July 4, 2010
While modern technology has made life more accommodating with cell phones, computers and iPods, technology has also made it more convenient for hackers and other Internet predators. For people with family and friends that live far away, a web cam and the Internet makes it simple to keep in touch. E-mailing and other social networks available on the Internet also make it effortless to talk to someone halfway around the world. Banking, paying bills, shopping and even reading the newspaper can all be done online. “Distance learning” or attending school online offers someone an education, high school diploma, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the comfort of their own home. With all of these modern day conveniences there are downsides. Computer hackers can get your banking information, personal information such as social security number, date of birth or credit card information with a little effort and make anyone a victim of identity fraud. By getting personal information, they can make purchases online or at a store, maxing a credit card out. Also, the culprit can apply for more credit cards with your name, social security number and date of birth leaving you ultimately responsible for anything they have purchased. By the time you have figured out what happened it would be too late to try and catch the guilty party. Now that people are more informed about these crimes they are taking precautionary steps to keep this from happening.
Twenty years ago, attending college online seems like something out of a futuristic movie, but it is possible today. More and more students enroll in online classes each year. Almost 3.5 million, or 20 percent, of all college students took one or more online courses during the 2006-2007 academic years -- an increase of almost 10 percent over the previous year, according to Sloan Consortium, a foundation-supported organization working to improve online education. (Cincotta, 2008). An increasing number of colleges provided distance-learning opportunities. A pioneer in the field was the University of Phoenix, which by 2008 had more than 300,000 students. Capella University (owned by Capella Education Co. and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn.) offered many graduate programs at a distance; Nova Southeastern University's Fischler School of Education and Human Services (its campus was located in North Miami Beach, Fla.) enrolled more than 14,000 master’s and doctoral students; and Western Governors University (a nonprofit online university founded by the governors of 19 states) served thousands of students. (Britannica Online, 2010.) It is great to know that no matter where you are in the world, a person can earn a degree in various fields.
In the last 1970s and early 1980s cell (ular) phones were introduced. Cell phones were only a wealthy person’s commodity, but now anyone can attain one. They are very helpful when traveling or running errands around town. Cell phones now have the capability to text, browse the Internet, send and receive emails, take pictures, record and store videos, download music, and even watch live television. While cell phones are handy devices, you must use caution while driving. Cell phone use contributes to an estimated 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year (Harvard Center of Risk Analysis). Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver’s reaction as much as possessing a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08% (University of Utah). The stigma that more teenagers text while driving more than adults has been put to rest. A study by the Pew Research Center found that about 47% of adults who use the text-messaging function on their cell phones said they have read or sent messages while driving. That...