A Modern Life with Modern Technology Essay

A Modern Life with Modern Technology Research Writing/COM220 July 4, 2010 Rowland Cadena While modern technology has made life more accommodating with cell phones, computers and iPods, technology has also made it more convenient for hackers and other Internet predators. For people with family and friends that live far away, a web cam and the Internet makes it simple to keep in touch. E-mailing and other social networks available on the Internet also make it effortless to talk to someone halfway around the world.

Banking, paying bills, shopping and even reading the newspaper can all be done online. Distance learning” or attending school online offers someone an education, high school diploma, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the comfort of their own home. With all of these modern day conveniences there are downsides. Computer hackers can get your banking information, personal information such as social security number, date of birth or credit card information with a little effort and make anyone a victim of identity fraud.

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By getting personal information, they can make purchases online or at a store, maxing a credit card out.

Also, the culprit can apply for more credit cards with your name, social security number and date of birth leaving you ultimately responsible for anything they have purchased. By the time you have figured out what happened it would be too late to try and catch the guilty party. Now that people are more informed about these crimes they are taking precautionary steps to keep this from happening. (www. apple. com, 2010. ) Twenty years ago, attending college online seems like something out of a futuristic movie, but it is possible today. More and more students enroll in online classes each year.

Almost 3. 5 million, or 20 percent, of all college students took one or more online courses during the 2006-2007 academic years — an increase of almost 10 percent over the previous year, according to Sloan Consortium, a foundation-supported organization working to improve online education. (Cincotta, 2008). An increasing number of colleges provided distance-learning opportunities. A pioneer in the field was the University of Phoenix, which by 2008 had more than 300,000 students. Capella University (owned by Capella Education Co. and headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. offered many graduate programs at a distance; Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services (its campus was located in North Miami Beach, Fla. ) enrolled more than 14,000 master’s and doctoral students; and Western Governors University (a nonprofit online university founded by the governors of 19 states) served thousands of students. (Britannica Online, 2010. ) It is great to know that no matter where you are in the world, a person can earn a degree in various fields. In the last 1970s and early 1980s cell (ular) phones were introduced.

Cell phones were only a wealthy person’s commodity, but now anyone can attain one. They are very helpful when traveling or running errands around town. Cell phones now have the capability to text, browse the Internet, send and receive emails, take pictures, record and store videos, download music, and even watch live television. While cell phones are handy devices, you must use caution while driving. Cell phone use contributes to an estimated 6 percent of all crashes, which equates to 636,000 crashes, 330,000 injuries, 12,000 serious injuries and 2,600 deaths each year (Harvard Center of Risk Analysis).

Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) extends a driver’s reaction as much as possessing a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of . 08% (University of Utah). The stigma that more teenagers text while driving more than adults has been put to rest. A study by the Pew Research Center found that about 47% of adults who use the text-messaging function on their cell phones said they have read or sent messages while driving. That compares with 34% of texting teens, ages 16 and 17. (Kharif, 2010. Adults have to set examples for the younger generation and show them there are boundaries of texting while driving. Texting while driving attributes to accidents due to lack of concentration by the driver. Since entering the mainstream in the early to mid 1990s, the Internet has altered the way people interact with one another. Because it provides large groups of people separated by long distances to communicate instantaneously with one another, the Internet inevitably became a place where people could “socialize” without ever leaving their houses. (Social Networking Websites, n. d).

Social networking is the use of a website to connect with people from school, work, or family. There are many websites that offer social networking such as MySpace and Facebook. In 2006, estimated MySpace users were 79. 2 million and Facebook users were estimated at seven million. This is a great way to stay in contact with friends and family, but there are some risks involved with social networking. When a person is on one of these social networking sites, use caution when accepting friend requests from people you don’t know. Try to learn as much about this person as possible before adding them to your friends.

Some people on the site may use fake identities or make be involved in illegal activities. These same people can use someone else’s photo for their own and lie about the information on their profile. Sexual predators will do this to young and vulnerable children and teenagers. The predator will gain their trust. Once the trust has been established, they will try to set up a meeting with the victim. Some sites allow you to display name, address, email, phone number, and other personal information. That makes it effortless for someone to steal someone’s identity.

Even adults must be careful when using these social networks. Be careful when posting pictures to your profile. If there is another child besides your own in the photo, ask the parent’s permission before you post it. Adjust your privacy settings to include only people you know to view your pictures and other profile information. Use caution when posting information on your profile. For example, if you are going on vacation for two weeks, do not post that on your profile, that could lead to unwanted trouble. Also, do not click on any links while on the social websites, you could infect your computer with viruses. Retrieved from Social Networking Web Sites, n. d) With modern technology there is a certain responsibility the user takes on. The user should take caution when giving their name, but you should never give your address, email address, date of birth, your age or sex to someone you don’t know. A criminal could use this information to find out other things about you and could result in identity theft and credit card fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, in 2005, 3. 7% of adults have been victims of identity theft. (FTC, 2006 report of identity theft, table 1).

That is equal to 8. 3 million reported cases in the United States alone. Here are some tips to try and prevent identity theft from happening to you. 1. Using credit cards is generally safer than allowing access into other accounts. The credit card system has safeguards built in to protect users from fraud. If someone steals your credit card number, you’re out 50 bucks and some hassle. With a debit card, you could be cleaned out completely. Using cash is also not a bad thing. 2. Never give out your social security number. Except for government or big-ticket items, no one should be asking for that number.

Credit card numbers and social security numbers should never be used to make charitable contributions. 3. Never give out any information about yourself over the phone, particularly to anyone who has called you. 4. Try to avoid writing your bank account numbers on anything. 5. Rip up pre-approved credit card notices, because that’s one of the ways this can happen — they will take the notice, change the address, and build credit using your name and identity. 6. Read your bank statements. You’d be amazed by how many people just toss those statements without checking for strange transactions. (Reaves, 2002).

Keeping you and your family safe is your number one priority. Children are taught not to talk to strangers at early ages. Unfortunately, many children have access to the Internet and do not follow the same rules. “Current statistics show that one in five children who use the Internet receive unwanted sexual solicitations. This might not seem like much stated that way, but, its more than five million children. ” (Demarco, 2004, Internet Crimes Against Children are Exploding, para. 1). In 2001, Congress passed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) as an added safety while they are accessing the Internet at schools and libraries.

In order for a school or library to have a computer the student’s can access they must have a filter or block certain material such as: child pornography, obscene pictures, or anything harmful to minors. Children are safe at school, but they must also be educated how to conduct themselves on the Internet in other unblocked situations. Chat rooms and social networks are ideal circumstances for Internet predators. Internet predators prey on vulnerable children or teenagers and exploit them for sexual or abusive purposes. (www. gognis. net, 2010. ) (www. shieldforme. com, 2010. )

It is scary that most children know more about a computer than their parents. Parents need to be educated and updated on ever changing technology in order to keep their families safe. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has a publication for parents and it is called “A Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety”. This publication gives you a list of signs that your child may be at risk on the Internet. Furthermore, it informs parent’s who to contact if their child is communicating with a sexual predator online and gives parent’s tips on how to minimize the chances of their children being a victim of an online-exploiter.

Also, Kidz Privacy, created by the Federal Trade Commission, provides parents, teachers, and kids with information on the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Parents and teachers can learn how to read a website’s privacy policy and decide if they will download free filtering software from the association’s website, and use it to block or allow a website according the presence or absence of elements like violence, vulgarity, nudity, user-generated content, or poorly moderated content (Joseph, 2007; Family Online Safety Institute, n. d. ). There are also other websites dedicated to Internet safety and education for adults. Bouchard, 2007) Technology is advancing continually and more accessible everyday. These days, our world is literally being saturated with new technologies in just about any form, shape, and size. It is everywhere in our lives, our workplace and, even our home. Every time you turn around upgrades are made to the newest cell phone, DVD player, computer and even vehicles; you cannot escape it. A person can donate to the Red Cross, UNICEF, and even the Haiti Earthquake Relief. Children can access the Internet to do their homework, play educational games, and learn about different parts of the world they may never get to visit.

Even using a Global Positioning System for directions (GPS) is part of our daily routine or a microwave to warm up coffee or to make a bag of popcorn. These technologies may seem simple, but they make every day life much easier. There are numerous problems that can arise from technology. However, with the intelligence is this world, it is likely that these problems will find solutions and technology will be used the way it was meant to be used. With every step that is taken forward in the field of new technology, we begin to understand that the very nature of new technology seems endless. “Technology…is a queer thing.

It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ” (C. P. Snow, New York Times, 1971). References Social Networking Web Sites. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 15 March 2010. Web. 3 July 2010. Retrieved from http://www. 2facts. com/article/i1100310 Synovate. (2007, November) Federal Trade Commission-2006 Identity Theft Survey. [Table 1, Prevalence of I. D. theft in 2005]. McLean, VA: Author Retrieved from http://www. ftc. gov/os/2007/11/SynovateFinalReportIDTheft2006. pdf TXT Responsibly Fact Sheet. (2009, September 16). Study and survey statistics.

Retrieved from http://txtresponsibly. org/about/fact-sheet U. S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigations. (2010). What Are Signs That Your Child Might Be At Risk On-line? Retrieved from http://www. fbi. gov/publications/pguide/pguidee. htm Why the number of people creating fake accounts and using second identity on Facebook are increasing. (2010, March 5). Online Conference on Networks and Communities. Retrieved from http://networkconference. netstudies. org/2010/05/why-the-number-of-people-creating-fake-accounts-and-using-second-identity-on-facebook-are-increasing/ Bouchard, J. 2008). Internet Safety. (p. 1). Great Neck Publishing. Retrieved from Research Starters – Education database. http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true=e0h=28544182=ehost-live Distance Learning—Education Beyond Buildings. (2010). In Britannica Book of the Year, 2009. Retrieved July 1,  2010, from Encyclop? dia Britannica Online: http://search. eb. com/eb/article-9444232 Kharif, O. (2010). Adults Out-Text Teens While Driving. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from http://www. businessweek. com/technology/content/jun2010/tc20100618_526096. htm [pic]

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