Sweating over difficult choices: Computer Ethics
Sweating over Difficult Choices. Computer Ethics.
Are You Secretly Making the Wrong Decisions on Your Computer?
Ethics are an individual's foundation to success and if followed appropriately, ethics can guide your behaviour and principles through the right path. In the modern world of technology, ethics pose a significant challenge to cybersecurity. Unethical acts endanger the safety of people’s content privacy and intellectual property rights.
We face ethical situations on a daily basis, and we must be aware of how we respond to them. Every choice we make affects the quality of our life, and there are consequences for both ourselves and others. But how do we know what choice to make and decide which one is the right or wrong one?
Ethics provides a foundation for our lives; it helps us navigate towards the morally right answer. However, sometimes the answer is not so obvious, especially in the world of technology. There are many grey areas involved when using computers. Many think that because they are behind a screen, they are free to do whatever they want. This, however, can have serious real-life consequences. As a result, cybercrime attacks are gradually increasing, and some computer users may not even be aware of the harm they cause because everything appears so virtual.
Similar to how healthcare professionals have a medical code of ethics, computer ethics also exists. They are essentially rules that all computer users must obey. You might be wondering what computer ethics are, so we are here to erase that confusion! Below is more information about computer ethics and cybersecurity.
Computer ethics are rules and codes implemented for a computer application to guide individuals or the public against cyber insecurities. It also helps prevent computer users from breaking the monopoly rights and policy of an individual’s or organization’s content. Thus, it is significant to adhere to the intellectual property rights, guidelines and license agreement on the software you are using to avoid being the primary target of the cyber-attack. Furthermore, computer ethics provide solutions against computer violations like duplication and hacking of intellectual property rights, computer software systems, and personal data. This means that you can create unique and original content without infringing or plagiarizing someone else’s work. Computer ethics also makes it harder for unauthorized sources to steal your content.
Major Ethical Issues
The major ethical issues behind cybersecurity are due to the following reasons:
- Unauthorized access to confidential or proprietary information without individual permission or authorization, which could lead to hacking and viruses.
This can pose a huge threat as there could be a violation of privacy rights regarding your data and credentials. For instance, if you do not take precautions to secure your social media passwords, bank account pin and other personal data and information, it makes your account details easier for others to guess them. As a result, they hack into your accounts and possibly your device, leading to viruses. A malware virus is one of the major tools used to mine individuals' data and information without their consent, hack the software system, and destroy the device to prevent knowledge of its source.
- Rights infringement or duplication concerning the contents of the intellectual property rights.
There are lots of content that have been published without the owner issuing the requests to the third party, which is also a breach of legal monopoly and license agreement. For instance, Musicians for a long time across the world have been complaining about the piracy and illegal selling of their song’s copyrights without their concerns. This lowers the quality of their content, rights and others to earn their rightful wages.
Thus, adhering to computer ethics will significantly protect you and your content from cyber insecurities by safeguarding and managing your credentials and data to allow you to reveal to others and who or the organization can access and share your information.
Why do computer ethics exist?
Computer ethics exists to protect and guide us on how to operate computer software with an ultimate and healthy etiquette. Without computer ethics to help guide people between ethical and unethical cyber activities, it will be hard to judge and charge individuals committing cyber crimes. Cybers crimes can negatively affect an individual's private life as well as a company's operations. Therefore it is important to establish cyber ethics that dictates what is correct and what should be considered as incorrect or a cyber crime.
The importance of promoting computer ethics is:
- It helps promote responsible use of computers and the cyber space in our personal lives.
- It helps instill computer ethics and to be aware of unethical computer behaviour in society and the workspace. In this way we create a safe and ethical computer working environment without attracting legal issues and concerns.
- Since computers have become the fundamental source of knowledge, information and communication, adhering to computer ethics will prevent you from illegally mining an individual’s data and information through manipulation and spying.
- Do not use the computer to corrupt and infringe the distinct work of an individual or organization.
- Do not use a computer to corrupt, spy and steal personal credentials and data.
- Do not use a computer to threaten, harm, degrade and manipulate other people.
- Do not use someone else's computer or computing devices without the owner's permission.
- Use computers with moral etiquette and respect for human rights.
- Review what you write and publish for the public concern and consequences.
- Please refrain from copying or plagiarizing an individual’s computer software without the ownership rights or buying from them.
- Do not spread misinformation using your computer.
Who Needs Computer Ethics?
Computer ethics are not strictly designed for computer professionals; they should also be strictly adhered to by the general public to preserve and protect our vital information and data from falling into the wrong hands. Nevertheless, individuals, government, and organizations use computing devices for business transactions, keeping vital information and data and intellectual property rights easily hacked or breached. Therefore, every individual should follow cybersecurity ethics to prevent us from becoming victims of computer phishing, hacking, and many more.
Examples of ethical behaviour
Some examples of ethical behaviours when using computers include:
- Spreading or sharing accurate and detailed information or content of an individual only with the direct authorization of the individual.
- Seeking permission before using a computer device, data, reading messages, and downloading contents from the individual’s website.
Examples of unethical behaviours
Some examples of unethical behaviours when using computers include:
Unethical computer behaviour is a negative way of operating your computer and it goes against social norms. Below are some of the unethical computer behaviours:
- Sending hoaxing emails, text or inaccurate statements to manipulate people or an organization.
- Downloading contents from websites without obtaining the copyright held by the resource owner.
- In the work environment, it is unethical to use computer devices without permission from the owner. This can lead to character impersonation without the individual's consent and awareness.
- Hacking into an individual’s personal data and information.
- Having two identities for yourself on social media platforms to deceive others into sharing personal information with you goes against social norms.
As you are now aware of the rules and regulations concerning computer ethics, here are some of the consequences of not abiding them:
- You might face jail prosecution or be fined concerning legal issues of breaching the policy privacy and intellectual property rights.
- Failure to protect your personal information and data might ruin your reputation when it lands in the wrong hands due to character impersonation without your consent.
- You may become a cybersecurity victim through email phishing, financial theft, hacking and other illegal computer engineering software programs.
- The organization can lose its credibility leading to loss of employment and revenue generation through declined production and loss of trust in the public. Especially the health sector, banking, processing and manufacturing industry are at high risks of cyber-attack.
Cyber insurance will significantly help protect us against cyber risks because the policy covers the liability costs of retrieving the breached sensitive data and information, revenue loss, and legal services and advice for your company to meet the federal laws and regulations. For instance, Equity bank reported losing $ 5 million through a data breach of their client’s personal information. Following the concerning jubilee insurance company investigation and evaluation, the Equity clients received total compensation for their lost monetary value. The company escaped the federal laws issues because they complied with federal rules and regulations.
By adhering to computer ethics, it will reinforce your content against cyber insecurities by creating awareness to the society about the full ownership of the property and the consequences of breaching privacy. Besides, it also promoted privacy respect and the validation of the new invention, thereby improving and reinforcing the market against breaching. Thus, computer ethics have been outlined to guide and monitor you and society from breaching the monopoly law regarding every individual's privacy concern and intellectual property rights.