E-victims: A Plea to Make the Internet a Safe and Secure Place for Everyone

Dangers of Internet

Three billion people or almost half of the world’s population are connected to the internet through their computers or mobile phones. People are connected to the world wide web and its different sites and platforms that serve our needs. One such need is for human connections. Even in this digital age, humans still crave connections and developing meaningful relationships with other people. After all, man is a social being. The scientist Matthew Lieberman said that our need to connect with others was as essential as our basic need for food and water. He said that our well-being depended on our connection with other people. Over the past years, social media have revolutionized how we connect and communicate with others. By definition, social media are forms of electronic communication where people can form online communities to connect with each other and share information, ideas, and messages, among others. Popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These channels make it possible for a person to create an online profile and connect with family, friends, and colleagues. We can send messages, post videos, and photos, and share the statuses of their lives and relationships. Social media enhances human connections by allowing people to express themselves, share their life experiences, keep in touch, and make new acquaintances and relationships. However, people should be encouraged to use social media responsibly by balancing and managing the time that they spend online compared to real-life interactions, and knowing how to maximize the benefits of these platforms.

The Digital Age

But what happens when people abuse the use of social media and other facets of the internet? What if there are people who go beyond their boundaries and intentionally harm other people through the use of the internet? Because that is the reality. Cybercrimes are committed every day. Cyber perpetrators are preying on three billion people all over the world. They can target even an unassuming teenager who is just playing with his smartphone inside their garage doors in Oklahoma. And the worst part is that these culprits are roaming freely in our streets because no one knows about what they are doing. They are hiding behind their computer screens as they wait for the right moment to pounce on their victims. They thrive in the anonymity offered by the internet.

We always say that we live in the digital age. But perhaps we have never fully grasped the meaning of this. Yes, it means we can access all the information that we need with just a click of the keypad. But it also means that our information is easily accessible to other people – people who may have bad intentions and evil thoughts. We are all prey to cybercriminals who can use our information for their own interest and worse, for our downfall. And the sad part is that cybercrimes are becoming rampant. This page is a call to action. Let our government officials and law enforcers do their part in ensuring that these criminals are held accountable for their crimes. Implement laws that would deter cybercrimes so that we can feel safe and secure even in the cyber world.

Dangers of Social Media

Dangers of Social Media

Researchers have pointed out the risks of using Facebook and other social media networking sites. These sites become channels for spreading gossips and feeding ugly rumors. A more serious threat is the invasion of privacy. They become vulnerable to hacking, phishing, and harassment. Thus, there is a need for users to change their attitudes like being vigilant and careful in sharing information on these social networking sites. These findings were supported by a research done by Denise Agosto and June Abbas about older teen’s perceptions and behaviors concerning online privacy and their safety attitudes. Their respondents knew that there was no true privacy online and they felt discomfort in sharing information with those unintended audiences who could have access to all the information you shared online. Despite these perceptions, they still felt the need to share information to get approval from their peers and get a larger social audience. They disregarded whatever discomfort they felt just to earn the approval of other people. This shows that there is a need to teach the younger generation about being responsible and cautious social media users so that they can enjoy its benefits without putting themselves at risk.

Social media networking sites have changed the ways we connect with other people. Depending on how we use it, we can use social media to benefit from it. Its advantages include developing social connectedness, enhancing our sense of belongingness, and contributing to our overall well-being. It should be noted however that we can only reap the benefits of using social media when we use it responsibly. We should, therefore, think before we click, be mindful of our boundaries, and be accountable to others and others that what we post represent our real selves. When we do not do this, we put ourselves and even our loved ones at risk. There are dangers in the online world such as cyberbullying, harassment, and invasion of privacy. Hence, we should be responsible users of social media and always exercise caution when sharing information online so that these will not be used against us.

Ethics in Digital Media Engagement

Digital Media Engagement

Digital media and its possible consequences call for an ethical standard to be maintained by all users to achieve peace and security in the cyber world. But since the internet has reached a global scale, how can we demand responsibility and accountability for what people put online? Truth is, it is a very difficult task. It takes a long process to detect and apprehend the persons responsible for committing cyber crimes. But let us not lose hope. We can do something now. Aside from legal means, it is encouraged to promote digital media ethics. We can uphold ethical standards for digital media engagement and disseminate this useful information to members of our community. Let us be responsible users of the internet. We should think before we click. Users should be educated about core values and the code of ethics in using the internet. Core values should dwell on accountability, advocacy, and social responsibility to those with access to the internet. We should spread the culture of trust and respect. There should be a standard of balance, impartiality, and knowing your boundaries. When these values and standards are in place, we can expect that there would be no invasion of privacy, no threat to security and cyberwar, and basically, people will not use the internet to harm other people. Of course, this is easier said than done. But it is a challenge worth undertaking. Making the public aware of their responsibilities is part of computer literacy. They should also know the risks they face when engaging in digital media. Ethics has always been concerned about right and wrong. When core values and standards are in place and preserved, people have guiding principles that would direct their actions and behaviors while using digital media. In this way, people can maximize the benefits of the internet without compromising their safety and security.

Cyber Crimes

The Digital Age

Since the world has gone digital, the crimes have also leveled up to encompass the realm of cyberspace. There are many crimes and offenses that happen on the world wide web. They can be in the form of simple text messages, or those photos, videos, and audio recordings that have been uploaded and shared for the public to see. The content of these digital files is seen as malicious and threatening to the victims. There are also individuals or groups who deliberately spread computer viruses or harmful software to ordinary citizens who do not have any idea about the malicious intent of the sender. Important documents get corrupted or their hardware is rendered useless after receiving such files. There are also cases that demonstrate an invasion of privacy. For example, the private facts of an individual can be disclosed in public without the victim’s consent. Oftentimes, the people behind this want to create a scandal to disgrace the victim in other people’s eyes. Another cybercrime that is very common is copyright infringement. People do not give due credit or worse, claim the work of other people as theirs. In extreme cases, digital media has been a venue for cyberwar between nations or political groups. These cases make us realize that the world wide web is not your typical arena wherein you can see whom you are going against. These malicious cyber activities are done in secret and you do not see the person responsible for such criminal behavior. They even say it requires only a few people and limited resources to start a war through the use of the internet. One nation can go against another nation because of cyberwar. The problem with cybercrimes is that it is hard to go after the perpetrators as they could be anywhere around the globe. These examples of crimes and offenses on the internet make us realize how cyber crimes have grown in scope and magnitude. They can affect an individual person, a company, an entire nation, or the world.