Ethics are a set of moral principles that governs an individual or a group on what is acceptable behaviour while using a computer.Computer ethics are set of moral principles that govern the usage of computers. One of the common ethic missed by many among computer ethics is violation of copyright issues.
Duplicating the copyrighted content without the author’s approval, accessing personal information of others are some of the examples that violate ethical principles.
What is the UnEthical behaviour of students/teachers?
Plagiarism is one of the major forms of academic dishonesty which has always existed in education, including higher education. For example, assignments submitted by students may turn out to be copied from fellow students or could be taken over, in part or in whole, from existing published works. The use of computers and Internet added to the means that students have at their disposal to commit plagiarism. However, they make it much easier to do and much harder to detect.
Breaking copyright and software theft :
Throughout the society, it is well known that the illegal copying of copyrighted media (texts, music works, movies and software programs) is widespread. Moreover, many people who engage in such activity do not consider themselves to be doing something that is immoral. This is certainly true for college students. And this attitude of students seems to match developments in the current information age, in which the Internet increasingly functions as the most important information medium that people use.
Improper use of computer resources:
Students and staff may have authorized access to computer resources, but then go on to use these resources improperly. They may have a school/library Internet account, or they may use computer system or computer network or computer software that is owned by the school, or they may use computerized services offered by the school, and do so in a way that does not meet the school’s standards for proper use of that particular resource.
For example, students may use their student account to run their own Internet business, may open up a popular website or service that generates much traffic, downloads MP3 files, staff members may use the school’s server or computer systems to download or view or store content that is either illegal or against the school policies (e.g., racist or fascist materials or pornography) or members of the academic community may spread computer viruses or worms.
Securing information privacy and confidentiality:
Personal information on public computers:
While using publicly accessible computers, students or staff may unknowingly leave personal information on the public computers, such as cached web pages (accessed web pages that are left in temporary storage on the disk drive and may remain there even after a browser is closed) and cookies (small files that are put on a hard disk by a web site to identify users and their preferences), that are then available for inspection by others.
The computers that are used by Student or faculty may contain software that allow files from computer accessible to other users on the campus network and outside without knowledge of the owner, or they may allow files to be stored on a central server that are then accessible to others without their permission. This could allow strangers to read these files that may contain personal information.
School web pages and bulletin boards:
Web pages maintained by the school, by faculty or by students may contain personal information that may access the privacy of others. Likewise, postings and re-postings (forwarded messages) on bulletin boards or in other electronic forums may contain personal information of third parties for which no authorization has been given.
The ten rules of computer ethics:
- One shall not use a computer to harm other people.
- One shall not interfere with other's computer work.
- One shall not snoop around in other 's computer files.
- One shall not use a computer to steal.
- One shall not use a computer to bear false witness.
- One shall not copy or use proprietary software for which one have not paid.
- One shall not use other's computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
- One shall not appropriate other's intellectual output.
- One shall think about the social consequences of the program written or of the system designed by one.
- One shall always use a computer in ways that insure consideration and respect for one's fellow humans.
Ethical rules for the computer users :
Some of the rules that the individuals should follow while using a computer are listed below:
- Do not use computers to harm other users.
- Do not use computers to steal other's information.
- Do not access files without the permission of the owner.
- Do not copy copyrighted software without the author’s permission.
- Always respect copyright laws and policies.
- Respect the privacy of others, just as you expect the same from others.
- Do not use other user's computer resources without their permission.
- Use Internet ethically.
- Complain about illegal communication and activities, if found, to Internet service Providers and local law enforcement authorities.
- Users are responsible for safeguarding their User Id and Passwords. They should not write them on paper or anywhere else for remembrance.
- Users should not intentionally use the computers to retrieve or modify the information of others, which may include password information, files, etc.
Internet Ethics :
Internet ethics means an acceptable behaviour for using internet. We should be honest, respect the rights and property of others on the internet.
World Wide Web is not a waste wild web. It's place where values are considered in a broadest sense. We must take care while shaping content and services and we should recognize that internet is not apart from universal society but it is a primary component of it.
Sensitivity to National and Local cultures
It belongs to all and there is no barrier of national and local cultures. It cannot be subject to one set of values like local TV channel, a local newspaper and we have to accommodate multiplicity of usage.
While using e-Mail and chatting
Internet must be used for communication with family and friends. We should not use the internet chatting for communicating with strangers and should not forward the e-mails from strangers. And we must teach children on risks involved by chatting or forwarding e-mails to strangers.
Pretending someone else
We must not use the internet to pretend as someone else and fool others. We must teach children that fooling others and hiding your own identity is a crime.
Avoid Bad language
We must not use rude or bad language while using e-Mail, chatting, blogging and social networking, we need to respect their views and should not criticize anyone on the internet and the same should be taught to children.
Hide personal information
We should teach children not to give personal details like home address, phone numbers, interests, passwords to anyone. No photographs should be sent to strangers and they taught to hide personal details from strangers because it might be misused and shared with others without their knowledge.
Internet is used to learn about music, video and games by listening to it, and learning how to play games. We must not use it for downloading them or share the copyrighted material. The same should be taught to children, and they must be aware about the importance of copyrights and issues of copyright.
You should know what children are doing on the internet and the sites they visit on the internet and should check with whom they are communicating. Look-over their shoulder and restrict them browsing inappropriate sites. Parental involvement while a child is using the internet and helps the child to follow computer ethics.
Encourage children to use Internet
We must encourage children, students and others to gain the knowledge from the internet and use it wisely. Internet is a great tool where one can gather information which can be used for learning.
Access to Internet
The internet is a time-efficient tool for everyone that enlarges the possibilities for curric- ulum growth. Learning depends on the ability to find relevant and reliable information quickly and easily, and to select, understand and assess that information. Searching for information on the internet can help to develop these skills. Classroom exercises and take- home assessment tasks, where students are required to compare website content, are ide- al for alerting students to the requirements of writing for different audiences, the purpose of particular content, identifying and judging accuracy and reliability. Since many sites adopt particular views about issues, the internet is a useful tool for developing the skills of distinguishing fact from opinion and exploring subjectivity and objectivity.
Cyber ethics is a code of behaviour for moral, legal and social issues on the Internet or cyber technology. Cyber ethics also includes obeying laws that apply to online behaviour. By practising cyber ethics, one can have a safer and enjoyable Internet experience. Cyber bullying is the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. With the increase in use of these technologies, cyber bullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers.
Cyber technology refers to a wide range of computing and communications devices from individual computers, to connected devices and communications technologies. Cyber ethics suggest the study of ethical issues limited to computing machines, or to computing professionals. It is more accurate than Internet ethics, which is limited only to ethical issues affecting computer networks.
Cyber safety addresses the ability to act in a safe and responsible manner on the Internet and other connected environments. These behaviours protect personal information and reputation and include safe practices to minimize danger from behavioural-based, rather than hardware/software-based, problems.
Cyber safety focuses on acting safely and responsibly, whereas cyber security covers physical protection (both hardware and software) of personal information and technology resources from unauthorized access gained via technology.
Safety measures for Ethics
There are four effective approaches who want to ensure they are doing the right thing online:
- Have a basic understanding of the technology
- Participate with your child online.
- Determine what standards have been established for in-school computer use.
- Create a set of rules; along with your child, relating to both ethics and safety.
As per the importance of information technology, and given the possibilities of unethical use of this technology by students and faculty, schools/colleges should ensure that they have policies regarding the use and management of information technology by students and staff.
Several ethical codes dealing with technology use exist and many schools have adopted "Acceptable Use Policies" that include rules for the proper use of information technologies. Teachers, students, and parents need to know and understand these ethical codes.
For children, the major issues surrounding technology ethics can be categorized into three areas: privacy, property, and appropriate use. School related cases can be found in each of these areas.
Teachers need to develop learning objectives and activities that specifically address technology ethics. Proper use needs to be taught at the same time that other computer skills are taught. Students understanding of ethical concepts need to be assessed. Technology use privileges, especially those involving on-line use, should not be given to students until the assessments show that a student knows and can apply ethical standards and school policies.
In schools, one should have an Acceptable User Policy. An "Acceptable Use Policy" that describes the use of the Internet and other information technologies and networks in a school. The rules in these policies often apply to both staff and students. Everyone in the school, as well as parents, needs to know and understand these policies.
An Acceptable User Policy may contain
- Not using the service as part of violating any law.
- Not attempting to break the security of any computer network or user.
- Not posting commercial messages to school groups without prior per- mission.
- Not attempting to send junk e-mail or spam to anyone who doesn't want to receive it
- Not attempting to mail bomb a site with mass amounts of e-mail in order to flood their server.
- Do not use computer technology to cause interference in other users' work.
- Do not use computer technology to steal information.