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Chapter 14. Security > Basic Internet Security

Basic Internet Security

The Internet is a worldwide collection of interconnected computer networks. Generally speaking, a computer is connected to the Internet if it has an Internet Protocol (IP) address and can exchange packets with other similarly connected computers. This is possibly too strict a definition, because many machines located on corporate, government, or university networks are partly isolated from the general network by firewalls. These partly isolated machines may not have the ability to exchange network packets directly with the main Internet, but we will consider them to be connected if they have the ability to send and receive electronic mail and the ability to connect to World Wide Web sites.

For convenience, we divide the computer population into clients and servers. Generally speaking, a client is a desktop computer whose function is to accomplish a wide variety of computing tasks for an individual. Server computers, on the other hand, are set up to deliver a more constrained set of services to a wide variety of users. This difference leads to Internet clients and servers generally operating in widely different environments, running different application and communications software, holding different kinds of data, and being subject to different sorts of security problems.


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