Good Ethics on the Internet

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Having good ethics is important to day-to-day life. They are the standards of what is right and wrong, one of the first gauges of someone’s personal integrity, and the foundation of good relationships with others. Ethics can determine a person’s entire social life, as it decides the amount of trust and cooperation others put in someone. (Simmons, 2003) Sometimes when behind a computer screen, many people may forget that the rules of ethics apply to the Internet just as much as they do to real life. Those with bad computer ethics often don’t realize the consequences of their words and actions. Because of this, it is crucial to keep good ethics in mind while using computers. Citing information, refraining from harassing others, and keeping one another’s privacy are just some of the things that contribute to and are important for good ethics.
In this day and age, obtaining information is as easy as pressing a button–literally–and many forget to properly cite information. Because of this new technology, plagiarism and negligence has become growing ethical and legal problems in society. While the misuse of intellectual property (any invention or work that is the outcome of one’s imagination) isn’t always intentional, it can be punishable by law. Plagiarism can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the seriousness. One may be fined anywhere between $100 and $25,000, as well as up to ten years in jail. (Creutz, 2010) Even if one isn’t caught by authorities, failure to properly cite information could severely damage one’s reputation and credibility. And, other than the illegality of not citing information, taking intellectual property is also highly unethical. Intellectual property should always be credited as the owner p...

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...ns, houses, papers, and effects… shall not be violated.” In order to maintain good ethics, it is crucial for one to remember the difference between public and private information and refrain from releasing any private information that isn’t rightfully theirs. (Hilton)

Works Cited

Creutz, R. (2010, June 23). Plagiarism Punishment. Retrieved November 25, 2013, from Plagiarism Prevention and Detection Blog: http://www.ithenticate.com/plagiarism-detection-blog/bid/52974/Plagiarism-Punishment
Hilton, D. T. (n.d.). Information Law and Ethics. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from Utah State University: http://www.tarlab.usu.edu/htm/et
Relativism. (2013, November 14). Retrieved November 30, 2013, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativism
Simmons, T. (2003, July 2). Ethics PowerPoint. Retrieved November 22, 2013, from UEN: http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview

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