This topic addresses the role of networks in a range of different scenarios. Almost all businesses, institutions and organizations, and an increasing number of households, are linked by networks. The increasing use of networks raises a range of social impacts and ethical issues such as unauthorized access, intrusive software (viruses, worms and Trojan horses), spam, phishing, pharming, spoofing and identity theft. Students are expected to discuss possible solutions and evaluate their effectiveness.

Possible scenario
An organization is considering developing a network to facilitate the sharing and transfer of information.
The student must use their knowledge to demonstrate an understanding of:
• the types of networks that exist and the specific scenarios where they are used
• the development of an acceptable-use policy for a network
• the protocols that exist to ensure compatibility within and between networks
• the ways in which the effectiveness of a network may be measured
• the impacts that the ineffective management and network failure can have for many organizations.

Network technologies
Client, host, server
Mainframe, supercomputers
Grid computing, distributed processing
Ethernet, peer-to-peer (P2P)
Local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), virtual LAN (VLAN), wireless LAN (WLAN), home network
Internet, intranet, extranet, virtual private network (VPN)
Routers, switches, hubs
Connection types: optical fibre, cable, wireless technologies such as wireless fidelity (WiFi), worldwide interoperability for microwave access (WiMax), Bluetooth, microwave
Network operating systems and utility software
Cloud computing
Storage technologies: for example, SAN (storage area network), RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks)

Network functionality
Synchronous, asynchronous
Remote access
Bandwidth, broadband
Bit rates

Network administration
Electronic security: for example, authorized access, levels of access, biometrics, login, password, firewalls, proxy server, encryption, secure socket layer (SSL), audit trails
Licences: single-user, multi-user, concurrent, network, site
Physical security: for example, locks
Monitoring: for example, keystroke monitoring, system performance, surveillance
Network policies: for example, backup, archiving, disaster recovery, usage, redundancy, failover
Codes of ethics and professional conduct: for example, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
Data centres
Energy usage, uninterruptable power supply (UPS)

Network Setup Simulation

Useful Links / Essential Reading

Read chapter 8 from your ebook - Networking and Digital Communication (essential)

Teach - networks
Digital Planet - tomorrow's technology and you
The Global Growth of Broadband
Information Technology in a Global Society

Review of learning
Multiple Choice quiz questions
History, architecture and security of LANs

Internet Backbone Structure and Data Routing

1.Worldwide cable points
What is a cable landing point?
Submarine communication cable
BRICS cable

2.Find your home country or area of interest
Cable Info
Submarine Cable Map
Further Information about undersea cables

3. A Few Facts
News BBC

What is the Digital Divide?

One laptop per child policy

Social Impacts & Ethical Issues
Unauthorized access
Intrusive software (viruses, worms, Trojan horses)
Identity theft
You are expected to discuss possible solutions and evaluate their effectiveness to the above impacts and issues.

Can you outsmart the internet scammers? Take a quiz
Phishing Quiz

Interesting article

Famous Computer Viruses and Worms
CIH /Chernobyl (1998)
Melissa (1999)
I love you (2000)
Code Red (2001)
Slammer (2003)
Stuxnet (2010)

Give a brief presentation about one of these internet threats. Include the following:
  • Explanation of the threat
  • Identify the ways users can be tricked into falling for one of the scam
  • Describe the steps users can take to prevent this crime/scam
  • Describe how computer security relates to personal privacy issues
  • Describe any relevant social issues for the stakeholders

Relevant News Articles

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