Hi Technology Crime

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 07/11/2011 02:34 AM

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An Introduction to the Net As of the year 2010, the Internet has become an international collection of over 99.7 million computer networks, all very capable of communicating with one another. Approximately 300 million people world-wide have access to the Internet (122.6 million of them being in the United States). So how do each of these computers connect with one another?

How Computers Connect

Every computer that is connected to the Internet depends on InternetProtocol (IP) to communicate with one another. Each computer has an IP Address. An example of an IP Address may look like The first set of digit(s) in this example, 128, identifies a section of the main Internet system. The next set of digit(s), 172, identifies a specific network. The next set of digit(s), 101, identifies a section or department of the specific network. Finally, the last set of digit(s), 102, identifies a specific computer within that network.

How Computers Connect


Surfin’ The Web

Most people who surf the web use browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer™ or Netscape Communicator™. These browsers allow your computer to connect to servers (computers that store web site files and "serves" them to you when requested). These communications over the net are not private. Nearly everything is sent unencrypted and can be easily read.

Information Exchange

When computers connect, certain information can be exchanged. For instance, some web sites can log your IP address. Others can place on your hard drive a "cookie" (a text file that is stored in the hard drive of your computer, telling the server things about you, your computer and your activities). Web browsers can be customized in their settings to accept or reject the cookie. Passwords stored in your computer can possibly be read by programs operated by malicious users, either locally (physically at your computer) or...