The Computer Revolution/Security/Defenses

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Video surveillance is surveillance used in many shopping stores, businesses, and banks around the world. The surveillance cameras are setup and used to survey the specific area where the surveillance is placed for possible illegal activities, such as shopping lifting or stealing. Surveillance is also set up in offices to watch the production of employees and the everyday work routine of employees. These are very common devices that are regulating by an office manager, or sometimes a third party security company. With the increased rates of terrorism and violence across the nation, video surveillance is also in airports, parks, outside of businesses, and buses. Video surveillance is used with face recognition technology to scan and capture people involved in illegal actions. Video surveillance is also used to help track terrorist before and after crimes are committed.

Surveillance video cameras, Gdynia, Poland
Video surveillance sign

Software Anti-piracy

Educating the public of software piracy, is the approach the industries are taking. To prevent more software piracy. Making people aware of the anti-piracy laws, and the consequences it could bring if broken. Companies are offering consumers the option of downloading the software by internet, to counteract piracy performed because of convenience. By doing this it gives the consumer a convenience and legal option for obtaining the software. (Understanding Computers 13th edition, Deborah Morley and Charles S. Parker. 2011)

Pro piracy demonstration

Digital Counterfeiting Prevention

The European Central Bank (ECB) monitors, very closely, advances in printing and reproduction technologies of currency. Also, as well as the number of counterfeit monies seized. The counterfeits are analyzed by the ECB's Counterfeit Analysis Centre[sic] which coordinates technical and statistical information on counterfeits. The information stored in the centre’s database is shared with national police forces and other bodies involved in combating counterfeiting. The ECB also works closely with Europol (the European Police Office), which has been designated as the central office for coordinating the protection of the euro, as well as with Interpol (the International Criminal Police Organization) and the European Commission.

Anti-counterfeiting technologies, supported by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG) of 10 of the world’s major banknote issuing authorities, deter digital counterfeiting and, by preventing the production of counterfeit banknotes, reduce the losses to individuals and business that might receive them. The counterfeit deterrence system consists of anti-counterfeiting technologies that prevent personal computers and digital imaging tools from capturing or reproducing the image of a protected banknote. It prevents the unauthorised reproduction of banknotes. For legitimate purposes, however, high-resolution images of banknotes are available from the ECB.

To maintain and enhance the euro’s integrity as a global currency, the ECB also manages, coordinates and funds banknote research and development activities.

The euro is the single currency for a large group of countries in the European union, known as the euro area. Over 300 million people in the euro area use euro banknotes and coins for their cash payments. Moreover, between 10% and 20% of euro banknotes in circulation, in terms of value, are used outside the euro area. Inevitably, the currency's importance and high international profile make it attractive for counterfeiters. Although this threat has been contained, with high-tech security features making euro banknotes secure and easy to distinguish from counterfeits, vigilance is necessary to discourage counterfeiting, professional cash handlers in banks, retail companies, restaurants and in other businesses where large amounts of cash are handled have to be familiar with euro banknotes and coins.

Modern reproduction technology is capable of making good copies of any printed material. Nothing will stop the professional counterfeiter from trying, but our new banknotes contain a combination of security features, which will make it very difficult, if not impossible. Many have been used on the national currencies of EU Member States before. They have all now been skilfully incorporated into the euro coins and banknotes. The result is a series which is one of the most complex and difficult to counterfeit.

According to the website, the following are security features for the euro and with these features one can tell if the currency they are holding is real:

Feel the "raised" print - the special printing processes give banknotes their unique feel. The initials of the European Central Bank, the value numerals and the motifs of windows and gateways will feel rough to the touch. Be aware that age and wear can negate some of these properties.

Look at the banknote and hold it up to the light: the watermark, the security thread and the see-through register will then be visible. All three features can be seen from the front and the reverse side of genuine banknotes.

Tilt the banknote: on the front of the banknote, you can see the shifting image on the hologram foil stripe (on the low-value banknotes) or the hologram foil patch (on the high-value banknotes). On the reverse side, if you tilt the banknote, you can see the brilliance of the iridescent stripe (on the low-value banknotes) or the colour-shifting ink (on the high-value banknotes)

A series of security features have been incorporated into the euro banknotes so that, upon careful examination, the authenticity of the banknotes can be reliably determined. The banknotes contain the following security features: 1. Intaglio printing 2. Watermarks 3. Security thread 4. See-through register 5. Special foil/special foil elements 6. Iridicent stripe / shifting colours.

The euro banknotes are printed on 100% cotton paper which differs substantially from normal paper. By using a special printing technique, several picture elements on the front of the banknote are identifiable by touch. The guidelines on detecting counterfeit currency give a comparison of genuine and falsified security features.

The fleur-de-coin website goes on to list additional security features that the euro contains:

"The see-through register is a feature found in the upper left-hand corner on the front of the banknote. Irregular shapes printed on the front and back of the euro banknotes form a complete value numeral when held up to the light.

Intaglio printing is used to apply a tactile relief to the front of the banknotes; the abbreviations of the European Central Bank in the various national languages (BCE, ECB, EZB, EKT, EKP), the value numeral and the pictures of the windows and gateways are identifiable by touch. At the edge on the front of the €200 and €500 notes several distinctive features have been printed, primarily to make it easier for the visually impaired to recognise the banknotes. The euro banknotes are also printed on special paper with a destinctive surface texture. Please note, however, that through age and general wear and tear, some of these properties may be partly or completely lost.

If a banknote is held up to the light, the watermark appears on both sides of the non-printed area. Both the predominant architectural motif (multitone watermark) and the value numeral (wire watermark) can be seen. The watermark is put into the paper by varying the paper thickness as the paper is manufactured. This can be seen in several areas, some of which are lighter and others darker than the surrounding paper.

The euro banknotes contains a security thread which is embedded into the paper near the middle of the note and is visible when held up to the light. A dark line runs from top to bottom of the banknote. If one looks more closely at the thread against the light, the word EURO and the value numeral (alternatively legible and mirror-reversed) appear.

In addition to the special foils, there is a second difference between the small-denomination euro notes and the large-denomination notes. If you look at the reverse of the €5, €10 and €20 banknotes, you will see an iridescent stripe next to the security thread. The stripe varies in colour from light yellow to gold yellow when the note is tilted near a good light source and also reveals the euro symbol and value numeral (5, 10 and 20). The €50, €100, €200 and €500 banknotes contain an optical-variable colour element. Depending on the viewing angle, the value numeral in the lower right-hand corner on the reverse of these four notes changes colour from reddish-purple to olive-green or brown.

When the banknote is tilted, either the euro symbol or the value numeral (5, 10 or 20) - depending on the viewing angle - appears as a hologram with shifting colours on €5, €10 and €20, or either the value numeral or the architectural motif - depending on the viewing angle - appears as a hologram with shifting colours on (€50, €100, €200 and €500). When held up to the light, a closer look at the foil stripe reveals a euro symbol in the foil perforations.

Under ultra-violet light check the following characteristics: 1. The paper does not become fluorescent, i.e. it emits no light and is "UV dull". 2. The fibres embedded in the paper are fluorescent and are visible in three colours (red, blue and green). 3. On the front of the banknote, two inks become visible: the blue ink becomes green and the yellow ink becomes orange. The European flag and the signature of the ECB President are green and the stars are orange. Other features on the front of the banknote will also be visible; however, this will vary between the different denominations. 4. On the reverse side, only one ink will be visible. The map of Europe, the bridge and the denomination appear in yellow.

Under a magnifying glass you can see tiny writing on some areas of the banknote. The texts are perfectly legible; however, some of them do differ in size. For example, the 0.8 mm small print can, in the majority of cases, be read by the naked eye. The 0.2 mm micro printing, on the other hand, simply appears as a thin line to the naked eye, but you can read the lettering with the aid of a magnifying glass. The smallest print on an authentic banknote should be sharp and not blurred.

50 euro watermark.jpg

Self-Destructing Devices


If you are less concerned about recovering a stolen device than safeguarding the data on that computer, self-destructing devices are feasible option. This feature is available with certain computer tracking software programs, as a stand-alone utility, or built into some mobile phone applications. Once you discover that your device is lost or stolen, you can request the kill switch capabilities to go into effect and destroy all the data on your device. The kill switch is typically activated by someone connecting the device to the internet or when another predetermined prompt is activated. The data is commonly destroyed by overwriting preselected files multiple times which makes them unreadable. This technology can be particularly useful for protecting your privacy and sensitive documents. (Morley, Deborah, and Charles S. Parker. Understanding Computers: Today and Tomorrow. 13th ed. Boston: Course Technology/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.)

Hardware Theft Prevention

Technology like kill switches and computer tracking software help to protect hardware and/or data after the hardware has already been lost or stolen. To really protect your hardware or data, you need to prevent it from being stolen in the first place. To achieve this, computer locks and alarm software can be used. The first lock is a cable lock. This is a cable that wraps around the desk or table you are working at and then connects to the security slot on your laptop, locking it in place. A security slot is an opening built into most laptops that is designed to be compatible with these locks. If a computer does not have a security slot, like a desktop computer, a cable anchor can be used. An anchor essentially works the same as the cable lock, except that instead of being secured to the computer via a security slot, it's actually anchored to the back of the computer monitor. If a cable lock fails, a laptop alarm software can be used. This software gives off a very loud alarm when the laptop is unplugged, shut down without the permission of the owner or even if a USB device is removed.

Reference: Morely, Deborah, and Charles Parker. Understanding Computers Today and Tomorrow. Boston: Course Technology, 2011. Print.