Cyberethics and Digital Citizenship

Dr. Dunmade Aderinola Ololade
Mrs. Olasehinde-Williams Olabanke
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The Internet and technological advances have made the world a global village, allowing strangers to interact and share ideas. While this is generally beneficial to all users of cyberspace because a wide variety of activities can now be done online, the literature suggests a rise in cyber ethical misbehaviors like plagiarism, copyright and software theft, phishing, and hacking. Others include cyberbullying, spamming, internet libel, identity theft, child pornography, cyber-sex, sexting, revenge pornography, cyberloafing, cyber-squatting, domain-squatting, cyber-espionage, copyright infringement, financial theft, cyberstalking, and pornography. Several factors have been attributed to this apparent predisposition of netizens to engage in unethical cyber practices and cyber ethical misbehaviors, including a lack of awareness of ethical guidelines regarding the proper use of cyberspace, a tendency among users to focus solely on the benefits of legal and illegal cyberspace use, and increased dependence on cyberspace, among others. Other factors that contribute to unethical behaviorsin cyberspace include a perceived gap between personal and institutional rights, cyberspace's ethical blandness or neutrality, a lack of victims, situational and personal factors, and anonymity. Individual netizens must ensure that their use of ICT does not violate the rights of others, despite civil society's restrictions.