Day by day, our life spectrum is widening, and new technologies are introduced. Computers remain a crucial part in our lives as they are present in all aspects that we encounter. Countless individuals use a computer before the day ends to perform multiple functions. Surprisingly, not many people understand how a computer works, or even think about the changes introduced by the devices. Computer technology is associated with a constant changing nature, and this makes it hard to establish ethics and moral codes to govern the use of computers in people’s life. The American Heritage Dictionary defines ethics as "The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person, or the members of a profession." (Nielsen) .Ethics is a set of rules that oversees actions and decisions in a profession. The meaning of ethics, of what is good and what makes an action to be right or wrong differs widely at different places and times. The use of computers has introduced a new level of ethical problems which includes, "the unauthorized use of hardware, the theft of software, disputed rights to products, the use of computers to commit fraud, the phenomenon of hacking and data theft, sabotage in the form of viruses, responsibility for the reliability of output, making false claims for computers, and the degradation of work” (Berzai). The paper will provide insight on how the implementation of computer ethics has failed to impact the lives of individuals positively.
Computers have contributed to meaningful revolution in trade, occupation, transport, entertainment, banking, shopping, etc. Therefore, it can be said that, computers have contributed to advantages and disadvantages in our lives. I am left wondering is a computer can notice the difference between right and wrong. Computer ethics is essential as they make an individual responsible as they take actions allowed within the law. It is wrong to interfere with personal documents in a computer if one is not authorized. The computers users have ill-forgotten the advantages associated with the device as they fail to consider the established code of conduct that governs the activities revolving the usage of computers.
The person who has the courage to interfere with other people computers breaches the code of ethics. It is unnecessary to spy on personal documents and files. Computer theft also jeopardizes people lives as the hackers manipulate the bank account of people transferring huge amounts of fund. The use of computers should consider privacy and confidentiality of other people to avoid causing harm and damage. The failure of computers scientists to strictly adhere to computer ethics damages the life of people. Everyone feels insecure because using a computer exposes them to multiple vulnerabilities (Berzai).
Safety or security is an ethical problem experienced in the use of computer. It is immoral for individuals to misuse things not secured in a computer setting. Through computers, people can easily access private information of other parties especially from social media websites. Blackmailing is a common phenomenon that helps the offenders to gather information from the targeted individuals. Security and safety must be guaranteed, and this is achieved by use of the antivirus software. The antivirus program has the capability to detect malicious viruses and also repair the disinfected files (Nielsen). With this knowledge, people still ignore to install computer antivirus leaving their computers at high risks to be attacked by malware programs. It is necessary to protect a computer to avoid unnecessary access and damage of saved files. People are not ready to purchase the antivirus software, and they prefer using free ones that are not efficacious.
The ethics associated with the use of computers affects our happiness in life. Is there a way that computers make us happy? Are we disappointed by the things brought up during the ethical usage? Computers do not guarantee happiness in life, and there is the need to stick to the moral rule to ensure happiness is felt in the population. The breaching of ethical codes has interrupted with the pleasure, safety and well-being of humans. The main objective of computer ethics is to reduce the negative consequences caused in human life (Berzai). When computers are used in an ethical manner, people are protected from health and safety threats. Computer users have failed to report the damages caused when the ethics are breached.
When computers started to be used in society, the absence of ethical morals about computers use and related issues resulted into some problems. However, the widespread of computers is increasing in every facet of human lives. Therefore, resulting to solid discussions in computer ethics, human beings must put computer ethics in consideration to maintain their principles and forces shaping and governing the life of human societies. Currently, there has been formulation of laws that binds human societies in their right ethics (Hoven and Weckert 20). There has been an increasing in computer fraud and computer crimes (Computer & Information Ethics).
However, there are laws against them and humans are aware and responsible for knowing what constitutes computer fraud and computer crime. There are various unique challenges that humans are facing in this age of information. Bearing in minds that information is the means through which human minds increases and expands its capacity to attain its goals, frequently as the result of an input from another mind. Information revolution has changed various aspects of life significantly. Computer crimes, for instance, misuse or planting of logic bombs done by trusted personnel due to the permission, they have to use a computer system. Computer security, consequently, must also be concerned with the activities of trusted computer users (Hoven and Weckert 268).
In the era of computer crime, there is an increase in computer cybercrimes. This calls for computer security as a subject of concern in the field of computer morals. As computer technology advances, computer ethics continues to create ethical standards that speak about the new issues caused by new computer technologies. The aim of computer ethics is to maintain and increase freedoms and rights as well as protecting humans from harm. Cyber-crime is a criminal activity that involves the use of the internet and computer. It is considered as one of the most spreading and growing areas in crime. The modes of committing cybercrime include; virus also called worm (Cavalier 95), which are malicious programs that attach themselves to a file or a computer and manipulate the information. Virus provides an important challenge to computer security (Cavalier 150). Hacking is unauthorized access to computer networks and system with the aim to steal or manipulate information (Cavalier 147). However, every act of hacking is destructive, since any known successful access to a computer system requires the owner to check thoroughly for damaged or lost programs and data. Cyber pornography is the access of pornographic magazines and pornographic websites that is against to computer ethics (Cavalier 87). All these cybercrimes deteriorates someone’s moral and hence become irresponsible since he/she is capitalizing on wrongdoing.
One of the first computer ethics topics to awaken public interest was privacy. The diversity of privacy related issues produced by computer technology has led many thinkers and philosophers to re-examine the computer privacy. There are two forces threaten computer privacy, and there is rapidly increase of information technology growth and the increasing value of information when it comes to decision-making (Cavalier, 228). Computer-threatened privacy has been a fatal topic of public concern since computer privacy offers efficiency and ease in which computer networks and computers can be used to share, collect, search, store, and retrieve personal information.
As computer technology rapidly advances creating ever new possibilities for compiling, accessing, storing, and analyzing information philosophical arguments about the significance of “privacy” will likely continue as technology advancements (Hoven and Weckert 303). Similarly, questions of anonymity on the internet causes arguments in the same setting with questions of privacy and the internet. This is because anonymity provides and offers same benefits as privacy does. For instance, if a person is using the internet to achieve psychology or medical counseling, or discussing sensitive topics such as abortion, venereal disease, AIDS, political dissent, and gay rights, anonymity can manage protection similar to that of privacy (Hoven and Weckert 138).
Correspondingly, both privacy and anonymity on the internet can be supportive in conserving human ethics such as security, self-fulfillment, mental health, and peace of mind (Cavalier, 62). Unfortunately, anonymity and privacy also can be demoralized to enable undesirable and unwanted computer-aided activities in cyberspace, such as drug trading, money laundering, preying upon the vulnerable, or terrorism. Everyone has a role to participate when it comes to code of ethics in computer technologies. Professional computer ethics should be part of everyone in order to attain professional development workshop (Hoven and Weckert 19). With that said, there is a certain and solid need to start a set of guidelines, a code, which people must adhere and held responsible for ethical use of technology. Cond of conducts are the laws govern one’s behavior and bind them in good ethics that makes them responsible.
Berzai, Lou. "Ethical Problems in Computing." Association of Information Technology Professionals. N.p., 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
Cavalier, Robert J. The Impact of the Internet on Our Moral Lives. Albany: State U of New York P, 2005. Print.
Hoven, Jeroen, and John Weckert. Information Technology and Moral Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. Print.
Nielsen, Eric D. "CPSR - document_view." CPSR - Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, 2003. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.