According to the Washington Ethical Society, “Ethics refers to the specific values, standards, rules, and agreements people adopt for conducting their lives” (What Does, n.d., par. 1) Cyber-ethics is the practice of using appropriate and good behavior while on the Internet (Harris, 2011). A person’s perception of ethical behavior is influenced by many things such as values that we learn from our family when we are children and social influences from our peers (Lauby, 2012). With the emergence of the Internet, came a whole new world filled with ethical challenges as people were given additional opportunities to act in appropriate and inappropriate ways. Some of these ethical challenges involve digital media and its proper use, privacy and security of data, and copyright/intellectual property rights (Rader, 2003).
As people experienced the new freedoms of being able to act anonymously online, there emerged many new issues as an unprecedented volume of information was made available and easily and quickly downloaded to individuals ' private devices with just the click of a button. Digital media can be a powerful tool for education and cultural exchanges and for business transactions and political participation. But the power and possibilities that technology affords people comes with drawbacks if not used appropriately. Digital media can be used for the betterment of people and communities, but it can also be used to exploit, manipulate, control, and corrupt. By educating people of the importance of cyber-ethics, cyber-safety, and cyber-security concepts, they will acquire the means to protect themselves, and come to understand the consequences of inappropriate use.
"Cybercitizenship", "cyber ethic...
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...touches almost every aspect of our lives from using an ATM to paying for gas through a credit card transaction. It extends into people’s homes where families play on game consoles and communicate on social media sites, into businesses where email and Web use are monitored and recorded, into public services where our private information is documented within government and healthcare systems, and into neighborhoods where our purchasing habits and physical movements can be tracked (Harris, 2011). As technology changes, new ethical issues will emerge that will require additional regulation. It is vital that people critically reflect upon their attitudes and actions pertaining to ethical and social behaviors of these emerging technologies. Technology devices, social networking sites and digital media are empowering people in ways that were inconceivable not too long ago.
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