Computer Ethics

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What are ethics? Before I started this class, my basic definition would be the moral principles that someone lives by. I believe that I am living up to be a moral and ethically person. In my life, I try not to be dishonest, I do not steal, lie, or cheat. As a parent, I am also teaching my children to be ethically. I use these same ethics, or principles when I am online. To make sure I was on the right path, I “googled” the definition of ethics. I came across this term:

Ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the behavior of a group or individual. Therefore, computer ethics is set of moral principles that regulate the use of computers. Some common issues of computer ethics include intellectual property rights (such as copyrighted electronic content), privacy concerns, and how computers affect society.

For example, while it is easy to duplicate copyrighted electronic (or digital) content, computer ethics would suggest that it is wrong to do so without the author's approval. And while it may be possible to access someone's personal information on a computer system, computer ethics would advise that such an action is unethical.1

Then I came across another problem with the issue of ethics. Are computers making us unethical or do people lose all principles of ethically being when they go online. I am going with the belief that the computer is the “vehicle” and the human is the “passenger”. The computer is taking us to unknown territory. Some people think that when they go online, that they are invisible, that they can do things without getting caught. People think they can “travel” and go to websites and have no consequences. So the big question is, how can we expect computers users to be ethical when they turn the computer is on.

Another dilemma is how can we make sure that people are being ethical. Can we even do that? What safeguards does the web offer? What should we look for in order not to get scammed?
This research paper will look at ethics through the eyes of a mom, as a college student, as a person that is learning that computers are taking over the world. I spend a lot of time on the computer, schoolwork, banking, and catching up with friends. My research includes the Ashford University Library, computer websites, discussion boards, and asking friends what they think. I have a lot of personal experience with computers. I do all my finances online. Everyday I hear people saying that someone got their password to the bank and that the account has been cleaned out. I am lucky to say that this has never happened to me, and hopefully never will. But I do have to say that banks and financially institutions did step up and make provisions so if this does happen the customers is not responsible if it is fraud. We do need stiffer penalties for the culprit.

As a student of Ashford University, one of the first English classes I took was all about how to write a paper, do research, and cite references. We had a week long discussion on plagiarism, what we thought of it, and how to avoid it. Plagiarism is copying word for word someone else’s work, art, or poetry without their permission. As a student, I read and reread articles until I understand it. Then I am able to write my paper with the correct information. When taking someone’s work, it must be cited and referenced. It’s only right to say ‘thank you’, when you borrow that though or idea.

With this paper I have been asking my close friends, different groups people that I socialize with, just asking lots of questions, looking to see for my own personal research. The most frequent question was, do you lie? The results are below in the graph:

Information from
221 women asked, “Do you lie on”
206 said “No”.
13 said “sometimes”.
2 said, “Yes”.
After I seen my results, I did ask a few more questions. These people that I asked...
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