The Internet has evolved into an essential component for vast majorities in their daily lives. It is impossible to cite any organizations, businesses, hospitals, companies, and even offices where the Internet is not used to enhance their performance. The Internet has become a way of life and a primary necessity in the developed world. Developing nations have also embraced this invention (Swapnil). In a bid to improve access and cut down on costs, many nations have made substantial investments to this effect. From these facts, we can deduce that all levels of society have realized the benefits of this amenity.
As a means of communication, this phenomenon avails a plethora of packages to suit the divergent requirements we may have at different periods. The use of email and other communication-oriented programs like Skype has revolutionized communication procedures. With Skype, for example, international voice calls are charged at 40 cents (American currency) while other service providers charge an average of $5. Electronic mail (email) is also affordable and can contain as much information as ordinary letters. Social networking sites, like Twitter, Myspace, Facebook and others provide diverse platforms for interaction and communication (Salehnia 195). People can begin a friendship, have conversations, share pictures and perform other recreational activities.
It should be noted that a large part of the populace is oblivious of the dangers the Internet portends to them. A vast majority of users are ignorant of existing rules and regulations governing the flow of information when using the Internet. There are several modes of cybercrimes, which constitute a direct infringement, of user privacy (Murugan, and Simmers 205).
Summarily, hacking refers to uncertified access of information on secure and unsecured networks. It requires creativity and technical know-how of operational procedures (Youn 400). Ethical hackers may be employed, in consultancy capacities, to help organizations improve on the security of their network servers, by identifying possible threats (Metzger 336). They engage under cyber laws. Unethical hackers pilfer information for personal gain and fraud.
Most Internet sites we visit require us to divulge some information to them, whether personal or not. When sending email messages, the sender discloses their address and that of the recipient. The use of online search engines requires a unique identification code for that search (Salehnia 195). These sets of information are called IP addresses in technical terms. Service providers cannot monitor the information while it is on transit, hence are powerless to notice any forms of interception by hackers (Swapnil).
New technology enables us to offset our payment demands at the touch of buttons. Although a majority of banks have passwords and other encryption methods in place to ensure integrity, it is difficult to guarantee the entire security of this information. Large fractions of the American populace who have served time lament their inability to find employment (P R C). This is a direct consequence of the government’s decision to discard manual record-keeping for electronic. To achieve this, the records may be sold to third-party data managers who avail them on definite sites, or they may be posted in government portals and accessed at a fee.
From the few examples above, we can conclude that maintaining privacy while on the Internet is difficult. Where possible, users should restrict themselves to stand-alone computers. When on a network, direct contact with your computer is not necessary before a breach is performed (P R C). It is necessary to use firewall programs always since they regulate the information your computer uploads or downloads. They are programmed to demand your authorization before allowing the exchange of information. Antivirus programs will shelter the computer from malicious software that reduces computer efficiency and causes data loss (Metzger 336).
They should be updated regularly since new virus programs are released daily. Lastly, the use of anti-malware programs guards against programs that spy on personal information in computers. We should use multiple programs simultaneously since most of them are not fully efficient and effective.
Metzger, Miriam. Communication Privacy Management in Electronic Commerce. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 2007 12: 335–361.
Murugan, Anandarajan and Simmers, Claire. Managing Web Usage in the Workplace: A Social,Ethical and Legal Perspective. Illustrated. Idea Group Inc (IGI) 2003 205.
P R C. Fact sheet 18: Online Privacy: Using the Internet Safely. Privacy Rights Clearinghouse 2010. Web.
Salehnia, Ali. Ethical Issues of Information Systems. Illustrated. Idea Group Inc (IGI) 2002 195.
Swapnil Srivastava. What is Computer Hacking. Intelligent Life on the Web 2010. Web.
Youn, Seoumini. Determinants of Online Privacy Concern and Its Influence on Privacy Protection Behaviors Among Young Adolescents. Journal of Consumer Affairs. 2009 43: 389–418.