Digital Media Learning Outcome 6 – Security and Copyright

Computer Security

We learned that computer viruses are one of the main threats against users these days, as they can be quite malicious. The best way to protect against them is by using an anti-virus such as McAfee, Norton or AVG.

Loss of data is also a large problem, and that’s why backing it up to external storage is incredibly important. They can be backed up to physical mediums such as USBs, external hard-drives and even to magnetic tape. One can also upload files to cloud services such as Google Drive, DropBox and OneDrive.

Another important point was that the easiest way to protect data is by using a complex password with both alphabetic and numerical characters that don’t have any relevance to your life, which is the problem with passwords based on anniversaries or birthdays.

Finally, it’s paramount for anybody using the Internet to know that all online activity can eventually be traced back to a certain machine.

Copyright

Copyright is a legal concept that is enforced by governments to protect the authors of original work, whether that be books (the original target of this legislation), music or movies. Copyright gives the author (and nobody else, unless authorised by the author) the right to copy their work. This is to ensure that nobody can unjustly profit from somebody else’s work. Patents and trademarks are similar to copyright, except they are used for inventions and ideas, respectively.

There’s a lot of debate over copyright, as the law can often be overbearing and end up with people being sued or even arrested over, for example, using somebody else’s music in an educational video or performance (which would fall under Fair Use, and theoretically be legal).

This video goes into great detail about copyright and the issues surrounding it:

For the specifics of Irish copyright law, you can visit the Copyright Association of Ireland website.

Creative Commons is a similar concept to copyright, except it is a lot more lax as to what is considered Fair Use, and generally a person is allowed to use this kind of work freely as long as they aren’t profiting off of it and include a credit to the original author. More info can be found here.

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