Ethics are the moral values that stop you from doing anything that is not legal and that does not harm or damage anyone else’s work, or interests. Ethics are something that are embittered in us from childhood. Actually, Computer ethics are nothing but how we use our personal morals and ethics while using the computer for various purposes.
They consist of all the rules that we would apply to not misuse any information that is not ours to use or to access any data that is not owned by us. With issues like cyber crimes, plagiarism, hacking, and password thefts, it has become important to know the importance of computer ethics to be able to create a safe computer-based environment.
Computer ethics essentially protect individuals online from predation: they prevent the breach of privacy, identify theft, interference with work, and unlawful use of proprietary software, among other events. Computer ethics govern the behavior of users online and date back to 1992. These ethics govern the social, financial, and legal uses of computers worldwide.
New computing technology is very powerful and malleable and computers can be programmed to perform a wide range of functions that can carry out various and diverse applications in our society. Communication that depends on computer technology has grown radically through well-known use of the internet, cell phones, and positioning systems. Computer ethics has grown dramatically to issues in most activities within society including military, government, law, education, and business because computing has become united in society. Through its extensive growing computer ethics is the acreage of activated ethics that affects and intersects around all added branches of applied ethics.
Prevents Misuse of Personal Information – Computers have made the world come closer, be it personally or professionally! Most of us find it more convenient to shop online rather than going out. For this, we are asked to give out our personal information like name, date of birth, and most importantly, our ‘credit card information’! Ask yourself, if we know that people don’t follow computer ethics everywhere, would we feel safe to give out all this information? On the contrary, if we have read their privacy policies and know that they abide by the cyber laws and computer ethics, we know for a fact that our personal information will not be misused.
Prevents Theft of Intellectual Property – What is intellectual property? Well, unlike physical forms of properties like a car or house, intellectual property refers to the property created by the mind! The internet consists of various intellectual properties which include works of various researchers, writers, song artists, and so on. Without the presence of computer ethics, the work created by the intellect of one person can be easily copied and plagiarized by someone else. Imagine how we would feel if our poetry has been copied and publicized under someone else’s name? Now, do we know what following computer ethics and privacy policies is important?
Prevents Loss of Various Jobs in the field of Software Development – There are thousands of people globally that are working in companies that develop computer programs and software. However, if we find out a way to get this software without having to pay the price, most of us would prefer piracy overpaying, right? Have you ever wondered how this can cost the employees working in these companies their job? The general mentality of most of the people downloading software illegally is that these companies are very rich and it really wouldn’t affect them, even if it does, who cares? However, the point to be kept in mind is, what if the one who had to pay the price is someone close to us. Imagine, there are thousands of people getting involved in unethical downloads and distribution. In fact, a report reveals that a significant number of people prefer never to pay for software and get involved in piracy!
Keeps us from being Unethical! – It’s not that we need to follow computer ethics to show others. However, by following these ethics, we would know what we need to do to be a responsible user and keep ourselves from getting into trouble by being unethical. Trouble? Well, yes, there are various laws that can put us behind bars if we are caught violating the privacy policies and norms of individual websites.
Makes our Computer a Better and Safe place to be At – Our computer is not just an electronic device for communication, it is our data store, our photo album, our work recorder, our social network, our calculator and what not…, it is what we are! If we get involved in downloading information or accessing portals that we are not allowed to, we are opening the doors of various issues and threats like viruses and Trojans that can illegally enter our system and crash it completely! On the other hand, if our system is used in the way it is supposed to, we are creating a safer and a better atmosphere wherein we can rest assured that our work and our personal information is absolutely safe and secure.
The code of computer ethics also called the Ten Commandments, instructs users to not harass other users, use computers to spy or use computers to gain access to private information. It is a part of practical philosophy concerned with how computing professionals should make decisions regarding professional and social conduct. Ethics prevent the taking of intellectual information without compensation and prevent users from using computing resources without compensation or authorization. The ethics also mandate the use of machines in a manner considerate and respectful of others.
Actually, Computer ethics are something that cannot be imposed on us, it is rather something that should be followed out of our own will and desire. The way we use the computer to access information speaks a lot about us and our ethical values. What would we do if we get our colleague’s password? Would we ask him or her to change it since we accidentally found out, or would we try to get some information that we are not supposed to? There are two kinds of people in this world, one who follow the rules and respect them at the same time, and the others who don’t really care. Should we care about the ethics involved in becoming a responsible citizen? We decide! Nevertheless, if we are caught, rest assured the authorities won’t care about us as well!