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Sample Paper: Technology_Assignemnt_-_Impact_of_the_Internet_on_Privacy.doc

Introduction

Use of the internet affects our daily lives in enormous ways. There are different aspects of our lives that have been affected by the internet, including working, communication, business and learning. Through the use of internet, one is able to keep contact with friends and family cheaply and to join groups that share information regarding current issues. One can trade online with securities and even take degrees and other education programs from overseas.

As a result, the internet has taken a central position in our life by enabling us to make communication and business process easy and faster (Denpaisarn, Thongmak & Ngarmyarn, 2009). However, the internet is said to expose users to different risks among them being the risk of lack of privacy. This is mainly due to the information that one has to share online while using the internet. Most of this information qualifies to be private and using it on the internet exposes individuals to the risk of lack of privacy as even their identity may be used by other individuals in committing cyber crime. This paper is an analysis of the impact that use of internet has on our privacy.

The internet has affected the privacy of employees and users in different ways. Among the way through which individual privacy is affected has to do with the stealing of online identity. The use of internet can get logged in on a site that asks for information of a personal nature. Hackers on the internet are always looking for this form of information. They use the information to create online profiles and use them to hack other sites or commit cyber crime (Denpaisarn, Thongmak & Ngarmyarn, 2009). When the trail of the crime is followed, it leads to the innocent individuals. The internet has also been risking individual financial information, in that when purchasing products online, people have to input their financial details. Hackers create fake buying and selling sites that ask for information of a personal nature. In most cases they are able to access this information and withdraw money from an individual’s card.

There are also cases of individuals applying for credit cards with other people’s personal information. This is where the information collected from the individual without his knowledge online is used to apply for credit cards from different banks by the hackers. They can then use the cards for shopping and the bills are directed to the information owner’s account (Crazier, Jensen & Dave, 2008). This is very risky as it poses a threat to individual finances and makes the internet an insecure place to offer an individual’s financial information.

Consumers and internet users are entitled to privacy, when using the internet to do business or to make purchases from companies. The government of United States of America has developed the “consumer privacy bill of right”, which is a part of the blueprint initiative meant to protect the American internet users from having their personal information by giving them technical and legal tools to safeguard themselves.

To ensure that the consumers and internet users are protected, the government is focused in putting in place a consumer’s privacy bill of rights that explains the right of the consumers to their private information and the obligations of the companies that handle personal information. There is also the enforcement of a federal trade commission that is charged with ensuring that companies are accountable and that they adhere to their privacy commitments (Radin, 2001) . Through the FTC, the government is also to draft and to implement a code of conduct that is to be followed by all the companies involved with online trading.

Cookies are small programs that are generated by websites and are stored in the computer RAM to help in remembering a person browsing pattern and history. This enables the internet user to access the sites without having to input the password on every visit. They normally send the information from site to the computer back and forth (Radin, 2001). They are a security risk as hackers can intercept the sending of the information from the server to your computer and get the website to send a cookie too their machine. These cookies contain personal information and passwords and hackers can use the information in committing cyber crime.

There are different measures that individuals can take to protect themselves from the risk of privacy violation on the internet. These include being careful with the information we offer online. One should ensure that they do not offer personal and financial information online without reason or on sites that are not trusted (Crazier, Jensen & Dave, 2008). One should also ensure that you log out your online subscriptions every time they are not in use. Do not leave your emails signed in and avoid saving your passwords when prompted by different websites.

One can also avoid the risk by making sure that you do not establish communication with unknown internet users and programs. Most of the junk emails are phishing emails and might have a way of tricking the user to offer their private information. In conclusion, internet has been very helpful with business communication and learning and has largely occupied a part of our life. The threat posed by lack of privacy online can lead to losses for the victims and it is advisable for individuals to take protective measures personally.

References
Radin, T. J. (2001). The privacy paradox: E-commerce and personal information on the internet. Business & Professional Ethics Journal, 20(3), 145-170.
Denpaisarn, P., Thongmak, M., & Ngarmyarn, A. (2009). The impact of internet users privacy concerns on trust in E- commercehttp://ezproxy.msu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/4224 3864?accountid=12598; http://www.internet-conf.org/Final_Program_ICWI2009.pdf
Crazier, J. A., Jensen, A. S., & Dave, D. S. (2008). The impact of consumer perceptions of information privacy and security risks on the adoption of residual RFID technologies. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 23, 14
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