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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: ICT
  • Word count: 5122

Examining safety and security - accuracy checks

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ELEMENT C4 IS TO EXAMINE SAFETY AND SECURITY ISSUES Accuracy Checks Accuracy checks must be applied to data handling activities. All data that is entered into ANY computer is useless if it is incorrect or inaccurate. A common phrase used in the computer world is 'garbage in, garbage out'. Manual systems lack accuracy checks that are available on computerised systems and so rely heavily on the operator to proof-read and check visually. The purpose of "Accuracy checks", such as a spell-checker on MS WORD is to reduce errors, Although errors are not eliminated completely. Validation "Valid" is another word for suitable. Certain things must be suitable or valid for their purposes. If you insert a Tesco club card into a cash withdrawal machine you will not get a response because it is not VALID for its purpose. So what is the relevance for a computer system? Two very important validation checks are type and range: Type Check In a data base, such as the ones we can use in MS Access, if a field has been designed for numbers, the computer will not accept letters in that field. If a field has been designed to accept a choice of colours - red, blue, green, yellow - it will not accept any other colour in that field. Clearly, it is still possible for the data entry clerk to make errors but some errors will be immediately apparent: Data to be entered Data actually entered Data correct 156 156 156 red red red 156 516 1q red blue purple ( ( but is Accepted because it's of the correct type. Computer immediately signals an error, because 'q' is not a no. ( ( but the choice of blue is accepted because it is included in the list of options - i.e. the correct type. Computer immediately signals an error, because none of the colours listed in the choice above starts with a 'p'. ...read more.


The main worries relate to: * Backache. * Eyestrain. * Headaches and migraine. * RSI - repetitive strain injury. * Radiation, especially if using VDUs when pregnant. These problems can generally be avoided if sensible precautions are taken. Backache This can usually be prevented by suitable seating, good posture and taking a break from time to time. Chairs should: * Be capable of swivelling. * Have a movable base, i.e. castors. * Have an adjustable back rest to give support where needed. In addition an operator should not be expected to sit working at a VDU for hours without a break, and indeed should take responsibility for changing his or her posture - perhaps taking a walk in the lunchbreak to exercise and relieve the muscles. Eye strain/headaches/migraine Problems with eye strain or headaches are likely to occur only if the VDU is fuzzy, flickers or is in a poorly lit position. The EU directives require that: * The screen should not flicker, nor reflect light. * The angle, brightness and contrast of the screen must be adjustable. * Desks and keyboards should have a matt finish to prevent reflection of light and to avoid glare. * Lighting should ensure correct contrast between the screen and the general background. * VDU operators must have the right to a free eye test before commencing VDU work and regularly afterwards. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) RSI is caused by making the same or awkward movements continuously. This problem affects any operators constantly hitting computer keys for long periods. The tendon sheaths in the hand, wrist or arm become inflamed, causing pain, numbness and swelling, which, if untreated, can result in permanent disability. Ironically it is believed that the light touch required by the modern keyboard, compared to the much heavier keys of old-fashioned typewriters, may aggravate the problem. To prevent or reduce the risk of RSI, keyboards should: * Be separate from the VDU. ...read more.


4. This task provides evidence for Communication Core Skills Element 2.1 - take part in discussions. You must prepare for this discussion by researching the following questions: * Why do you think giving away copies of software breaks the copyright law? * Why do you think it is not acceptable to pretend work generated on a computer is yours, even if you do not sell it? * Do you feel the cost of purchasing software, which is often very expensive, has any effect on illegal copying of programs? * Do you feel the copyright laws are too strict, too easy, should be changed in any way? Look for relevant information in computer textbooks, newspaper articles or magazines, making notes which should be handed in to your lecturer after the discussion. Working in pairs: * Explain what information you have obtained. * Explain whether you agree or disagree with the present copyright laws and why. * Be prepared to answer questions. * Note any points raised by your partner which are different from your own, and hand in these notes as well as your original notes. Scenario The manager of 3L (Loose Limbs Leisure) has realised that computerising the system has implications for staff, apart from knowing how to use it. She has asked Computer Consultants Ltd. for advice. In the past such requests were handled simply by giving out a free leaflet with the most basic details, but the company has realised that it could provide a much better service to its clients and also charge fort the information. You and a small team have been asked to prepare a presentation for 3L which, if successful, will be used in future. The presentation must cover the health and safety issues for information technology users and also the obligations of those users (see the range for Element 3.4). You and your colleague are anxious to impress your boss with this project, and take a great deal of trouble with handouts and overhead transparencies. Joanna Giles - 1 - ...read more.

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