Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Ethical Considerations in Information Technology

Our age is the age of information and information technology, and with it comes an age of ethics, When we make use of the new technologies introduced every day, we have to make decision what we must consider ethical and unethical. We must keep in consideration all factors in order that the use of the information freely available to many persons is not abused.
Information technology will be the most central area of ethical unease for business in the decade to come. As we enter the information age the novelty and power of information technology test the ethics of an average person not just the criminal and may cause several computer crimes to be committed every day. One of the most common computer crimes committed daily is the illegitimate distribution of computer software.
We do not contemplate even for a while when we share a program with others. We need to think about the programmers of the software who are denied compensation for their achievements every time we distribute a software illegally. A prevalent type of illegal software distribution is through the internet. Software pirates succeed easily online. These so called pirates work by uploading different types of software into an online service’s database that can then be downloaded in different ways. 
Though many people use their own accounts to access their service, but there are many who get into and use the accounts of others or make fake accounts. When online, these account pirates, regularly, trick other users into giving their passwords to them by impersonating an employee of the online service. There are some others who can hack into the online services mainframe computers and steal thousands of accounts. Perhaps, the most common method of getting online without having to pay is the use of fake accounts. These are made by giving wrong information when trying to get access to an online service. With these stolen and fake accounts, software pirates have virtually unlimited time to download their desired software and other data.
It is not only unlawful, but also unethical to distribute software knowing that the people behind the software are facing the downfalls of it. Every time software companies fail to reimburse their programmers for their work, more people are out of a job.
Mostly, young people interact with hackers, and they incorporate the beliefs of the hackers. And, thus, information technology and computers lead them to a career in computer crime. In most of the cases, it is the lack of education by parents and schools that helps to make these beliefs truer to a young person. Computer criminals have their own set of opinions about information and computers. Their opinions are based on the belief that software should be free and should be available to anyone. They also believe that passwords and other security measures are no more than hindrances to be overcome in finding data that should already be accessible and while data should never be wrecked, there is 
nothing wrong with viewing and transferring data for one's own use.
The key to stop computer criminals from their deeds is education. It is mostly the case that people commit computer crimes without even realizing that they are doing so and the reason for this is the deficiency of education and awareness. Only few schools teach computer ethics, and parents of the hackers are generally oblivious that their children have been illegally accessing computer systems. Colleges and universities that teach courses related to the technical aspects of computers and information technology do not typically include computer use and abuse in their courses, saying that it is the responsibility of the students themselves or their families. Similarly, many secondary school educators do not even know for sure about what should be taught and they are mostly hesitant or unable to add ethical computer education to many subjects in the curriculum. Textbooks on computer literacy hardly mention computer abuses and individual responsibilities. Educators and software developers need to work together to prevent software piracy in educational institutions.
It is difficult to live without computers and information technology but at the same time it is also unjust to let the piracy and unethical behavior prevail in the societies that use technology. It is, therefore, important that there should be consistent watch over such behavior and efforts should be made to stop them as much as possible because they result in negative outcomes of computers and information technology that otherwise are for the advantage and prosperity of human beings. Businesses need to include policies on access to information and privacy in their employee orientation and training. Schools and universities must also begin to incorporate computer ethics into their courses. Moreover, parents who are aware of these issues can also guide their children to make positive use of information technology and keep in consideration the ethical aspects.