Cyber Ethics

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Cyber Ethics:
Rules for Using the Web
We all have heard of ethics. According to Webster's II New College Dictionary (1995), ethics is the rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession. As Winn Schwartau (2001) stated "ethics is also about understanding how your actions will affect other people". Cyber-ethics is the ethical decisions we make when using the Internet. We are tasked to use the Internet on a daily basis and we task students to use the Internet regularly, but to use it properly we must adhere to ethics. Ethics is not a law but your moral code. We must know how to avoid plagiarism, know the acceptable use of the Internet, and we must be familiar with Censorship in order to know what moral standards to follow with the World Wide Web. Plagiarism, or as Steven Gardiner (2001) calls it cyber cheating is the new twist for cheating. Over the years plagiarism has become much harder to detect. But, how do you know when a student has copied his work from online, and not give the proper credit to the rightful owner? I remember working on my undergrad and to prevent cyber cheating my professor only allowed us to use a limited number of Internet cites. The rest were to be from physical books from the library. I can see why a student would copy a paper over writing one. It only takes a few minutes to search the web, cut and paste, and then add you name. The time they saved in research just added more time for them to do the things that are fun. The second way to detect cyber cheating according to Gardiner (2001) is that if you task a student to write a paper is MLA and the paper is in APA it is almost a given that the paper was not written by the student. As most teachers are parents or have that parental instinct, they are aware of the capabilities of their students. So another way to determine if the paper is a fake is ask yourself if that student could really produce that quality of work. To understand the appropriate use of the Internet you have to know what is acceptable and what is not. The Department of Justice categorizes computer crimes in three different ways: the computer as a target, the computer as a weapon, and the computer as an accessory (e.g., para 2, "What is Cyber Crime?" n.d.). We must teach children how to use the Internet the right way. Much of what we know is learned, and the same goes for using the web. Accoring to Radnofsky and Vuko (2004) we can do these things to educate kids on cyber crimes: Educate yourself about the dangers (identity theft, illegal purchases, hacking, cyberstalkers, scam artists, "phishers", viruses, worms...) because ignoring these computer crimes unfortunately won't make them go away. Learn the "cyber" vocabulary. There are new words out there, meaningful to your children. Make sure you understand the lingo. Talk with your kids about cyberprivacy & safety --- personal, family, emotional, physical. Talk about ethics & morality with the family. Establish an agreement as to what all of you believe, (make sure it's legal!), and stick to it. Question your children's schools and teachers as to what --- if anything --- they are doing in cyberethics. This has national standards that are required to be taught, just like standards in reading and math. The Socrates Institute has designed "The CyberEthics Project," a comprehensive K-12 curriculum in cyberethics, for schools to use across the country. It helps to increase the students' awareness of the consequences, safety, legal and ethical use regarding the Internet and other forms of electronic data (Radnofsky & Vuko 2004). To find out more about the project visit their website at http://www.socratesinstitute.org.

We also have to monitor to see what students are accessing online. Because of the First Amendment, it is hard to censor what is published on the web. Congress did pass legislation requiring Internet blocking technology to block pornographic materials in all public schools and...
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