Computer Ethics Study Guide

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C:\8
th Grade Computers/Computer Ethics/Computer Ethics Study Guide.doc 08/20/09 Copyright © 2005, Laura Parcell
Computer Ethics, Security, Privacy & You Study Guide
ETHICS
 Ethics refers to an individual’s standards of moral (good/proper) conduct.  Telling the truth is a matter of ethics.
 An unethical act isn’t always illegal, but sometimes it is.  Computer Ethics refers to the standards of conduct (such as copyright and privacy) as they pertain to computers.
 Computer organizations and United States corporations have established Codes of Conduct.
 Codes of Conduct covers the following: unauthorized uses of software, hardware, and communication networks to educate their employees; warn their employees of the consequences of performing acts the company has deemed unacceptable. WHAT YOU DO REFLECTS ON YOU

 When you use the Internet, it can feel like you are invisible.  You might think that you could do whatever you want.
 You may not worry about getting caught.
 You may not think about whether your actions might hurt someone else.  Most of the time you are not invisible on the Internet.
 Computer systems do a good job of tracking computer use.  You actually leave little cyberfootprints wherever you go.  You might forget that your actions can be traced.
ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING STRATEGIES
 Golden Rule Test: How would you feel if others did the same thing to you that you have done to them?
 Trusted Adult Test: What would your mom or dad, guardian, or other adult who is important in your life think?
 Is There a Rule Test: Rules or laws have been created to protect the rights of people and serve the common good.
 Front Page Test: If your action were reported on the front page of the newspaper, what would other people think?
 If Everybody Did It Test: What would happen if everybody made a decision to do the same thing you do?
 Real World Test: Would it be okay if you did this action or similar action in the real world?
 Gandhi Test: Sometimes when people behave inappropriately on the Internet, they claim that they are actually trying to make the Internet a better place.  Check Inside Test: We all have a “voice of conscience” inside of us that helps us figure out whether an action is right or wrong.

KEEPING IT PRIVATE (PRIVACY)
 It is important to learn to protect your own privacy and respect the privacy of others when you use the Internet.
 The Internet is never private.2
C:\8
th Grade Computers/Computer Ethics/Computer Ethics Study Guide.doc 08/20/09 Copyright © 2005, Laura Parcell
KEEPING IT PRIVATE (PRIVACY) (CONT’D.)
 It’s important to remember that everything you do or write when using the Internet is stored in electronic form someplace.
 Others may be able to track or access what you have done or what you have said.  People can find out things about you that you did not want them to know.  It is important to think about what information you want to keep private.  You should talk to your parents about the types of information about your family that should be kept private.

 You cannot share private information about other people in public or private electronic messages or anyplace else on the Internet.
 What people write in private messages to you should be treated with respect.  You should not expect to have privacy when you use the Internet at school.  Schools monitor all Web activity.
 Chat messages are archived (stored) on a computer system somewhere.  They are easily accessible by anyone who knows how to search for them.  Commercial Web sites are interested in obtaining as much personal information from you as they can.

 When you visit a new Web site, read its privacy policy.
 When you are on a commercial Web site, be careful about responding to any questionnaires, surveys/polls, or entering any contests.
INFORMATION PRIVACY
 Refers to the right of individuals and companies to deny or restrict the collection and use of information about them.
...
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