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Misuse of information

Outline the ways by which information can


be misused
The Internet is not only used by innocent members of the public, but also by fraudulent traders, software pirates,
hackers and con-artists, to name but a few. Here are a few ways in which information can be misused:
Violation of privacy
Users have passwords to keep their data private and secure it from being stolen or modified. Some computer
users such as hackers use software to decipher codes and passwords to gain unauthorized access to computer
systems for their own illegal purposes. This violation of privacy resulted in the creation of the Computer Misuse
Act of 1990, where users if found guilty were punishable by fines or imprisonment.
There are three levels of hacking:
l Viewing another user's information without permission - m this includes accessing someone's files or email or
accessing their personal information without their knowledge or permission.
l Using accessed information for illegal purposes
m the information that the user has, is accessed by the haker and used as backmail or for unfair advantage
l Altering accessed information for fraudulent purposes m the hacker alters the accessed information, such as
changing figures on bank accounts or deleting files
Propaganda
This a form of communication through email, online articles, websites and other electronic methods, to bias
users' attitudes toward supporting a cause. The information shared is usually partially true. This information is
bombarded using many electronic methods to create the chosen result in users' attitudes.
Computer Fraud
This is a criminal activity where someone uses a computer to defraud an individual or organization of money or
goods. Computer fraud can be difficult to detect because the user committing the crime is very skilled, discreet
and difficult to locate since they are accessing the computer through the Internet from another user's computer.
Electronic eavesdropping

Electronic eavesdropping describes the intentional interception of information intended for use of
others within a computer system.

Surveillance
This is where users' activity on the computer is monitored and observed secretly. That is, a user can be illegally
monitored to see when they perform an illegal activity! Many times this is authorized by governments, huge
corporations, or influential individuals. These surveillance programs are used widely and almost
anything on the Internet could potentially be monitored for proof of illegal activity.

Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor uses the name, social security number, and/or
other identifying information of a victim to open credit accounts, use existing credit accounts,
or otherwise acquire benefits using the victim's identity. Identity thieves sometimes change
the address and phone number on a victim's accounts, ruining their credit before the theft
has been discovered. A credit report is often the best way to discover identity theft, and a
security alert on one's credit report is often the best way to prevent further occurrences when
fraud has been discovered..

Credit Card Fraud: is the most common type of identity theft. The thief pretends to be the victim, calls
the credit card company and changes the mailing address on an existing account. Or, more commonly, the
thief opens a new credit card account in the victim's name. Because the bills are being sent to a new address,
the victim does not realize there is a problem. The thief then uses the credit card without paying the bills,
ruining the victims credit. The purpose may be to obtain goods without paying, or to obtain unauthorized
funds from an account.

software piracy Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or use of a computer program. When
this involves propriety software, (that is, software for which an individual or organization has rights of
ownership), then copying this software is a criminal offence.

Industrial espionage Industrial espionage is the use of computers to acquire company


information without the permission of the company. For e.g. An individual may use a
computer to access Coco Cola information system to acquire the formula used to make coke.
storage of inaccurate information

Using Appropriate Hardware and Software


Describe appropriate hardware and software to meet the particular needs of a given application;
(Projects to determine the relevant hardware and software (open source vs. proprietary) used in areas including
business, industry, science and technology, education, law enforcement, recreation, music, gaming.)
Business
A- Banking, shopping, and buying and selling of goods and services
The first applications of ICT within banking were the use of mainframes, and later minicomputers, to process
data such as customer accounts, bank inventories, personnel records, and accounting packages.
Hardware: Computer, or an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), Debit or Credit Card Machine; (Electronic
Funds Transfer at the Point Of Sale) system.
Software: Payment for goods or services by debit and credit cards through the EFTPOS
B - Using documents as feedback in a utility billing system:
Hardware: Optical mark reader;
Software: Application program to read the utility bill
Science and Technology
A - Expert Systems
Hardware: Sensors in greenhouses (such as temperature, airhumidity, soil moisture, light sensors).
Feedback loops in a central heating control system:
Inputs:
l Buttons - used to set the time and heating options as well as override the programmed timer.
B - Engineering and Design
Computer Aided Design (CAD); Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
Hardware: Robots, Computers
Software: Programmes to design products, manage the robots