Cyber Security awareness is required well at all levels, from the individual user to an organization and beyond that to the government and the nation. Computer Networking forms the backbone of critical infrastructure of the country’s banking, power, communication network, etc. hence cyber security is becoming synonymous with National Security. Today’s network is vulnerable to Cyber Attacks, and very important to have secure Computer Systems and Networks. Increased focus on outsourcing of IT and other services from developed countries is bringing the issue of data security more important. Now-a- day’s massive usage of Internet by lot of home users with little or no prior knowledge of the threats and their countermeasures are exposed to the Internet. This is why the attackers, can exploit to expand their base of malicious activity and use innocent people for their schemes. It is very much required to make aware children, teachers, parents and senior citizens and equips them with the knowledge needed to mitigate the threat. The importance of Cyber Security is growing immensely hence Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India has formulated and initiated the Information Security Education and Awareness (ISEA) programme to aware all citizens.
Importance of Cyber Security
Cyber security is important for the users because they have to protect themselves against identity theft. Organizations including government also need this security to protect their trade secrets, financial information, and some sensitive or critical data. Since all sensitive information that is mostly stored on a computer is connected to the Internet, there is a need for information assurance and security. Everyone should follow the Cyber Security standards that enable us to protect various Malware threats. A poor cyber security practice arises because of some of the following reasons.
- a) Poor administrative guidelines of application
- b) Poor software coding, which may be vulnerable
- c) Improper usage of Cyber Security practices.
Computer Ethics for Everyone:
Ethics are a set of moral principles that govern an individual or a group on what is acceptable behaviour while using a computer. Computer ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the usage of computers. One of the common issues of computer ethics is violation of copyright issues. Duplicating copyrighted content without the author’s approval, accessing personal information of others are some of the examples that violate ethical principles. Internet ethics means acceptable behaviour for using Internet. We should be honest, respect the rights and property of others on the Internet.
- a) Acceptance
One has to accept that Internet is not a value free-zone. It means World Wide Web is not a waste wild web it is a place where values are considered in the broadest sense so we must take care while shaping content and services and we should recognize that Internet is not apart from universal society but it is a primary component of it.
- b) Sensitivity to National and Local cultures
It belongs to all and there is no barrier of national and local cultures. It cannot be subject to one set of values like the local TV channel; or the local newspaper .We have to accommodate multiplicity of usage.
- c) While using e-Mail and chatting
Internet must be used for communication with family and friends. Avoid chatting with strangers and forwarding e- mails from unknown people/strangers. And we must teach children about risks involved in chatting and forwarding e- mails to strangers.
- d) Pretending to be someone else
We must not use Internet to fool others by pretending to be someone else. Hiding our own identity to fool others in the Internet world is a crime and may also be arisk to others. It’s our responsibility to teach children the same.
- e) Avoid Bad language
We must not use rude or bad language while using e-Mail, chatting, blogging and social networking, we need to respect their views and should not criticize anyone on the Internet and the same should be taught to children.
- f) Hide personal information
We should teach children not to give personal details like home address, phone numbers, interests, passwords. No photographs should be sent to strangers and they should be asked to hide their personal details from strangers because it might be misused and shared with others without their knowledge.
- g) While Downloading
Internet is used to listen and learn about music, It is also used to watch videos and play games. We must not use it to download them or share copyrighted material. The same should be taught to children, and they must be aware of the importance of copyrights and issues of copyright.
- h) Supervision
You should know what children are doing on the Internet and the sites they visit on the Internet and should check with whom they are communicating. Restrict those browsing inappropriate sites. Parental involvement is essential when a child is using the Internet in order to make him follow the rules.
- i) Encourage children to use Internet
We must encourage children, students and others to gain the knowledge from the Internet and use it wisely. Internet is a great tool where we can gather information which can be used for learning.
Access to Internet
The Internet is a time-efficient tool for everyone that enlarges the possibilities for curriculum growth. Learning depends on the ability to find relevant and reliable information quickly and easily, and to select, understand and assess that information. Searching for information on the Internet can help to develop these skills. Classroom exercises and take-home assessment tasks, where students are required to compare website content, are ideal for alerting students to the requirements of writing for different audiences, the purpose of particular content, identifying and judging accuracy and reliability. Since many sites adopt particular views about issues, the Internet is a useful tool for developing the skills of distinguishing fact from opinion and exploring subjectivity and objectivity.
Through e-Mail, chat rooms and discussion groups, students learn the basic principles of communication in the written form. Collaborative projects are also useful for engaging students and providing significant learning experiences. In this way, the Internet becomes an effective means of advancing intercultural understanding. Moderated chat rooms and group projects can also provide students with opportunities for collaborative learning.
Ethical rules for computer users
Some of the rules that individuals should follow while using a computer are listed below:
- Do not use computers to harm other users.
- Do not use computers to steal others information.
- Do not access files without the permission of the owner.
- Do not copy copyrighted software without the author’s permission.
- Always respect copyright laws and policies.
- Respect the privacy of others, just as you expect the same from others.
- Do not use other user’s computer resources without their permission.
- Use Internet ethically.
- Complain about illegal communication and activities, if found, to Internet service Providers and local law enforcement authorities.
- Users are responsible for safeguarding their User Id and Passwords. They should not write them on paper or anywhere else for remembrance
- Users should not intentionally use the computers to retrieve or modify the information of others, which may include password information, files, etc.
Privacy Issues Especially for Children and Students
Many children are skilled navigators of the Internet. They are comfortable using computers and are fascinated by the information and images that can be explored at the click of a mouse. Recent figures show that 90% of school-age children have access to computers either at home or at school. The ability to interact and communicate with others is one of the biggest attractions of the Internet for children. We are watching about spending time with people in chat rooms and instant messaging through mobiles, playing games, entering contests and filling forms in popular online activities. Unfortunately, most parents don’t really understand how such activities can put their children’s privacy at risk or even threaten their safety. Surprisingly in India, most parents never know about some of the activities that their child is participating on the Internet.
In today’s Internet communications scenario, the personal data is valuable and protecting the same has become a skill that the children need to understand and learn. The privacy of children can be compromised in certain online activities:
- Filling forms for various surveys, contests, downloading games on commercial or free web sites.
- Giving details about personal information when registering for e-mail access, Chat access.
- Providing information when registering for free game downloads.
- Providing information when registering for social networking web sites.
Some websites prompt students to complete a form revealing their name, e-Mail address, age and gender, and sometimes even their telephone number and postal address, in order to access information. Some requests are legitimate: much depends on the nature of the website requesting the information. Providing personal information online can result in a student being targeted for spam (unsolicited e-Mail), advertising materials and/or viruses. Privacy issues also apply to students developing personal websites and publishing online. Personal details, including photographs of themselves or other students, may lead to the information being captured and reused by others for illicit purposes.
Hence the best way of accessing the internet safely is through awareness programmes. Cyber security concepts should be introduced to the students in their school years and with their advancement of age, the students can be given an in depth insight on cyber security. With the wide use of ICT in today’s life, cyber security also becomes a necessity of the time.