An old adage tells us “Character is what you do when no one is watching.” So it is with the Internet. Online, people can feel invisible and capable of doing things they normally wouldn’t do in person or in public – things that they know might be wrong. Manners, good judgment and being aware and knowledgeable about what you are doing are as pertinent in the cyber world as they are anywhere else that you deal with people.

Cyber ethics is the philosophic study of ethics pertaining to computers, encompassing user behavior and what computers are programmed to do, and how this affects individuals and society. Cyber-ethics is the discipline of using appropriate and ethical behaviours and acknowledging moral duties and obligations pertaining to online environments and digital media. It is a code of behavior on the Internet.

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Kenya has a great opportunity to begin on a clean slate since new media is yet to penetrate all spheres of live and regions. Kenya, like most African countries is an emerging market for high definition television and other digital technologies.

Cyber Ethics can help users to attention the point. First respect endeavor of others and second know about Laws and rules. Ethics can prevent infringement.

When you buy a CD of your favourite band then copy and give it away or sell it, you have committed a copy right violation against the band. This type of behaviour can be criminal, as can the misuse of digital media if copied then distributed without permission. When dealing with digital media you need to consider your role in keeping practices ethical and legal. Issues that are a breach of ethics when using electronic media include:

Copyright/Downloading

This has become a major problem due to programs which allow users to download music, programs and videos for free. Many people, especially children, do not realize that this behaviour has major consequences.

 

Hacking:

Is the intentional damage that a person inflicts onto another computer or computer network.  This can include stealing classified information, stealing passwords to get into a site and also changing a website without permission.  Since the world is run on computers it is important that hackers are stopped.  They could create viruses that could shut down important websites or computer systems.

 

Cyberbullying: is the act of harming or harassing via information technology networks in a repeated and deliberate manner. “Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.”

EXAMPLE:

Such cases have become rampant in our country, Linda Nyangweso a radio station presenter was bullied over her weight completely disregarding her feelings on social media.

There are lots of different ways that someone can experience bullying through the internet or mobile phones. Some of them are really subtle, so it might be difficult to realise what is happening:

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Cyberbullying is growing and people are becoming aware of its effects on children.  Let’s come together and stop cybercrime. Always report anyone who breaks the cyber ethics code never be bullied into silence .Never allow yourself to be a victim.

How to deal with Cyber Bullying.

So what should you do to deal with cyber bullying? How do you stop cyber bullying?

  • Do not respond to the Cyber Bully’s Attacks.

The first step is to stop responding to the cyber bully. Do not reply to emails, posts or text messages. This is what the bully wants. They want you to engage with them. They want to manipulate you into responding.

It is especially important to not respond emotionally because this could make you send a reply that you might regret later. Messages sent on the internet are almost impossible to take back. If you lash back in anger you could find yourself the one who is being accused of being a cyber bully and the tables could be turned against you.

Don’t delete information related to the cyber bullying.

While you should not respond to the cyber bully online (or offline) you should also not delete their messages. That’s right, do NOT delete their messages.

Cyber bullies are especially cowardly and like to hide behind the anonymity that the internet gives them. Or does it? Messages sent on the internet are traceable. Make sure to keep all messages as the police will be able to use this information to track down the culprit. Do not delete any messages and save as much information you can about chats, IM’s, text messages, blog posts, websites, etc.

This will also help show just how often the cyber bullying takes place, at what times and even from which location. Every computer, server and device connected over the (TCP/IP) network has a unique IP (Internet Protocol) address. Police along with the cyber bully’s ISP (Internet Service Provider) can use this information to trace the bully right to his or her house.

Report cyber bullying to authorities.

You need to let appropriate authorities know about the cyber bullying. Cyberbullying is not something you want to ignore. It is your responsibility to report this behavior so the perpetrators can be dealt with.

This helps to not only protect your child but to intervene before the cyber bully harms even more kids. Bullies often behave in a serial fashion attacking multiple victims either at the same time or one after another. Once the high of abusing one victim is over they move to their next prey.

Report cyber bullying to your internet, instant messaging or mobile phone provider.

While some providers may not take swift action it is still important to establish that incidents of cyberbullying are taking place and that it has been recorded as a complaint. This will provide greater impetus for them to take cyberbullying more seriously if further reports are made or others complain about the same person.

Report cyber bullying to the local police.

Let the police know what is happening. Depending on the actions taken by the cyber bully they may have crossed the line. Laws regarding bullying and cyber bullying are finally being passed.

While bullies may have had a free ride up until now they are more and more running into the long arm of the law. Cyber bullying needs to be brought to the attention of the police. Be sure to provide them with as much information as you can. They can then contact the cyber bully’s ISP and track them down.

When we go to the dentist for our semi-annual check-up and teeth cleaning, we typically get to be asked a series of questions about recent patterns of personal behaviour. Perhaps it’s time for instituting a regular cyber check-up?