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The internet was a major break-through in computing. It enabled people
to communicate and transfer information. The internet has been around
for about 30 years and is always changing. It has many different uses.
It can be used for video and teleconferencing, finding information,
buying products, downloading programmes and music and much more. I
think that the internet has helped society a great deal. On the other
hand, it does have its disadvantages as anything can be found on the
internet, whether it is good or bad. If the internet is in the wrong
hands it can be a very bad thing as it could be held responsible for
things like rape etc. I am saying this because it is very easy for an
adult to go into a chat room and pretend that they are a teenager.
They could then arrange to meet up with someone, and this person would
be thinking that they are a teenager. This is the disadvantage of the
internet, but I feel that the good points over-power the bad.
Without CCTV, crime rates would be higher and many criminals would go
uncaught. Thanks to CCTV, this has changed. CCTV allows several
cameras to film several different areas at the same time. If someone
commits a crime and it is caught on camera, it is then taken to court
and used as evidence against them. I think that this is another huge
benefit to today's society.
Credit Card Use/Fraud
Computers allow people to use credit cards to pay for products that
they buy in shops. This makes it much easier for people to buy
something instead of having to pay with cash or a cheque, which takes
a while to clear; they can just pay instantly with a card. Fraud is
one major problem faced with credit cards. If the card it stolen, it
would be relatively easy for someone to pay for products that they buy
with the card, especially over the internet where no signature is
required to make the payment. This is another disadvantage of the
internet, that anyone's credit card can be used without consent. I
think that, although fraud is an issue with credit cards, credit cards
still benefit society greatly.
Availability of Information
This topic links in with the internet, as well as using programmes
like encyclopaedias on the computer to find information. The internet
has such a broad range of information on it that it would be almost
impossible to not find what you are looking for. Almost any word can
be typed into a search engine (e.g.
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find something relating to the word or phrase that they typed in.
There are also programmes like Encarta which can be bought from a
computer shop. This programme is basically an encyclopaedia. It is a
very good source of information, but it is limited as it is only a
programme. I think this is a definite benefit to society and there are
not really any bad points about it apart from the fact that there is
the rare time when you cannot find what you want on the internet or in
an encyclopaedia, but as I said, this is rare.
Ease of Shopping
The internet can be used to buy almost anything. For a disabled
person, it would be very difficult to go out and do their weekly food
shopping or even just go out and buy a CD, but now all they have to do
is go on the internet and buy it from there. There are websites like
www.ebay.co.uk which allow people to place their items for sale on the
website and then other users bid on that item. All products bought on
the internet are usually shipped to the person's house. This is very
good for society, especially for people that are disabled or just
don't have the time to do their shopping. The only problem with it is
that it takes time to reach your house, whereas going out and buying a
CD from a shop is an instant thing.
Lack of Privacy
One serious problem faced with the internet is hacking. Hackers hack
their way into someone's computer using the internet to access files
on that person's computer. The majority of hacking can be stopped
though, by a programme called a "firewall". This will stop people
being able to access your computer. I think it should be essential for
every computer to have one.
One thing about computers that I do find slightly worrying is the
dependency of them. People nowadays rely on computers to do everything
for them. I think that this is one disadvantage of computers. They
should be used merely as a backup if something cannot be done by hand.
Although they are more accurate and neat, if they go wrong, people can
run into serious problems. For example, a company could store all
their data on their computer. If this computer got a virus or for any
other reason was not able to start up, then the company would face
some very big problems as to what to do. This is one of the downfalls
of computers in today's society.
Viruses are usually downloaded off the internet. They are either an
attachment to a file or just a file by itself that, when opened on the
computer, does damage in one way or another. Most viruses can be
detected by antivirus software, which should be another necessity on
all computers. This is another downfall of computers because, as I
have mentioned above, if an important computer does get a virus, then
a lot of important information could be lost.