Computer Fundermentals

.. from the inside, as there are less sectors. When it is reading from the outside there are more sectors so the disk does not have to spin as fast. The storage and retrieval of data interacts in many ways. In most instances computerised data is obtained from paper based information. An example of this is the wages system. On a daily basis, a member of the management team would verify that staff has attended work and take note of the hours, unless there is a clocking in machine.

At the end of the week, the total hours worked by each employee would be calculated along with any overtime and bonus. This information is then entered into the organisations computer system. When this task is completed, the wages department will authorise payment to be paid into the employees bank account. Organisations have a legal and a moral duty to ensure that personal and confidential details are kept secure. This can be obtained, by storing manual data, computer disks and CDs in locked cabinets, with doors to the relevant rooms, also locked. Rooms where computers holding confidential information is stored should also be locked.

In addition, computers can be made secure by ensuring that personnel could only gain access to this information through passwords. Other security methods such as identity cards, personal identification number (PIN), voice recognition or fingerprint comparison and data encryption can also be use. However, some of these alternatives can be expensive. Listed below, are a few of the advantages and disadvantages to manual and computerised system of data storage and retrieval. Advantages The manual system acts as a good form of check back to any mistakes that might be inputted onto the computer. This system also is a good back up to the computer system in cases where the computer has crashed or where back up files have be corrupted or misplaced.

Gaining information from computer systems saves time and therefore, saves the organisation money in the long run. Incorrect information can be corrected quickly. Other departments can access relevant information and data quickly, again, saving time and money. Disadvantages Breach of security could occur in cases of human error, i.e. where personnel forget to lock doors or cabinet drawers, where confidential information is stored. Information and data is also at risk in cases where computers are left on while the workstation is unattended.

In many situations, computerisation has lead to redundancies. The change from manual systems to a computerised system can be costly and disruptive. Whether an organisation is large or small there are business applications to suit all. The computer is fast becoming a way of life and therefore the introduction of a computerised system will have an enormous benefit in placing any organisation in the 21st century. With the introduction of a computer system, an organisation will benefit from being able to keep up with competition, save on staff wages and many more. The numerous business applications available, makes it easy for any business to obtain an application to suit them. The wages department within an organisation would benefit immensely from being computerised.

Manual procedures for calculating wages is time consuming, labour intensive, repetitive, tedious and laborious. There are also great risks of making mistakes. Computerised systems for small organisations can be costly, in time this cost can be recouped, by the saving on the reduction of wages for payroll clerks and in many case accountants. The time it saves in producing the wages, payslips, reports for tax purposes etc, is also a big consideration. In the long run the benefits can be as good for the small business as it is for the larger organisation. The purchase of a personal computer with a Hard drive of 10 gigabytes, monitor, keyboard, mouse and printer is approximately 1000 + VAT. Consideration should be given to the changes and their effects of the manual system within the organisation. The business will not be effected if these changes simply involve transferring manual files into a computer and enforcing a few clerical procedures.

However, changes to the environment and staffing, needs to consider. Environment The computer will need to be situated where there is sufficient electric sockets, as one computer has more than one plug. There will be no need to have a separate controlled supply of electric, but uninteruptable power supplies will help to provide clean power. The computer will need to be placed away from direct sunlight to enable the user to read it. It should be protected from extremes of heat and cold, i.e. placed away from radiators and windows; an air-conditioned room is ideal. The room will need to be free of dust and smoke and no food or drink should be permitted near the computer. Adequate lighting and seating is important. Computers and printers are noisy; this can be reduced with soft furnishing such as carpet, curtains partitions etc.

Staffing Although the organisation will keep their existing staff, re-training them with computer skills will be necessary. This should include logging on and off procedures, how to use the software packages, understand how to cope and deal with simple errors and to follow the health and safety procedures with regards to computers e.g. take regular breaks away from the computer. Management Management often needs to be trained, at least to the level of the staff. This helps them to appreciate the problems the staff encounters, and not hood winked by them.

It puts them in the position to recognise the power and limitations of the new system. The management will need additional training to be able to access other information independently. DATA PROTECTION ACT This Act was passed in 1984. It outlines the restrictions of the data user and data subject. The person or company, who stores data about others, is referred to as the user. While, the subject is the person about whom the information regards. Data registrar and data protection tribunal was created as a result of the act. Data registrar refers to the person/s who enforces and regulates the act.

The Data Protection Tribunal allows a person the opportunity to appeal against the registrars decision. Any person or company requiring to store or use personal data must first register to do so with the Data Protection Registrar. When doing so, the purpose of its use, as well as what data to be stored must be registered. A company or person may hold many types of data. Amongst these are: – Date of birth Address Telephone number Vehicle registration Bank accounts Income and salary Criminal records Medical records Loans, overdrafts and mortgages Credit cards (including credit debts) Unpaid council tax, etc.

Personal information such as the above are held by the police national computers, banks, finance companies, the DVLA etc. In the case of a person who is being credit checked, this information could be accessed easily by the Banks and Finance Companies. The data stored gives these companies the information need to assess the credit worthiness of the customer and their eligibility for finance. The data held by the police allows them to gain quick information on a person who might have a criminal record. They can also access information held by the DVLA.

This gives them the information needed, so that they can run vehicle checks and trace legal owners, in cases of stolen vehicles. Computer viruses Computer viruses are harmful programs developed to deliberately cause disruption to computer systems. Viruses are capable of coping itself, usually unnoticed by the user. This may be in the form of identical copies or slight variation in an attempt to avoid detection. The effects of computer viruses can cause an untold amount of damage.

While some are just a nuisance, others may cause destruction to an organisations entire filing system. This damage can be the clearing of screen, deleting data, and making the system unusable. Floppy disks, hard disks and compact disks can also be affected, activating transfer from one computer to another. The Internet is also use as a means of transfer. In the UK alone, 130 new viruses were identified in 1995, totaling to more than 4,000 different strains. With the cost of damage bordering of tens of millions of pounds every year. Luckily, there are some measures that may be taken to prevent the effects of computer viruses.

Anti-virus software is available which can protect and remove most viruses. Write protecting disks helps to prevent the effects of contamination. Other measures such as, locking floppy disk access, purchasing only proprietary software from reliable source and restricting the use of unauthorised software by employees, all helps to minimise the above risks. Computer crime A hacker is a person who experienced in breaking through protected software, in order to gain access to information system files. This type of crime/fraud is often committed for financial gain, although some hackers would do this for fun and to test their skills. A hacker can gain entry to an organisations computer system, simply by guessing a password or by trial and error.

Experience hackers equipped with telephone, microcomputer and modem can gain access to a computer system even while it is in operation. This can be done even if terminals are linked to a protected system. A hacker can pick up data signals being transmitted along telephone lines or via satellite, displaying this information on their own machines, if the system is not properly protected. The increased of power and speed in modern computers has helped to make the breaking of codes easier. Listed below are a few examples of crimes that may be committed: – Alteration of files This is done for several reasons, such as, changing a job title or wages or an amount owing on a bill.

False data entry The inputting of false information on a file, or modifying data. False output Done to cover up false/fraudulent data entries or to distort or destroy incriminating information. Money transfer Funds may be transferred to a false account. These crimes may be minimised by using data encryption, choosing passwords carefully, keeping them secure, changing them frequently and memorising them (not writing them down). Regular checks and auditing of the data can help to detect alteration to data at an early stage. Security measures mentioned in task 3 can also help to minimise this crime.

Word count 3440 Computers and Internet Essays.

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