Dangers of the Internet
Internet is a very popular thing that is used across the United States, however it has many
downsides. Being connected to the internet allows you to not have any privacy. You are accessible by anyone and anything when you are online. Many people post private things freely online, which is a problem. You never know who could be looking at your posts online. The internet is a space where many forms of cyberbullying, malicious cybercrime, and safety concerns for people of all ages happen.
Cyberbullying is a big problem among people on the internet today, especially with the youth. Cyberbullying is bullying someone via internet or text. An example of cyberbullying would be someone posting an embarrassing photo or video of you without your permission, and making fun of you (“Social Media”). Another way you could be cyberbullied is if someone tweeted about you calling you a mean name and intentionally trying to hurt your feelings. Cyberbullying can affect people very harshly. Usually, it causes the victim to have depression, and in many cases, people were bullied so harshly that they killed themselves (“Cyberbullying”, “Social Media”). Law enforcement is trying to get it under control, making forty-eight laws in 2016 addressing cyberbullying and online harassment (“Social Media”). Since then, however, there hasn’t been much change in the way people act online. There are still many cases we see on the news and media about teens committing suicide because of being bullied online. Law enforcement needs to act on this more than they are, they need to follow through with these laws and enforce them.
In addition to cyberbullying, cybercrime is also a negative thing that people do online. Cybercrime is a crime that is done through computer networks. Cybercriminals use malware which is a software used to commit crimes online. Malware includes computer viruses and worms, which are used to damage computers (“Cybercrime”). As malware has progressed it has allowed the criminals to steal information from other people. Two common ways cybercrime is committed is by phishing and hacking. Phishing is when the criminal uses e-mail or instant messaging to trick someone into giving personal information like a social security number or other bank information (“Cybercrime”). When they send the messages they could be acting as a bank teller saying they need to renew passwords. Then when the person would renew the password the criminal would take their information and use it as their own. Over the years as technology has advanced, people understand that unless they are certain of who they are talking to, they should never give out personal banking information. Online hackers can get access to your credit cards, bank computers, or government agencies. On many occasions hackers have gotten access to pentagon files, there have been as many as hundreds of cyber attacks each day (“Cybercrime”). Online criminal forums are where cybercriminals can buy phishing software and other things to help them with hacking. Law enforcement tracks these forums, but once they take down a cite another one usually pops up very quickly (“Cybercrime”). Never give out personal banking information online or you could be a victim of cybercrime.
Along with cybercrime, there are also many other safety concerns that come with being connected to the internet and social media. On social media or chat rooms online there can be many strange people. Young children on the internet are exposed to predators and stalkers (“Social Media”). “Law enforcement officials estimate 50,000 predators are online at any given time, according to the Dateline segment” (Broida, Rick). Some predators go online undercover as a younger child when in real life they are much older or not the same person in the pictures. Another name for this is called catfishing, which is using someone else’s pictures as your own and talking to random people online. This is very scary when you think about it, you never know who you are actually talking to online. There have been many cases of the predator trying to meet up with a child in real life, and when they meet their intentions are usually not good. They either try to harass them in negative ways or kidnap them. Stalking is also a big issue on the internet. Cyberstalkers find their victims from online chatrooms and social media. They then would continue to track them in their daily activities online. Sometimes they find enough information, like your house address, where they can stalk you when you are in the confines of your own home (“Cybercrime”). There have been many cases of people being stalked in their houses because of what they put online. Never put things on the internet you wouldn’t want everyone to see.
The internet is very concerning for the safety and well being of people nowadays, but the problem is that it is used worldwide by many people. Most people don’t actually know all of the severe consequences the internet can cause. Not only is the internet highly unsave it is also highly addictive and can affect relationships with those around you. If you don’t want to be the next victim of something malicious online, take caution when you are using the internet, and keep personal information to yourself.
Broida, Rick. “Safety Net: protect your children from online predators.” Computer Shopper,
Feb. 2006, p. 96+. General OneFile,
http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A141170952/ITOF?u=spri99351;sid=ITOF;xid=8c78d8b3. Accessed 9 Apr. 2018.
“Cyberbullying.” Gale Student Resources in Context, Gale, 2016. Student Resources In Context,
http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ2181500172/SUIC?u=spri99351;sid=SUIC;xid=bab2342f. Accessed 9 Apr. 2018.
“Cybercrime.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2016. Opposing Viewpoints In
Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3021900045/OVIC?u=spri99351;sid=OVIC;xid=fe732940. Accessed 9 Apr. 2018.
“Social Media.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2017. Opposing Viewpoints
http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC3010999130/OVIC?u=spri99351;sid=OVIC;xid=4eb73a42. Accessed 9 Apr. 2018.