Risky Business: How to Protect Yourself from Being Stalked, Conned, Libeled, or Blackmailed on the Webby Daniel S. Janal
A virtual field of dreams, the Internet has become the ideal arena for companies looking to expand marketing horizons, increase sales, boost exposure, and improve overall performance. However, for all its extraordinary opportunities, the Net can also be a virtual field of nightmares. It is a rich feeding ground for illegal and unethical activity, costing consumers… See more details below
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A virtual field of dreams, the Internet has become the ideal arena for companies looking to expand marketing horizons, increase sales, boost exposure, and improve overall performance. However, for all its extraordinary opportunities, the Net can also be a virtual field of nightmares. It is a rich feeding ground for illegal and unethical activity, costing consumers more than two hundred and fifty million dollars a year. In 1997, online crime affected more than four hundred companies and institutions of all sizes. It is now more essential than ever that Net users be aware of, understand, and take precautions against the myriad hazards that exist in cyberspace. In Risky Business, Daniel Janal, an online marketing and seasoned technology expert, takes an eye-opening look at the numerous threats that can wreak havoc on corporations who promote themselves online. Posting cautionary warnings about external risks, Janal provides practical guidelines for setting standards for internal employee use, and-perhaps, most importantly-offers foolproof remedies and preventive techniques for effectively combatting cybercrime. Currently, cybercrime is an epidemic from which no business-or customer-is immune, from fraud and stock manipulation to impersonation and outright theft of identity. Such crimes can be maddeningly diverse, taking many forms, including network sabotage, unauthorized access, and proprietary theft. To put it bluntly, cybercrime is now a fact of business life with which everyone involved must contend. The numerous hazards that the Internet poses will become clear as you discover where and how online felons work, how their crimes can damage your reputation, and what vulnerable spots your business may have. As it helps identify potential dangers and outlines protective measures, Risky Business unlocks a Pandora's box of legal and moral issues related to Internet usage. Drawing on the advice of lawyers, law enforcement officials, government agencies, and investor relations professionals, it also reveals how you can protect yourself and your business. Risky Business gives you the bottom-line information you need to guard against:
• Web site risks-plagiarism, libel, copyright, and domain infringement
• Internal threats to company security-competitive spying, cyberindustrial espionage, employee abuse of Internet privileges
• External attacks-stock manipulations from online investors, misinformation funneled through chat rooms, attack Web sites
• Dangers to your financial well-being-online fraud, security violations, technical abuses that can affect individuals and organizations
Beyond identifying these potential problems, Risky Business presents workable solutions so you can beat the cybercriminals and keep your operations running smoothly. Risky Business fills a vital need for in-depth information on one of today's most urgent business concerns. Complete with quick-reference tips and online resources, this timely guide will become the bible for anyone who conducts business via the Internet.
Read an Excerpt
Cyberspace can be a scary place:
be dangerous for businesses, organizations, nonprofit groups, educational institutions, and associations:
everywhere in the real world. These threats carry over to the Internet as well. Some con games are age-old: The only thing new is that they are online instead of on the phone or in the shopping mall. Other scams are new and stretch the envelope of the Internet's technology as well as our current laws and regulations.
 THE COST OF INTERNET CRIME
Exact figures on the cost of Internet-related crimes are hard to come by. No one has conducted surveys of the costs of crime in cyberspace. In fact, some security experts who consult with financial institutions say their clients would rather eat their losses than have the world find out that their systems are less than 100 percent secure. So we may never know how many bad credit cards are passed online or how much money has been withdrawn from online banks fraudulently.
in nearly 100 federal district court cases brought by the agency between October 1995 and December 1996, fraudulent sales in these actions cost consumers more than $250 million a year and more than $700 million over the life of the schemes.
association of information security professionals, reported in March 1997 that computer crime reached $100 million in 1996. A total of 563 major U.S. corporations, government agencies, financial institutions, and universities responded to the survey. While the study was not limited to the Internet, it offers interesting statistics that show how organizations are being attacked, from inside and outside, through computer security systems or through negligence and misuse of company resources.
breaches ranging from financial fraud, theft of proprietary information and sabotage, to computer viruses and laptop theft. Those reporting financial losses cited the following causes:
found 31 percent of the companies found employee abuse of Internet privileges (e.g., downloading pornography or inappropriately using electronic mail) cost companies about $1 million.
have been lured into dangerous liaisons with molesters. But you can hardly pick up a newspaper without reading about some child's terrifying experience, or about a clever police sting operation that nabs a deviate before he can do more damage.
cyberspace is as scary a place as the real world. But the Internet allows thieves to commit crimes faster and more efficiently than in the real world. Because of the increased pace of communication, the ease of distributing information vast distances, the effortlessness of sending thousands of pieces of e-mail, the appeal of starting a conversation with a stranger in a chat room, and the anonymity of all transactions, the Internet attracts some unsavory users.
 PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS
Organizations and individuals need to be aware of a whole new Pandora's box of issues ranging from legal to moral on the Internet. Even swindlers are inventing new ways to take advantage of honest, hard-working people.
criminal, there is the stronger (and smarter) arm of the law. In this book, you will learn about the many potential threats to people and organizations through exposure on the Internet. Then you will find out how to protect yourself by drawing on the advice of lawyers, law enforcement officials, government agencies, nonprofit groups, and public relations and investor relations professionals.
motivate, or alarm, you to take action to protect yourself and your organization. Although the threats are real, there are ways to reduce your chances of being targeted by fraud as well as ways to protect yourself if someone makes the attempt.
the problems that exist on the Internet and know how to defend yourself and your company against such attacks. But don't stop there. Family members, to protect themselves, should read this book as well. Organizations also should make this book required reading for employees to prevent silly mistakes that could harm an employee and the company, or expose the company to lawsuits.
 THE SMALL PRINT
Every situation is different. Your individual situation may require a precise answer that cannot be provided in a generic book. You might need to talk to a lawyer or police officer to find the solution that best deals with your circumstances. All information in this book is offered at face value and as a generic approach for many situations. For that reason, contact information (phone number, e-mail address, and Web addresses) for lawyers, law enforcement officials, and government agencies are listed wherever possible and practical.
 THE NEXT STEP
Your journey to self-empowerment on the Internet begins now. As you read the situations and advice in the book, think about how these examples fit you or your organization. Make notes on the points you need to address with your family, management committee, information services department, lawyer, or communications staff to provide the level of security--and peace of mind--you need to use the Internet to your full advantage.
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Meet the Author
DANIEL S. JANAL is a professional speaker, author, and marketing consultant specializing on the Internet. A frequent lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley Extension, he is the author of five books, including the Online Marketing Handbook (Wiley) and 101 Businesses You Can Start on the Internet.
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