hacker software. This is because one does not really know whether or not these Internet cookies are used to first retrieve the valuable or sensitive information, and then use it to hack someone's financial transactions. For all that we know they could be going hand in glove, working in tandem to get their job done (Slover, P. 1998). The kind of software that is available to deal with these kinds of problems is 'Authentication and Encryption Software'. These are the kinds of software that is capable of dealing with foreign data sneaking in undetected. What it does is it does not allow anything to enter the software that it is protecting, unless it bears a particular code. This code is like an identification code. (Authentication and Encryption software, 2002) Rights of Privacy:

Security of personal information is a subject that is considered very serious. Using, copying, etc. any ones personal information or organizational information is considered a serious offence. This is the reason why there are so many laws made for the same. There are very strict laws that have been made because of the misuse of information. An example of a law or policy that a company might establish and stick to is the use of Internet cookies. The laws that are made stand a chance of being broken, and this is not jut a risk for the people who use Internet facilitated companies, but is also one for the company that is providing services using the Internet and holding people's personal information. This is because they too stand a chance of being deceived in the same way that a user of the same does. Along with this, there may be other kinds of software interference too that could cause personal information to be leaked out. This is not limited to software being used for this but also means that people within a company might decide to misuse the information directly. If this is the case then customers will lose their faith in these organizations. This is especially the case where there is a use of wireless laptop computers. However, the company cannot give any excuse for the same, and is still likely to face legal action for it. This is the reason why they have to be extremely vigilant over their software protection and ensure that their client's personal information is not misused and does not get into the wrong hands (Slover, P.1998).

A company might want to use an Internet cookie to track a users surfing patterns. But this should be stated in the policy. If this is not stated, then the user can take legal action against any company for not informing him about the use of the Internet cookie (Martinez, M. 2002). Usually an organization should not mind if there is a presence of these cookies in their systems because this helps a person to search and obtain quicker results, though, most people don't like the idea, and prefer to be informed prior to their personal information being used. This is especially the case as far as organizations are concerned because this is something that could affect their trade relations. People would not want to do business with them if they found that there was no security in their means of financial transactions. They certainly do not want any interference with their transactions and do not want to allow any company to send files that will track their browsing patterns on the Internet. By the use of these files other competitors can get in touch with their sensitive information, and result in total chaos. This is where these organizations can implement software programs such as Kerberos, MD5, MIME Object Security Services (MOSS), OPIE, PGP, RIPEM, Skey and SSH. Security and Information Systems:

An example of the misuse of personal information that may occur and result in possible loss is when the name and e-mail address of a person is recorded by certain software in one scheme on the Internet and is used by another related site. This can take place when an individual or an organization punches in information such as date of birth or e-mail contact for the simple purpose of receiving information. It is this information that should be kept secret and not shared with any other sites. Sadly, this is the common scenario. And, this is especially the case when one opens up unauthentic sites. Their very appearance seems to be so highly designed that one can be easily deceived. And, then later, these are the same sites that are responsible for leaking out an individual's personal information. What actually happens is, these Internet cookies extract this information, and share it with other related sites that are similar to the one that has been accessed. This is something that is most objectionable on the part of the user, as it takes away his or her the right of privacy. In addition to this, the issue arises because the company that has just taken the information might or might not be aware that they have Internet cookies using the information that their customers have been sending them. In the long run, this could affect the business of the same. Examples of this are seen when one downloads a site, for example, a site on airline tickets. At that very moment, one will get a whole lot of ads popping up, that are related to cheap airline fares. This is actually a result of the way that the Internet cookies have used the information that the user has sent to get the airline ticket fares. This happens because there are so many of these Internet cookies that are floating in cyber space, waiting for an opportunity to get hold of anyone with the search patterns for airline tickets and fares. Another way is that the Internet cookies have already got into the system that the user is browsing. From here, it can easily get into the user's PC and extract the required information. This is something, as said before, that the airline might not be aware of. But it is something that is actually their responsibility to deal with. They are the ones that are taking the users personal information and processing the same, so they are the ones who are directly responsible for ensuring safety to the same of the user. If security, in this respect, is going to become a problem for the user, then there will be many people who will be afraid to use the services provided by the airline. This, in fact, applies to all the trading companies all over the world. There will be very few people who will truly trust the Internet as a reliable means of financial transactions, etc. The reason for this is that there are so many financial transactions that are made everyday that are potentially at risk because of these cookies and software hackers. So, for this not to occur there must be a way of preventing these cookies from entering airline hardware, and this is directly the responsibility of the company that takes hold of a user's personal information (Furger, R. 1998) (Slover, P. 1998). By using programs such as Kerberos, MD5, MIME, etc. individuals or organization can also prevent any one reading their data. With the use of certain software organizations can have the data coded. In this way, no one can read the data unless the key is also presented. This is the best form of protection. But in order to do this, an organization has to have a proper budget for their security. If an organization cannot come forth with one then it means that there is no guarantee that it can provide security of personal information and financial transactions.

It is for reasons of safeguarding customers' privacy rights that many companies using on line transactions are now also advertising their privacy policy. It is no more considered to be a formality, as this issue has become so severe that the privacy policies are seen as a must. It is absolutely mandatory that the same is advertised and printed in a size that a user cannot miss. Before this, the advertisement of privacy policy was printed in such a manner that one could hardly see it. But now things have changed, and printing it all unambiguously is seen as essential. This has all resulted from the gravity of the situation, and should give everyone a clue of what breaches in security can take place. This is essential for the business organizations because they are the ones that are dealing with finance through the Internet. The reason why these are so risky is that they can be tapped into and the finance removed if any outsider gets hold of the personal or confidential information of the company (Glass, B. 2000). There may be a lot of argument put up in this respect, and software houses may even sound convincing that there is nothing to fear about Internet cookies, but the fact remains that these little seemingly harmless text files can get themselves into a computer system purely by accident and are able to extract sensitive information and send it out to the server that it originated from. It is very hard to believe anyone who defends their effectiveness, especially after getting to know or suspect what their capabilities are. We find us asking ourselves one a very important question, and that is, "Are we ready to trust thousands of dollars in an electronic account and know that it cannot be harmed by the presence of things that we are really not sure about?" The obvious answer would be "no". This is the most sensible answer that indeed most organizations might give. But what if all the organizations that are aware of the same give the same answer, and surely they will, what happens to the pace of trade? Does it slow down or altogether come to a stand still? The European Privacy Directive on Electronic Commerce is something that will provide a legal point of view on the protection of privacy (Glass, B. 2000). European Privacy Directive on Electronic Commerce:

Electronic communication, conducted by young or elderly people, which takes place within the European Union member states should be aware of the European Union's Directive on Privacy Protection. According to the Directive, it treats privacy as a "basic human right" and encourages the European Union states to ensure its protection. This will have an affect on the smooth running of all electronic commerce within the Union. Adherence to this "minimum standard" is what is required of member and nonmember states. The minimum standards refer to the processing of personal data of the identified or the identifiable person. Our attention is drawn in particular towards article 25. This article prohibits the transfer of any personal data to countries that are outside the European Union to countries that don't provide ample protection of personal data (Taylor 1999). The working party further notes that there might be a greater need to providing protection to "sensitive" data. It also believes that individuals ought to have the option to "opt out" of data processing systems, and also have a right to know what is going to be done with their data and where all it is going to be transferred. "Adequacy" will not only depend on the amount of privacy laws but it will also largely rely on the enforcing implements that are available to them, such as how likely a country's laws are to ensure a high level of compliance, the existence of effective sanctions and the extent to which data controllers and individuals know the law's requirements; institutional means available to individuals to enforce their rights without undue cost or difficulty; and mechanisms for redress, including arbitration, compensation and sanctions. (Swire & Litan 1997) Future:

Direct payments too, can also be affected due to the interference of hackers on line. This is the reason why it is extremely risky for a person to send his or her passwords or credit card number while they are chatting on the Internet. This is another very risky means of communicating because during this process sensitive information can very easily be picked up. It is one of the easiest software to hack. Organizations that don't have any offices in various parts of the world have gone through a lot of hard ship in this respect. Their only means of communicating with their clients is through programs such as these. If these have to be abandoned then it could mean that a whole lot of people might suffer as a result of the same (Glass, B. 2000).

In addition to the transactions and the flow of information that are made through the Internet on a modem or a cable, we can also say that the wireless method of communication is by no means a safe mode of carrying out business these days, in fact, it is more vulnerable than the one that makes use of the cable or modem. The use of the wireless means of conducting business is supposed to be the most efficient and cost effective means of dealing with customers. But this also means that there are numerous outlets at which hackers can have access to the same. According to the latest information, these hackers go about their mischief just by sitting on Park benches or in their cars.

They can detect the flow of any valuable information in cyber space and latch on to it in no time. If people were to give up this means of communicating and dealing with their customers then we would experience a sharp decrease in the business taking place. This is a relatively new way that people all over the world are doing business, as it is very easy for them to download anything from anywhere using their laptops. But again, if we have to start using software to combat these security risks, the user of the laptop would have to know how to apply the software, and even then they would not be 100 hundred per cent protected. Another reason why the anti hacker software is not a hundred percent effective is because there are a large number of technically ignorant people also using the Internet and downloading sensitive information. These people are not technically aware of the features of software such as the 'firewall', thus making them less effective (Boulton, C. 2001) (Glass, B. 2000)

In truth, there is very little that can be done for the purpose of Internet security at present. This is because the anti hacker and software protection that is developed at the moment is always behind the software that the hackers keep on developing. There seems to be no end to the way that they relentlessly develop the same. No matter what software is developed to combat it all, there is never a one hundred percent protection against the same. Hackers have all the options and all the angles to aim at different software, and this is the reason for them being able to develop the kind of software that they do and always keep ahead of the anti hacker software developers. The only real form of protection that an organization can look to is developing a budget. With this, the organization can decide what kind of software protection it can implement. Along with this, the organization also needs to ensure that it keeps on updating this form of Internet security so that the protection that they attain is as close as possible to the 100 percent mark (Expert Recommends Protection Against Internet Hackers, 2001). The Use of the Internet and Interfaces for the Elderly:

Using interfaces for the elderly, especially those that are may be disabled, is very handy. However, within the provisions that may be available to the elderly and elderly with physical disabilities, there are particular advantages and disadvantages. Clearly, there are advantages and disadvantages to technologically developed environments, and in the home a feature such as the interface would apparently have more advantages than disadvantages. The first issue that comes to mind regarding having many user interfaces in a home is maintenance and cost. This is because of the fact that it is obvious there would be a price to pay for this convenience. Along with having any extra home facilities, especially electronic ones, means that there will always be a cost factor. Since such instruments are only in top-notch organizations and in homes of important people, it is not very affordable. Hence, an ordinary person would have to pay a great deal to have many interfaces installed in his or her home . Maintaining them is another issue as well because electronic devices are liable to get spoiled easily; they need to be looked after, and particular environments may not really suit them. If one takes into consideration the washroom environment, one will realize that there is moisture there. This is bad for electronic items such as computers. In a kitchen, there is likely to be moisture around plus heat, both of which are damaging. This means that the chances of equipment getting spoiled are high. Therefore, places such as washrooms, kitchens, and places where this is moisture are not suitable areas for placing interfaces. It must be asserted that the user interface is a great provision for convenience and security. It can be placed at any point in one's house, but there are problems that need to be dealt with. This is because one has to take care of the device and cannot treat it like an ordinary everyday piece of equipment. It needs to have certain adjustments made to its physical features to make it safe for all environments. However, about making the device shock proof is questionable. The need to make it shock proof is a need because of having children around the house or placing the device in areas that are known for activity.

How can the Internet reach out to a person who is elderly and disabled? Having an interface developed so that a visually disabled person can access it is a great thought; not only would it be an amazing innovation, but would be a great facilitation for an elderly person who is visually disabled . In creating such a device, one would have to consider the basics that an interface functions according to. It is known that the interface is such a device that has the ability to receive instructions from a user (one who can see) and transform those commands into operations immediately or according to a program. It has features that help a person to type in passwords and usernames in order to gain access. The user interface functions according to comprehending or recognizing usernames and passwords; in other words it recognizes a user through these, and would not be able to follow instructions if it did not understand these . Similarly, a user interface would need to understand instruction from a visually disabled person, but how? The mode of instruction is different, and there needs to be some kind of change in the software. For this to happen, there would have to be new software created that would be able to read a different form of instruction to the device. This does not mean that the whole device has to be changed with its software; what might be done is the same device may be used, and only a portion of the software could be changed. This new soft ware would have to be linked to the rest of the system for it all to function properly. This is to say that the portion created would have to operate in tandem with the remaining software of the device. The change would have to be a smooth one and would have to cater to the disabled user (TAGSYS' CTO Takes Center Stage at ..., 2004). The instruction would have to be based on the way that the visually disabled communicate. The visually disabled usually communicated; read and understand through their sense of touch. Things like brail are used in order to help them read, and so, some features like these would have to be considered. This means that instead of only changing the software of the system, there is also need to change the physical features as well. This is because this is the way that the visually disabled user would be able to operate the interface. An example of the change in physical features would be the change in the sizes of the buttons on the device. Just like one might see the large buttons on phones for those who are visually disabled, a similar feature could be used. It is believed to be effective as well, because it has been known to help people with poor vision or none at all. A point to also note here is that one might need to make sure that there are large-enough buttons of the user interface because it will prevent one from feeding in incorrect usernames and passwords. In addition to this, other features of the device will also be used correctly with these large buttons. Large buttons and suitable software created for accepting a mode of instruction would also help people with other disabilities aside from visual impairment. People who are not capable of using their hands and legs properly could also be catered to with the user interface and have things prepared for them. They however would have to have some kind of physical control over their movements in order to get any work done. The wonder of the user interface in this regard is that it would require the minimum use of a finger of an elderly person who is disabled. With even one finger functioning properly, a number of operations can be handled. This is possible because of the fact that what the impaired person needs to do is feed in instructions accurately, and that is all.

An elderly person would need to memorize what the usernames and passwords are or have them stored on the device in case they don't remember them. However, it is better to memorize passwords and usernames rather than have them stored on the device because these important details could easily fall into the wrong hands. This is something that cannot be allowed to happen because of the fact that it could result in serious repercussions. Elderly people such as those that have a memory problem could be shown how to store and retrieve their usernames and passwords within the system. By doing this, they could have one general password to search and retrieve this information, and this password could be something easy to remember. This method is one that would be effective, as it reduces the load on an individual with a weak memory. Also, with this method, a person with a weak memory would also not have to worry much about remembering things, and this would reduce the stress that some people might experience while using the interface. It is known that many people do feel nervous while user computerized equipment, especially those that are at an advanced age. However, this system is such that once one is acquainted with it, it is not anything that difficult; it is only a matter of getting familiar with it that is important. Once a person begins operating the system, it becomes a matter of practice as well. For people are visually disabled, fear might be even greater, but as long as they are taught how to use it through feel and if they are given adequate confidence they would be able to use it appropriately and be a little independent (Czaja, et al, 1998, 329-40. Findings:

The Internet is obviously something that has made life more convenient than it ever was; it has made many things possible as far as communication concerned. With this enhanced communication, businesses have been improved, as transactions online have been made possible. Along with online transactions for businesses being ameliorated, individual access to banking facilities have also been included. This means that individuals as well as businesses would experience the advantages and disadvantages of Internet banking. It is true to say that Individuals as well as businesses would experience the convenience and timesaving characteristics of Internet banking. Some of these services include direct access one's account from a home PC or lap top, Using ATMs to retrieve cash in emergency, making online purchases with credit cards, paying bills using one's credit card or account in the bank, etc. In using these facilities, there are believed to be a certain number of risks (Mercer et al, 1997, 61-76). Though some studies disagree with the risks involved in Internet Banking, one is compelled to consider disturbing evidence of Internet tracers such as Internet cookies. Along with Internet cookies tracing one's browsing patterns, caches can also be held up and reveal sensitive information of users. In addition to this, it is thought that there is always a chance of experts being able to make use of techniques such as Internet cookies to trace out individual's information. Undoubtedly, banks to provide safety for protection of usernames and passwords of users, but it also must be considered that there is a lot of other information that could be used for various purposes. Even if personal information retrieved is made use of for the sake of marketing purposes, it is still considered to be a breech of privacy of users. In addition to privacy of individuals being at risk, it must be realized that there is a possibility of other means being used to retrieve sensitive information of users of Internet banking facilities. However, much of this cannot be said with accuracy. It also must be realized that particular Internet features such as cookies are used in order to help a user to a page that s/he wants to access quickly; it is these short files that aid quick access. However, the ultimate safety of this is not known. In addition the Internet cookie, there is also a fear of hackers tapping into online systems. This is something that is recognized and officials and experts know the capability of such individuals. They are able to get into complex system protected by a number of security features. It is for this reason that security systems have to be watched over constantly and remain up to date in order to protect users of Internet banking facilities. With amount of added features that need to be provided for Internet banking along with security features, the costs of supporting Internet banking has increased.

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