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Saturday, August 2, 2014

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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with security , software

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 - Almanac Vol. 54, No. 26

Risks of End User Software Development

It is estimated that in 2005, in the US, there were 2.75 million professional programmers and 55 million end user software developers, i.e., people who had taught themselves to program. The trend began in the 1980s with spreadsheet software and continued with the advent of easy-to-use tools like FileMaker, PageMaker, and Visual Basic, to mention just a few.

End user software development tends to be cheaper and faster. Often, however, a downside is that it does not conform to the types of policies, rules, and standards professional programmers observe. The editor of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Software puts it this way:

“... we now have systems on the Web that dilettantes built in their spare time while holding down a job in marketing, accounting, hardware repair, or even medicine. They’ve given little if any thought to systematic testing, maintainability, design, and yes, security. These systems are available to the entire Internet community—geography and international borders no longer buffer our data from programming mistakes.”

If you are an end user software developer, consider getting a second opinion from your IT professional. There may very well be serious risks that you can’t see that experienced IT staff can help you identify and mitigate.


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