The invention of the computer and the subsequent birth of the internet has been seen as the most significant advance of the 20th century. Over the course of the past few decades, there has been a remarkable rise in the use of computers and the internet and these two have revolutionized the way in which we carry out our day to day activities. In addition to this, the unprecedented high adoption rate of the internet has resulted in it being a necessity in the running of our day to day lives. With this wide-scale penetration of the internet into many facets of our life, it has become apparent that the internet has both positive and negative effects on individuals and society at large.
In light of this reality of the two faces of the internet, there has risen the question of whether the internet is a blessing or a curse to mankind. This paper shall argue that while the internet does pose many real dangers, the internet is overall a blessing to humanity and its positive impacts far outweigh its ills. To reinforce this assertion, this paper shall highlight the significant merits of the internet and demonstrate how the ills can be mitigated for the good of all.
For all its good, the internet remains as a dangerous and unregulated highway whereby crimes are committed and accountability is low. From the discussions presented above, it is clear that there are a number of real dangers that exist as a result of the internet. Some of these dangers e.g. the risk of children falling prey to molesters may be resolved by the use of a police force that has the power to monitor the internet.
The creation of global and enforceable laws which will make people legally accountable for their actions will also result in making the internet safer for all. While this goes against the basic idea of the internet as a place without any restrictions, every day realities dictate that law enforcement is necessary online to contain crimes that are continually being instigated through the internet. By so doing, some form of order can be brought to the internet, therefore, making it safer for all.
The threat of hackers is very real and presents a big challenge especially to organizations handling critical data. To cope with this, there are tools in place to secure computer networks against attacks. These tools ensure that threats against a network are identified and neutralized and that vulnerabilities are identified and protection measures are adopted. By detecting and defeating the intruders, the advantages of the internet can be reaped without any real danger to the individual or the organization.
The threat of terrorist attacks is very real in today’s world. Wilson (2005) notes that many international terrorist groups are actively using the internet to communicate amongst themselves, spread propaganda and even recruit new members. This raises the possibility that the internet could be used to carry out a well coordinated cyberattack on the critical infrastructure of the country. Wilson (2005) declares that it is unlikely that cyberterrorism will pose the same threat that physical attacks such as Nuclear, Biological or chemical threats pose. As such, the internet does not greatly empower terrorists to carry out their actions and as such, the fear of terrorists causing significant harm through the internet is unfounded.
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