Computer Ethics

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As of September 2003, there were approximately 70 million Americans or about 62 percent of the American population had at least one home computer. Another statistic is that about 55% of people also have internet on there home computers. In everyday life it is important for a person to have good ethics; this is also true about computer usage. Due to the fact that more then half of the American population owns computers, computer ethics are a growing concern in a rapidly changing society. Computer ethics can be broken down in to many topics including piracy, hacking, viruses, spam, phishing, and responsibility of use of software, cyber porn, and invasion of privacy and the use of the computer in the work place. Also there are many issues both moral and professional that a person who uses a computer might face. Piracy which by definition is reproduction, distribution and use of software without permission of the owner of copyright, poses some serious ethical problems. The free exchange of copyrighted materials is piracy as it undermines the ability of copyright holders (and their representatives) to control the sale and distribution of goods to which they—and only they—own the rights. Probably the best known and most widely practiced form of piracy is the distribution of copyright protected music files via popular file sharing programs such as Kazaa and Limewire. As bandwidth increases, the "sharing" of movies and television shows on the Internet is likely to increase as well. Although file sharing is quite common, that does not mean it is okay. Another ethical problem with computers is hacking. Hacking is the computer equivalent of breaking and entering. A computer hacker uses his or her skills to gain unauthorized access to another computer or computer network and, once inside, can wreak havoc by altering important information, deleting essential files, or just crashing the whole system. Many hackers who break into commercial Web sites are looking for...
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