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CHAPTER 8 - LEGAL AND ETHICAL USE OF TECHNOLOGY

This chapter will enlighten you on the proper and ethical use of software and other school arachnologies. Technology and software
issues are also elaborated in order for you to be aware and be guided in doing the right thing and avoiding the unacceptable acts that may
lead you to committing or possible software and technology crimes that are against the law.
At the end of this chapter, you are expected to:
Propose school policies on the use of technology in teaching and learning in the 21st century.
ETHICAL USE OF SCHOOL TECHNOLOGY
When we were young, our parents used to teach us the right behavior and etiquette. Whenever we are in the church, we behave,
we don’t eat, drink, talk, and play, and we dress appropriately; when in a movie house, we don’t talk and we turn our phones in silent mode;
while eating, we don’t text or even hold our electronic gadgets and we don’t talk when our mouth is full; whenever there is a queue, we
patiently wait for our turn; and many others. Even in schools and classes, there are certain behaviors and ethics we need to observe to achieve
a healthy relationship with teachers and classmates. In the use of school technologies, both teachers and students must recognize and
observe the ethical use of school technologies to achieve rightfully the main purpose of technology to support teaching and learning.

ETHICS FOR COMPUTER USERS


1. Use the computer to help people and not to do harm.
2. Use your own or assigned computer unit and not to interfere with others work.
3. Use the computer using your own files and not to use others files.
4. Use the computer to share information and not to seal others information
5. Use the computer to spread truthful information and not to do character assassination.
6. Use software that are original and legal and not pirated.
7. Use others computer resources with permission and not to duplicate it without authorization.
8. Use your own work and not the work of others.
9. Use the computer that shows respect and consideration for other people and not to do cyber bullying
10. Create programs or software having in mind its social impact and not for self-interest.
ETHICAL ISSUES IN TECHNOLOGY AND SOFTWARE
1. Unauthorized Access and Use of Hardware, Software, Network, and Computer Files
There are many cases when we want some things to be kept private and would not allow others to use it, such diaries, messages
in our mobile phones and e-mails, and many others. Same is true when it comes to accessing of computer units and other hardware
devices, software, network, and most of all computer files.
If somebody would use anybody’s computer and files without permission from the owner, that is called unauthorized access. A
person is called a cracker or a hacker if he/she tries to access a computer or network illegally to access data and commit malicious acts like
identify theft.
Hacker originally means a computer enthusiast who does well in computer that benefits other people. However, the term hacker
now has an adverse connotation which refers a person who breaks into the computer system to steal or corrupt the data in it.
We are advised most of the time to protect our computer unit, mobile phones, gadgets, and files by providing a password so no one
can get into it and block them from accessing and using our gadgets and files. Below are some tips in carefully creating a password:
 Use at least eight characters.
 Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, words, numbers, and special characters.
 Use joined words together.
 Add one or more numbers at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.
 Use words from other languages.
 Use a password that can be remembered easily.
 Select a password that can be entered easily even without looking at the keyboard.
 Do not leave written copies of your passwords anywhere.
 Do not share your password to anyone.
No matter how much we protect the data in our computer hard drives, there are times that it is still susceptible from hacking. To
prevent possible events of hacking, schools install firewalls. A firewall is a security system (hardware and/ or software) that blocks
unauthorized access to data on a network. Firewall restricts teachers and students from accessing malicious data that may harm in schools
computer hardware, software, and files. All communications in schools are being routed through a proxy server which screens all incoming
and outgoing messages.
2. Hardware Theft and Vandalism
Hardware theft and vandalism are some of the security challenges encountered by school administrators and teachers. Computer
theft is stealing of hardware and its devices, while computer vandalism is the act of damaging or breaking the hardware-cutting the cables
and wires, smashing the computer and its devices – and deleting of software or computer files.
To prevent hardware theft and vandalism, security system and precautionary measures are employed in schools such as setting up
of security cameras, installing locks in computer units, devices, and its wires to keep these in place. For LCD projectors that stay in the
classrooms, they are housed in steel brackets with locks. Notebooks or laptops that are being barrowed by teachers student for class used
are being closely monitored. Some schools implement policies that allow the administrators or person-in-charge of the computer laboratory
and other school equipment to keep the hardware secured and intact.
The best precautionary measure in keeping the hardware safe is to have full awareness on its security by not leaving it anywhere
and unattended.
3. Software Theft
Software piracy is a form of software theft. This happens when a person copies illegally copyrighted software for personal or business
use. When a person purchases software, he/she actually purchases the right to use the software but does not own the software. Software
that has been purchased has with it a software license which provides conditions for its used. This condition must first be agreed by the user
prior to its use.
An end-user license agreement (EULA) or single-user license agreement is the common type of licensed included in software
packages purchased by an individual. Some of the conditions are:
 Users may install the software on only one computer.
 Users are prohibited to install the software on a network (school computer lab network).
 Users may make one copy for back up purposes.
 Users are prohibited to give copies to friend and colleagues.
Going against the agreement is a violation of a copyright law, thus, committing a federal crime. In US, penalties reach up to $250,000
and up to five years in jail. In the Philippines penalties reach up to Php1,500,000 and up to 6-9 years imprisonment.
Schools enforce policies regarding the installation and use of computer software to make sure that the conditions that have agreed
upon are strictly monitored and followed. To make these policies known to all, it would be better if teachers are given orientations by the
academic heads, after which teachers orient their students regarding the use of technologies with its software to prevent such violations.
Table 8.1. Various Types of Software Licenses Used in Education
Type of Characteristics Used in Schools
License
Single-user Software can be installed only in one computer. Some Used when school needs only a few copies of a particular
license agreements allow users to install the software on software. Commonly found in small schools and when
one desktop computer and one notebook computer. purchasing specialized software programs.
Multi-user Software can be installed on a set number of computers, Cost-effective method to install software on more than one
typically 5, 10, 50, or more. Cost varies based on number computer. Most commonly used in schools.
of computers.
Network Software is installed on the school’s network. The license Cost-effective method of allowing students and teachers
License will specify and the software will control a specific throughout the schools to have access to an application
number of simultaneous users such as 50, 100, 250, or software program. As schools continue to install networks,
500. Cost varies based on number of computers. network license are becoming more common.
Community Frequently used with software distributed on CD’s/DVD’s. Very cost-effective method for school districts to purchase
License Any number of programs can be purchased from either large quantities of software. Savings can be significant over
Macintosh or PC platforms. individual CD or pricing.
4. Information Theft
Information theft is a computer crime when one deliberately steals information for purposes of studying how to complete with other
organizations or companies. Getting confidential information about school administrators, academic officials, teachers, staff, and students
without legal authorization is considered as information theft.
To prevent access of information through the use of computers and networks, schools implement the use of encrypton. Encrypton
is the process of converting readable data to unreadable one. An encrypton key is needed to enable the person to convert it back in readable
form. A person who illegally accesses the information would only see characters that do not contain any meaning.
5. Malicious Acts in Software
The following malicious acts are commonly experienced in e-mails, cellphones, instant or text messaging device and blogs.
 Spam is an unwanted message being received through e-mails, discussion boards, text messaging devices, and others. Spams are
truly annoying for it fills up your inbox and then later wastes your time in deleting these spam messages A spam sent through instant
messaging devices is called a spim, while spam sent through Internet Telephony is called a split.
 Phising may also be called as carding or spoofing. Phising is a scam which an agent sends a legitimate-looking e-mail that attempts
to steal a personal and financial information including bank account numbers of the recipient.
 Spam messages can be reduced if not prevented by adjusting the built-in settings in your e-mails to delete spam automatically.
Outlook Express has in its set up that can block messages from a particular sender or subject. E-mail filtering blocks unwanted e-mail
messages from designated sources. Antispam program can also help block these unwanted messages before it reaches your inbox.
The problem that these antispam and e-mail filtering can brings is that it sometimes block and remove valid/legal e-mail messages.
 Malware is a malicious software that causes harm to one or more computers. This malware enters to the scene when an attachment
to a message that carries a virus is opened and then later shared to other computers via network or via portable storage medium
(CD, external hard drive, flash drive, etc.)
 Adware is a software that incorporates the presentation of advertisement as condition for operating the software.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses of School Technology
Schools may have different rules and regulations or policies in implementing acceptable and unacceptable use of school technology.
It is important to set these policies so everyone in school, administrators, academic officials, teachers, staff, and students may be guided and
act accordingly in the proper use of school technologies. Below are examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses of school technologies.
Examples of Acceptable Use Examples of Unacceptable Use
of School Technology Of School Technology
 Abiding by the policies and procedures  Altering files by deleting files, downloading programs, or copying or installing unauthorized
of other networks that are accessed. files or programs.
 Being polite and using appropriate  Assuming the identity or using the password or materials of another.
language.  Conducting commercial activities, advertising products, or taking part in political lobbying.
 Deleting unwanted messages or old  Downloading text, graphics, or software, or engaging in behaviors that may be considered
data from computers and servers. obscene, abusive, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane, or lewd.
 Enforcing appropriate use and reporting  Gaining access to any pay-for-view site,
misuse or security issues.  Giving out your own or other’s private information such as address, phone number, or
 Running antivirus software on passwords.
downloaded files, attachments,  Harassing an individual using the internet.
peripherals, or disk.  Plagiarizing
 Signing correspondence.  Transmitting material that violates any local or country’s regulation, such as copyrighted,
 Using online time efficiently. threatening, or obscene material.
 Using the internet ethically and legally.  Vandalizing equipment, digital files, or willfully spreading computer viruses.