Archive for Monday, June 26, 2000

Books help take pain out of privacy, preparing for ‘I do’

June 26, 2000

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"Cyberbride: The Complete Guide to Planning Your Wedding," by Denise and Alan Fields (Windsor Peak Press, $11.95)

"Going to the chapel, and we're gonna get married"

Feed the keyword wedding into a search engine, and youll find more than 2 million Web sites on the subject. How is a couple to know which sites are truly helpful and which are a waste of time? Wedding watchdogs Denise and Alan Fields step smoothly into the gap with Cyberbride.

Marriage has always been big business. Now, with the proliferation of wedding sites on the Internet, it's even bigger business.

Feed the keyword "wedding" into a search engine, and you'll find more than 2 million Web sites on the subject. How is a couple to know which sites are truly helpful and which are a waste of time?

"Wedding watchdogs" Denise and Alan Fields step smoothly into the gap with "Cyberbride."

The duo's collaborative effort shows even technical neophytes where to find it all, from answers on etiquette questions to locating online wedding budget calculators.

Chock full of sensible tips and budget busters, the book shows future husbands and wives how to find lots of nifty resources.

They include how to order flowers online at wholesale prices, where to surf for the best invitations at the largest discounts, how to save up to 40 percent on designer wedding gowns and where to download free wedding planning software.

The Fieldses also rate and rank the best wedding-related Web sites, further winnowing available information to a manageable size for harried couples.

"Cyberbride" is a wise investment. It is well-organized, easy to follow and performs a valuable service.

"The Hundredth Window: Protecting Your Privacy and Security in the Age of the Internet," by Charles Jennings and Lori Fena (The Free Press, $26).

As anyone who watched Will Smith fleeing down a busy New York City street in the thriller "Enemy of The State" knows, privacy is a precious commodity that seems to be dwindling as ever more intrusive and innovative technology keeps tabs on our lives.

The authors, founders of TRUSTe, a privacy assurance and monitoring organization on the Internet, address this volatile issue in "The Hundredth Window."

In setting up their premise, Jennings and Fena use the axiom that says if you put bars across 99 of your windows, but leave the 100th window open, intruders will still gain access.

In applying this principle to computer privacy, the big question is: How can you best monitor that 100th window?

The authors offer a practical, comprehensive treatise on guarding privacy. They say the answer lies not in putting more bars on windows but thinking of privacy as a personal tool to be practiced and sharpened regularly.

The book offers lucid discussions of attacks on privacy and strategies and tools available to preserve privacy. The tips and tricks at the end of each chapter are extremely useful, almost worth the price of the book alone.

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