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The distinction between data and information can tend to be
quite confusing as they are almost similar. However, they are both completely
different and defined differently to how others think. To begin with data is
raw which is collected and usually number based which is then processed for it
to become information. If data was not processed nothing would make sense and
would seem useless until it is organised. Information on the other hand is the
complete opposite as it has already been organised and processed whereas data
is raw and still needs to be processed. Information is presented and structured
so professionally so the context makes sense and looks organised. Data can be
collected in several different ways. This all depends on how you would like to
display the information including the layout of it. There can be an electronic
version or a paper form version of the data. Furthermore, there are a variety
of methods in which data can be collected such as handing out questionnaires,
case studies and observations etc. All this raw data can be displayed and
interpreted in different ways such as graphs, spread sheets and charts. Information
will be processed in more of a presentable manner, so it can be understood so
it isn’t just a bunch of data that means nothing to a human. In fact, it will
all come together in the end, so it makes sense, so everything collected will be
useful.

The legal side of using the
internet when storing data will be spoken about alongside the security and
privacy issues concerned with storing data. To begin with the legal issues such
as copyright and privacy has been a problem in the past that had occurred quite
often when storing data on the internet. The Data Protection Act controls how
your personal information is used by organisations businesses or the
government. It was made to protect and keep personal and sensitive data safe
which is usually held in a database.  The
DPA was passed in 1984 with a further update in 1998 which was then bought into
effect in 2000. All the businesses that store data electronically, for example
personal information about customers, they must register under the DPA (Data
Protection Act) and state the date they plan to hold. Everyone responsible for
using data has to follow strict rules known as the ‘data protection principles’.
There is a list of principles that must be abided by and taken into
consideration such as making sure that the information is used fairly and
lawfully, kept for no longer than necessary, making sure it is safe and secure.
The personal data must not be exported outside of the European Economic Area
without adequate protection as there is someone relying on the organisation to
make sure that all their information is safe with them.  Furthermore, the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act (1988) protects all pieces of work once it is noticeable which
means in a legit form. The copyright act applies automatically as soon as the
piece of work qualifies for protection is created. Another issue that seems to
be a concern with storing data for the use of the internet is the security
issues that have arisen such as password protection and the private issues led
to encryption and personal data. To gain some sort of access to any kind of
information you are most likely going to need a password to be allowed
authorisation to gain that information. This could also be known as
authentication which is a process to verify the identity of a user, so they can
access content, an IT system on a computer, website or database. The whole idea
of this is so that only authorised people can access the system or the data.
This is where the different types of methods of authentication come in to use
such as password, smart cards and biometrics. A password is usually a
combination of upper case and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols, a smart
card is a card where only the user of the card can only gain access an example
of this could be a student ID badge and finally biometrics which is probably
the safest option as it is an authentication of using someone’s physical
characteristics such as their finger print, retina or voice recognition. To
make it difficult for someone to try and gain any kind of access to your
personal information your password needs to be strong as there are now software’s
being used and programs that are being run to crack a password. One method is
known as ‘brute force’. To avoid make sure a secure password with a variety of
characters, numbers and symbols are used but nothing too hard so that you
forget it. Encryption is also used so it is harder for third parties to try and
access anything. Encryption is converted from electronic data into a form known
as ciphertext. This tends to be quite difficult to understand by anyone expect
for those who are authorised. This works by converting text that you understand
to something that is no longer readable by using ciphertext which is a form of
code. For it work some sort of key will need to be used. An example of this
could be converting my name ‘Rumaisah’ to ‘ahdnkakr’ for it become readable
again you would need to know the key.

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There are a variety of techniques
that are used to search information within a database or data warehouse. There
are methods such as using an index. This is when you have an excessive amount
of data to look through to find specific one thing. All this system does is a
linear search of the table to find the required piece of data that you are
looking for according to the search that you’ve made. If the table is large it
can take some time to find. If the index method is used, you can get direct
access to the specified rows that you are looking for. This technique can be
improved in the future by reducing the amount of repetitive data that is used
in the table as this will affect the speed of the linear search made. If there
is large sets of data it will most likely take longer whereas smaller sets of
data it will be quicker to do a linear search. The second technique that can be
used to improve the performance of a database or data warehouse would be
partitions. This is to help break down databases into smaller components. They
can be created on tables or indexes. Both techniques have one thing in common
and that is the speed of searching for data due to excessive amount of
information for it to go through for the data to be found. This can be improved
by only putting in relevant information in the table and reducing all unwanted
cluster and data from the table so its easier and quicker for searches to be
made. 

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