Computer Ethics

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As of September 2003, there were approximately 70 million Americans or about 62 percent of the American population had at least one home computer. Another statistic is that about 55% of people also have internet on there home computers. In everyday life it is important for a person to have good ethics; this is also true about computer usage. Due to the fact that more then half of the American population owns computers, computer ethics are a growing concern in a rapidly changing society. Computer ethics can be broken down in to many topics including piracy, hacking, viruses, spam, phishing, and responsibility of use of software, cyber porn, and invasion of privacy and the use of the computer in the work place. Also there are many issues both moral and professional that a person who uses a computer might face.

Piracy which by definition is reproduction, distribution and use of software without permission of the owner of copyright, poses some serious ethical problems. The free exchange of copyrighted materials is piracy as it undermines the ability of copyright holders (and their representatives) to control the sale and distribution of goods to which they—and only they—own the rights. Probably the best known and most widely practiced form of piracy is the distribution of copyright protected music files via popular file sharing programs such as Kazaa and Limewire. As bandwidth increases, the "sharing" of movies and television shows on the Internet is likely to increase as well. Although file sharing is quite common, that does not mean it is okay.

Another ethical problem with computers is hacking. Hacking is the computer equivalent of breaking and entering. A computer hacker uses his or her skills to gain unauthorized access t...

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...rious consequences could surface which could ultimately lead to a loss of ones job. There are certain times and places were looking at different websites is ok and other times were it is just not acceptable.

As previously mentioned, computer ethics in some peoples eyes greatly changed based on were the computer you are on is located. There is a completely different set of ethics for work computers. Not only do ethics come into play in workplace with computer use but so do morals. It is very important for a person to be able to know the fine line between what is ok for work and what is not acceptable. This can vary from harassment through things like email to just visiting the wrong kinds of site. In my research I have found that many companies are actually coming up with ethical commandments for the work place to further define the line between right and wrong.

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