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The rapid growth of the Internet and computer networking has introduced new challenges and security threats. Information, network equipment, computer systems, and servers are all susceptible to various threats. Computer security involves safeguarding computing resources, ensuring data integrity, limiting access to authorized users, and maintaining data confidentiality.
Effective computer security encompasses physical security measures to prevent theft or damage to hardware and media, risk mitigation strategies to address errors, failures, and data loss, user authentication practices, and potentially data encryption.
In today's world, where access to information is pervasive, security measures are often seen as obstacles to efficient computer use.
This study aims to raise awareness among students about the importance of computer security measures in protecting digital assets. It also intends to educate students on using these measures effectively to safeguard their computer systems. The most commonly used computer security tools include antivirus programs, firewalls, anti-spyware software, and more, all of which require regular updates to combat new threats.
Information Technology (IT) encompasses a wide range of areas, including computer software, information systems, hardware, programming languages, and data processing. Data protection and network security are essential aspects of IT. The protection of data is critical, as is the protection of networks to prevent misuse and illegal activities. This study seeks to assess the awareness and utilization of computer security measures among first-year BSIT (Bachelor of Science in Information Technology) students, particularly in dealing with computer viruses, unauthorized access, hardware failures, and hardware theft.
This study is anchored on the concept of Dynamic Awareness Theory (DAT), which explains the creation of awareness in distributed workgroups. DAT emphasizes the role of users and social practices in awareness creation. It highlights the dynamic nature of awareness, where it emerges over time and diminishes when not actively attended to by users. Awareness requires continuous maintenance, as it naturally diminishes over time.
The study's independent variables include the level of awareness and utilization of computer security measures, particularly concerning viruses, unauthorized access, hardware failure, and hardware theft. These variables are influenced by the experiences encountered by students in their computer systems.
This research employed a descriptive assessment method to determine the level of awareness and utilization of computer security measures among first-year BSIT students. The study used a questionnaire as a research instrument, divided into two parts: Part I assessed awareness, and Part II evaluated utilization. Data analysis involved frequency count and weighted mean calculations.
The research design adopted was descriptive assessment, as it allowed for specific subject examination and served as a precursor to more quantitative studies. The actual survey was conducted during the second semester of the 2011-2012 academic year.
The study was conducted at the Holy Cross of Davao College, located on Santa Avenue in Davao City. The respondents were first-year BSIT students.
To achieve the desired information, all first-year BSIT students at the Holy Cross of Davao College were the participants of the study. They were chosen because they are not more knowledgeable compared to the higher years. The selected numbers of respondents were expected to give their honest answers.
In this study, the researchers used a questionnaire as the research instrument. It is the most common tool for obtaining data beyond the physical reach of the observer. Part I of the questionnaire assessed the level of awareness of all first-year BSIT students toward computer security measures in terms of viruses, unauthorized access, hardware failure, and hardware theft. Part II of the questionnaire assessed the level of utilization of all first-year BSIT students toward computer security measures in the same domains.
In gathering data, the researchers conceptualized the study and arrived at the research title, "Level of Awareness and Utilization of All First-Year BSIT Students about Computer Security Measures." The research title was approved by the research adviser and the panel of examiners. Subsequently, a questionnaire was developed and validated to collect data for the study.
The study employed various statistical tools, including frequency count, to determine the number of respondents aware or unaware of computer security measures and their utilization. Weighted mean calculations were used to analyze the data, considering that some data points contributed more to the final average than others.
The results of the study are summarized below:
The level of awareness among first-year BSIT students regarding computer security measures was assessed in terms of various threats, including:
The level of utilization of computer security measures by first-year BSIT students was assessed as follows:
The most commonly practiced computer security measures by the students include:
The least practiced computer security measures by the students include:
A comparison between the level of awareness and the level of utilization of computer security measures revealed that:
The results of this study indicate that first-year BSIT students at the Holy Cross of Davao College have a reasonable level of awareness regarding computer security measures. They understand the importance of protecting their computer systems against threats such as viruses, unauthorized access, hardware failure, and hardware theft.
However, the level of utilization of these security measures varies. While virus protection and prevention of unauthorized access are commonly practiced, measures to mitigate hardware failures and prevent hardware theft are less commonly implemented.
The strong correlation between awareness and utilization suggests that education and awareness programs can be effective in promoting better utilization of computer security measures. It is crucial for students to recognize the importance of securing their digital assets and taking proactive steps to protect their computer systems.
Future efforts in promoting computer security among students should focus on enhancing awareness and encouraging the implementation of comprehensive security measures. This can include workshops, seminars, and campaigns to educate students about the potential risks and the best practices for securing their digital resources.
This study has highlighted the level of awareness and utilization of computer security measures among first-year BSIT students. While awareness is generally high, there is room for improvement in terms of utilization, particularly in addressing hardware failures and preventing hardware theft. Strengthening education and awareness programs can contribute to better computer security practices among students.
Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are proposed:
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