Ethics and Professional Conduct
This material was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation
Click to reveal the Code of Ethics
The Computer Ethics Institute developed a code of ethics. The code is designed to inspire and guide the ethical conduct of all computing professionals including current and aspiring practitioners, instructors, students, influencers, and anyone who uses computing technology in an impactful way.
The code includes principles formulated as statesments of responsibility based on the understanding that the public good is always the primary consideration, and it serves as a basis for remediation when violations occur.
The accepatance of this Code of Ethics is not universal. The following is an interpretation of the Computer Ethics Institute Code of Ethics.
Code of Ethics
1. Do not use technology in ways that can harm others
2. Do not use technology to interfere in other users’ work
3. Do not spy on another person’s computer data
4. Do not use computer technology to steal information
5. Do not contribute to the spread of misinformation
using computer technology
6. Always pay for software unless in is free and refrain
from using pirated copies
7. Do not use someone else’s computer resources
unless granted authorization
8. Do not claim ownership on a work which is the
output of someone else’s intellect
9. Consider the social impact of programs you develop
10. Be respectful and courtesous to others when using
computers for communication
Tampering or destroying files, folers or data; gaining unauthorized access to computer resources; creating malicious code, cyber bullying, and spamming or phishing are all examples of using computers and technology against another.
Do not use technology in ways that may harm others
Why are you
< Click here - harming others
I don’t like you!
I’m going to spread
these computer viruses
to everyone and mess
with their work life!
Overwhelming network or computer services (including DoS attacks), improperly scheduling maintenance or system upgrades, performing a production environment test or maintenance without formal permission, monopolizing limited resources without permission, and spreading viruses would all interfere with other users’ work.
< Click here - interfering with others
Do not use technology to interfere in other users’s work
Do not use Technology to spy on another person’s computer data
< Click here - spying on others
Shoulder surfing, accessing unauthorized data, files or folders, using other users’ devices or systems (including USB drives and laptops), and accessing account information, empoloyment records, or health recorda are all examples of spying on another person’s computer data
Do not use technology to steal others’ information
Stealing others’ information includes pilfering private or sensitive information from an organization or individual, improperly transferring account information, or using unauthorized copyrighted information, intellectual property, trade secrets, patents, and trademarks.
< Click here - stealing
Do not use technology to contribute to the spread of misinformation
< Click here - spreading misinformation
False news reports, stories, rumors, and unverified facts are all examples of misinformation. Be careful not to spread unverified information via social media. Do not trust or share emails or information from unknown sources. Do not spread unverified product information.
You would not believe
what I just heard
< Click here - violating use of intellectual property
Do not use technology to copy or share software, applications and intellectual property not legally purchased
Thanks. That will
save me some cash.
You shouldn’t have to pay for this software since I already have it. Take this copy that I make—I found a way to get around the registration code
Using pirated copies of movies, pictures, games, books, applications, or operating systems, improperly using licensed artwork and other software products, and illegal use of licensed software and electronics or printed products all infringe on the proper use of intellectual property.
Having your own login credentials for company resources will prevent unauthorized access to systems or applications. Receive formal permission before performing a test or system maintenance. Avoid monopolizing limited resources and make sure your receive permission beforehand.
< Click here - gaining unauthorized access
Do not use someone else’s computer resoures unless granted authorization
I know I’m not supposed
to use this printer, but
thanks for swiping your
< Click here - wrongfully claiming ownership
Perfect…I need this
code to get my
application to work.
Do not claim ownership on a work which is the output of someone else’s Intellect
Claiming ownership of someone else’s work without paying and giving them credit is pirating. This is theft, and it is unlawful and unethical. Avoid pirating intellectual property including text, graphics, videos, and even scripts and coding.
Consider the social impact of programs you develop
< Click here - harmful social impact
Writing applications or software tha enable others to steal, spy, gamble, or spread objectionable materials can cause harm to others. Make sure the content you produce is appropriate for the ages of the target audience. Share any known vulnerabilities and flaws of the applications you develop, design, and disseminate.
That application can be used
to spread fake news and may
lead to social unrest.
Where the hell is the budget information from your department! This clearly demonstrates your department’s incompetance.
Always use respectful language in all of your communications. This includes proper computer etiquette in chat rooms and online forums. Fact check before posting. Finally, always respect other users’ privacy.
< Click here - disrespecting others
Be respectful and courteous to others when using computers for communication
The important and enduring beliefs or
principles that an indivicual uses to make
judgements in life
A discipline or branch of moral philosophy that defines
rightness or wrongness of actions, motives, and the
results of these actions
Includes personal, cultural or corporate
values and can be severely affected by the
emotional state of mind of an individual or group
Ethics and Values
Click each button to learn more
The study of Ethics refers to defining the guidelines
for conduct that addresses questions about
Decency, fairness and common good
The set of rules established by a group or culture
that govern the behavior of individuals and communities
The beliefs for which a person has a persistent
The principles and ideals that help in making
Judgements of what is more important
Ethics and values together lay the foundation for human morality. While they are sometimes used synonymously, they are different.
Resolves questions of human morality by defining
concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong
What is morally correct or incorrent
in each situations
Click on each button
Level of importance
Comparing Ethics and Values
What are they?
Guidelines for conduct that
address questions about morality
Extent of rightness or wrongness of options
What we want to do or achieve
Stimuli for thinking
Systems or moral principles
Differs from person to person and
Principles and ideals that improve the
judgement of what is more important
Provides constraints and guidance for professional conduct
Serves as a guideline for conduct
Used to establish the level of importance in an organization
Test Your Knowledge
Stimuli for think
Given a situation, establishes correct or incorrect decision
For each description, determine if it falls under ethics or values