Current IT-Related Ethical Issues Essay Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1224 Words
Date:  2022-08-23


Computer-based crimes are illegal activities that are that are committed through computers to individuals, organizations or to a country. These crimes have increased rapidly in the contemporary society due to the increase in internet connectivity and the enhanced use of personal computers. Computer and internet usage has led to evolving of people who are skilled in computers who come up with ways to make perpetuate crimes and earn benefits. The crimes may be to unsuspecting users or to people who are well aware of them but can do nothing. Computer based crimes terrorize their victims mentally or physically. Some of these crimes include phishing, hacking, fraud, spam among others and are punishable in the law. Computer crimes are preventable and can be eradicated once the correct internet security measures are taken and ingrained in the social fabric.

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Decision-Making Process

Computer-based crimes are wrong while judged by the virtues ethics approach. This is because they affect both people and communities while disregarding human privacy and basic rules of human decency.

Phishing is a common type of computer-based crime where people try to obtain personal details about a person, credit cards and their passwords. It mostly happens with the aim of robbing people of their material or intellectual pocession (Moore, 2014). The word phishing is a homophone of the word fishing since the criminals use bait like messages that lead the victim to giving out personal information. They send the messages through emails or instant messages telling their users what to do so that a fabricated issue can be resolved. The perpetrators of this crime send the messages repeatedly in order to gain the victims trust and use it to get personal details needed to access secured information such as bank account passwords.

Phishing has increased since criminals take advantage of the low security awareness in the modern world particulary among the young generation. The criminals also take advantage of the vulnerability of people such as the old or naive who do not care about internet security (Taylor et al., 2014). The use of public internet also predisposes one to phishing since it is in most cases unsecured and computers on the same network are accessible by the phishers. Most phishing websites have malwares that affect a victim's computer and switch off the security mechanisms such as firewall and antiviruses.

Another common cybercrime is hacking where criminals gain control and manipulate information on other computers. Not all types of computer hacking are malicious, some are for the good will to protect a country (Taylor et al., 2014). They are classified as white hats for those with good intentions for hacking and black hats for those who want information for malicious actions. Hackers are intelligent in mathematics and skilled in rewriting or decoding codes. They easily find weaknesses in a computer and gather the information that they want. Hackers may gain access to information of vital importance such as trade secrets of classified government files. Terrorists mostly use hacking to be ahead of investigators and know their plans.

Fraud is a computer crime committed by criminals who steal using manipulated personal information such as forged documents (Urban et al., 2019). Internet connections allow masking of a location and thus one may believe in forged documents by virtue of their trusted origin. However, some criminals employ fraud to commit white-collar crime such as escaping taxes and fees associated with patenting ideas and products. Malwares too contribute to fraud because the viruses may affect computers systems making it easy for hackers to get in and commit fraud.

Spamming is form of computer-based crimes since it is the sending of un-demanded messages continuously in the internet, phones and computers (Taylor et al., 2014). These can be used to spread malwares such as Trojans, viruses and other harmful software. The people sending the malwares may have malicious objectives such as stealing of identity and some to extort money from people. However, spamming is not as common as the other forms of computer-based crimes in the contemporary society.

The Reynolds 7-steps of decision-making process are useful in curbing computer-based crimes. First is to state the problem such as phishing or hacking and how it affects people. Then check the facts of the issues to ensure that they are a problem and how they occur. For example in hacking one can look in to what the hackers are looking for and how they are able to get the information. Identify the relevant factors in the crime by looking into what it entails as a crime and its consequences. Like in phishing, one can use the previous flagged messages to identify their source. After identifying all the relevant details about a crime the next step is to develop options on how to deal with it. One may come up with security software to help prevent them from getting into a computer. The final step is to make a choice on which type of security software to employ as either a person or an organization. The decision is guided by the type of crime being prevented and the level of security needed. .

Impact of Decision-Making Process

The decision making process is of great impact when solving computer-based crimes since it helps to formulate workable solutions. For instance, if one is solving computer based crimes they need to be keen on what the issues are then find a tailor made solution. The decision making process allows application of a set of ground rules to any situation rendering all forms of cybercrimes controllable. It allows freedom of design and accounts for future developments. The process is in line with the dynamic nature of technology.


The Common Good Approach is the closest to virtue ethical approach because they both look in the ethical issues in terms of how they impart people's lives and the community. However in the virtue ethics approach one is able to broadly explore the effects of the crimes on the users such as organizations and people individually. With this one can be able to study on ways to stop computer-based crimes through people who have been affected and also using their devices to try and find solutions. In other approaches such as utilitarian, most focus is on how computer-based crimes are performed rather than the harm they cause. The fairness approach only applies where one of the parties is being discriminated and extorted. It does not sufficiently describe the cybercrime.

Increased use of the internet has led to more computer-based crimes. People are widely exposed to computers and can easily learn how to operate through the internet. Development of new software and provisions through the internet allow criminals to distribute malware and further their treacherous activities. Computer users should therefore be cautious in whatever they do online and ensure that they install all the required security software to protect their data. Computer-based crimes are unethical and can be eradicated once all people collectively uphold security awareness and use trusted software.


Moore, R. (2014). Cybercrime: Investigating high-technology computer crime. Routledge.

Taylor, R. W., Fritsch, E. J., & Liederbach, J. (2014). Digital crime and digital terrorism. Prentice Hall Press.

Urban, V., Kniazhev, V., Maydykov, A., & Yemelyanova, E. (2019). Implementation of the Law Enforcement Function of the State in the Field of Countering Crimes Committed Using the Internet. In Big Data-driven World: Legislation Issues and Control Technologies (pp. 113-120). Springer, Cham.

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