Go ahead, visit those web sites, you can't get hurt… can you?

James S. Rothfuss, Jeffrey Parrett
1998 Computer fraud & security  
Browsing (surfing) the World Wide Web (the web) has exploded onto the Internet with an unprecedented popularity. Fueled by massive acceptance, the web client/server technology is leaping forward with a speed that competes with no other software technology. The primary force behind this phenomenon is the simplicity of the web browsing experience. People who have never touched a computer before can now perform sophisticated network tasks with a simple point-and-click. Unfortunately, this
more » ... y gives many, if not most, web wanderers the impression that the web browser is risk free, nothing more than a high powered television. This misconception is dangerous by creating the myth that a user visiting a web site is immune from subversive or malicious intent. While many want you to believe that surfing the web is as simple as using any other household appliance, it is not like surfing television channels, it is bi-directional. You can learn a lot of useful information from web sites. But, either directly or indirectly, others can also learn quite a bit about you. Of even more concern is a web sites' potential ability to exert control over the local computer. This paper tries to consolidate some of the current concerns that you should consider as you jump into the surf.
doi:10.1016/s1361-3723(00)87010-4 fatcat:eie7cxezkjhsddhrysggaewpfm