Think about how many times you log into your email or simply browse the internet every single day. Before the 1960’s the internet did not even exist, but over the years the internet has evolved tremendously becoming a necessity in households and businesses worldwide. The World Wide Web has become the biggest database used universally, containing a large amount of information and yet it is also a source of criminal activity.
Many people only think of the benefits of the internet, but there are two sides to every story, along with the pros of surfing the web there are also many cons. If every individual had the knowledge of the good and bad of what one may encounter in cyberspace this can enhance their ability to surf the internet to the max considering these pros and cons: communication, entertainment, spam and identity theft.
Communication is one of the greatest benefits of the internet, allowing people all across the world to stay connected almost instantly. One of the most well-known forms of communication on the web is email. Email allows its users to exchange information and multimedia back and forth. In today’s society almost every person has access to an email account, and it is one of the fastest and convenient ways to contact others and receive information. In today’s world people are very busy and it can be hard to get a hold of someone or to work on another person’s schedule. Therefore email provides an efficient way to control the time span in which you wish to communicate. This is a positive aspect because it is a convenient way of communication for both the sender and receiver.
It is beyond doubt that the internet’s library of multimedia files that can be easily accessed by users is another positive aspect of the web and also a very good source of entertainment for many. Podcasts have digital files, such as feeds of audio, video and other content that are automatically updated. Podcasting has been implemented not only for business but also in classrooms, audio is captured during class then stops at the end, and the resulting MP3 is then made into a file that is published onto a classroom blog where it is made available to students.
In addition, the automatic updating of podcast will provide the students with instant access to the media. This is why special interest in podcasting has been shown by schools because this gives the student the ability to engage in lecture and simply review. Although it is very easy to think of all the good that comes from the internet, the web also contains many negative aspects.
Many companies use the internet to advertise their trademark and products for low costs. Internet users can find such advertisements very useful so they give out their e-mail addresses to subscribe to a newsletter or claim so-called prizes. Little do they know is that some companies’ sell their email addresses to spammers. Spam is a growing disadvantage of the internet, it is estimated that spam occupies up to 25% of most emails.
It is evident that at this high percentage spammers are taking advantage of many web users every single day. Not only do the spammers falsely advertise products and phony prize winnings, but some of the emails they send contain viruses that force users to reboot their entire system. The reason the problem continues to grow is due to the difficulty to even catch spammers, this contributes to the harmful and annoying effects of spam, which is why it is one of the down sides of the internet.
Identity theft is another negative aspect of the internet. Many people submit personal information about their identity such as social security numbers, health care records, and credit card information to online sources on a regular basis as a convenient way of paying bills or ordering merchandise. With these large amounts of detailed personal information floating around on the web it has become very easy for criminals to steal a person’s identity. Since the numbers of identity fraud are so high, there are concerns that many users are going to stray away from the use of the web in fear of falling victim to identity theft. It is evident that the advancements in technology have greatly increased identity fraud, and there is no question that it is therefore a negative aspect of the internet.
In conclusion, the internet has two very different extremes of positive and negative effects. There are many positive aspects that the web offers such as vast amounts of information, email, and podcasts. All of which are means to make day to day tasks more efficient and productive.
In contrast, there are disadvantages that hinder the ability of computers to perform to their full potential and may cause internet users to shy away from regular web use, such as spam and identity theft. In the end, it is evident that by having knowledge of the good and the bad of what one may encounter in cyberspace can enhance one’s ability to surf the internet to their full potential.