Computing and Ethics
Software ethics refers to ensuring that the software being used is not pirated or unauthorized. Avoid using unauthorized copy of software by using public domain software or shareware. The major ethical issues include Individual’s Right to Privacy, Intellectual Property Rights and Accuracy of Information. Individual Right to Privacy involves issues like what information must be revealed to others under what conditions and with what safeguards. Issues pertaining to Individual’s Right to Privacy are collecting information, storing information and distributing information. Intellectual Property Rights are the rights of the owner to decide pricing, exchanging, sharing or distribution of his property. The ethical issues involved with Intellectual Property Rights are that the information must not be exchanged without the consent of the owner and the owner has every right to ensure that the information given to him is authentic, authorized and accurate. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure the security of information, material or things after purchasing them.
Two major threats to security of software and information sources are hacking and software piracy. Hacking is an attempt to gain information from undisclosed areas. Hackers hack systems with malicious intent and to damage some important system information. Software piracy is the unauthorized duplication of computer software. It refers to the denial of the intellectual property rights to the software developer. Common forms of software piracy include softlifting, uploading and downloading, software counterfeiting, hard disk loading and renting. The issues involved with software piracy are copyright, patent and trademark. Cyber crime involves a computer and a network. Cyber crime is an unlawful act where in the computer is either a tool or a target or both. Cyber law describes legal issues related to use of internetworked information technology.