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REVIEW: "Protect Your Digital Privacy", Glee Harrah Cady/Pat McGregor

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKPYDPRV.RVW 20020924 Protect Your Digital Privacy , Glee Harrah Cady/Pat McGregor, 2002, 0-7897-2604-1, U$29.99/C$44.95/UK#21.99 %A Glee Harrah Cady
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 5, 2002
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      BKPYDPRV.RVW 20020924

      "Protect Your Digital Privacy", Glee Harrah Cady/Pat McGregor, 2002,
      0-7897-2604-1, U$29.99/C$44.95/UK#21.99
      %A Glee Harrah Cady glee@...
      %A Pat McGregor
      %C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
      %D 2002
      %G 0-7897-2604-1
      %I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
      %O U$29.99/C$44.95/UK#21.99 800-858-7674 317-581-3743 info@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0789726041/robsladesinterne
      %P 652 p.
      %T "Protect Your Digital Privacy: Survival Skills for the
      Information Age"

      Part one sets the stage. Chapter one gives vague ideas about
      protecting your privacy in the twenty first century, mostly about
      e-commerce. A variety of definitions of privacy, from differing
      perspectives, are listed in chapter two.

      Part two discusses privacy and the individual. From celebrity
      magazines to publicly available government databases to e-commerce
      loyalty programs, chapter three discusses who might want to know
      different types of information about people. Chapter four presents
      the usual information about kids and the net: the net is potentially
      dangerous for kids, talk to your kids about their net use, and safe
      sites. Although there is nothing new here, the material is reasonable
      and well presented. Email address harvesting and cookies are reviewed
      in chapter five. Chapter six talks about high speed Internet access,
      including little content on security or privacy, but an odd bit on
      malware. There is a similar discussion of cellular phones and
      technology in chapter seven. Chapter eight examines cell phone
      location systems, "pay-fobs," face recognition and other miscellaneous
      technologies.

      Part three talks about taking control of your privacy and information.
      Chapter nine suggests taking an inventory of your personal information
      (available online) and looks at Web search engines and the inaccuracy
      of commercial search services. Chapter ten is a mixed bag of security
      topics, including a little cryptography, something on passwords, and
      cookies again. Although there are some good tips on protecting online
      transactions, chapter eleven suffers from a lack of structure. The
      advice to know where you are and who you are dealing with, for
      example, is on page 308, but the material on server authentication is
      on page 294. Neither location actually demonstrates the ability to
      verify the certificate, or the "Paypal/Paypa1" fraud. Chapter twelve
      deals with what to do if your information is compromised, but doesn't
      cover the topic particularly well. There is mention of spam filters,
      but not the dangers of losing email; there are directions for
      reporting frauds, but few details on the levels below which the
      agencies aren't interested; addresses of credit agencies, but little
      useful information on identity theft.

      Part four looks at legal protection. Chapter thirteen is an excellent
      overview of laws regarding privacy, covering both the United States
      and a number of other countries. (While the rest of the book is
      primarily directed at home users, this chapter alone may be worth the
      price of the volume for security practitioners. I am not aware of any
      other text that deals with current laws as well.) Advocacy groups are
      listed in chapter fourteen, with self-regulation programs in fifteen.
      Electronic voting is examined in chapter sixteen, concentrating on
      Internet or online voting, although most of the studies cited dealt
      with other forms of voting technology. Chapter seventeen asks where
      we are going, and meanders around so much that it is hard to say.
      There is a vague wrapup in chapter eighteen.

      A number of other authors have attempted to provide a book about
      privacy for the masses. Chris Peterson's attempt (cf. BKILIWMP.RVW)
      was about privacy, but not really about the net. David Brin's "The
      Transparent Society" (cf. BKTRASOC.RVW), which gets a mention in the
      current work, is fascinating, but doesn't really cover the present
      situation. "Privacy Defended" (cf. BKPRVDFN.RVW) is only nominally
      about privacy. Cady and McGregor have managed to stick pretty close
      to the topic. They present a good deal of useful information,
      although the book would definitely benefit from an improved framework
      and a general tightening up of the writing: with a trimming of
      verbiage and a more focussed thread to the ideas the volume could be
      lightened by a third or more. However, for those who want some
      guidance on the topic and don't want the academic classics like
      "Privacy on the Line" (cf. BKPRIVLN.RVW) or "Technology and Privacy"
      (cf. BKTCHPRV.RVW), this would be a good choice.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2002 Permission to distribute free electronic
      copies is hereby granted but printed copy or copy distributed for financial gain is
      forbidden BKPYDPRV.RVW 20020924

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