Thou Shalt Not Use a Computer Steal – Research Paper

Studies regarding moral and ethical issues in information systems have become increasingly accepted as significant and legitimate. This is because of the way they raise various challenges that are, somehow, difficult for information system scholars to note and address. In this paper, an explanation of why people should not use computers to steal will be provided; it will also provide human and technological protective measures that can be used as security safeguards and enforcement actions against using computers to steal. There is a ripple effect associated with the introduction of modern information technology giving rise to new social, political and ethical issues (Andreason, 2011). These issues require being addressed on social, political, individual and technological levels. It is, also, worth noting that these issues are related to five key moral dimensions: accountability and control, quality of life, system quality, property rights and obligations, information rights and obligations. According to Stair and Reynolds (2011), technology is like a double-edged sword in the sense that it can derive a lot of benefits for others while creating opportunities for others to break the law.

Stealing using a computer is a criminal activity and can happen in different ways using the internet or computer. A common form of theft through computers is hacking where criminals use highly advanced implements to access a secure internet or computer location. The second form is theft that involves illegal interception of an electronic transmission that is intended for the legitimate receiver; not the interceptor (Andreason, 2011). This may lead to criminals intercepting private information such as credit card information, passwords, or identity. Using computers to steal also happens through scamming. Scams are schemes organized through emails, text messages, phone calls, or posts that criminals use to con money or other valuables from other people. In the case of computers, computer viruses have a significant application in hacking to steal other people’s identity and money (Britz, 2013). Hackers; for instance, use computer viruses to plant undesirable software on other people’s computers. They then use these implanted software to send spam email, enable scammers control other computers, and scan for secret information like credit card numbers and passwords. They also display unwanted advertising, monitor other people’s activities on their computers, and host illegal websites on their computers to con many other people.

However, despite all despite all these cyber threats especially theft by use of computers, there are various human and technological measures that can be used to provide security and safeguards for computers. One of the technological measures involves installation of updates to Windows operating system. Such updates in the view of (Britz, 2013) are sometimes known as patches or hot fixes. Microsoft is the main issuer of these updates, which are significant for fixing any security gaps that may be noticed in the Windows operating system. This approach installs the latest patches on the computer ensuring that Windows remains up-to-date. The second technological measure is installation of an anti-virus program on the computer (Stair & Reynolds, 2011). Antivirus programs are significant for helping to inhibit, notice and remove Trojan horses, malware like spyware and adware and other viruses. The third human and technological measure to counter computer crimes is changing passwords on a frequent basis. In most cases, computer security is dependent on strong password especially in the era of multi-user systems.

There are a number of problems related to management information system that may result from cyber-criminal activities such as theft through computers. These problems include poor staffing, changing computing environment and problems regarding information system use process (Britz, 2013). To solve the above mentioned problems, technological experts or skilled staff should be engaged to take charge of management information systems. Secondly, there requires being regular technological advancements to cope with the changing computing environment. Thirdly, computer users should be provided with sufficient information regarding information systems to enable them make valid decisions (Britz, 2013).  This is because most users are not familiar with the output they receive.

In conclusion, Studies regarding moral and ethical issues in information systems have become increasingly accepted as significant and legitimate. There is a ripple effect associated with the introduction of modern information technology giving rise to new social, political and ethical issues. Stealing using a computer is a criminal activity and can happen in different ways using the internet or computer. Installation of updates to Windows operating system, installation of an anti-virus program on the computer, and changing passwords on a frequent basis are some of the measures that can be implemented to prevent theft using computers.


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