The need for the Data Protection Act During the second half of the 20th century, businesses, organizations and the government began using computers to store information about their customers, clients and staff in databases. For example: (names, addresses, contact information, employment history, medical conditions, convictions, credit history etc... Databases are easily accessed, searched and edited.

It's also far easier to cross reference information stored in two or more databases than if the records were paper-based. The computers on which databases resided were often networked. This allowed for organization-wide access to databases and offered an easy way to share information with other organizations. The Data, information and databases section has more on searching databases.

The purpose of the Data Protection Act The 1998 Data Protection Act was passed by Parliament to control the way Information Is handled and to give legal rights to people who have Information stored about them. Other European Union countries have passed similar laws as often information is held in more than one country. Misuse and unauthorized access to information: With more and more organizations using computers to store and process personal information there was a danger the information could be misused or get into the wrong hands.Two types of personal data Personal data: Is about living people and could be: their name address medical details or banking details Sensitive: Personal data Is also about living people, but It Includes one or more details of a data subjects: racial or ethnic orally political opinions religion membership of a trade union health criminal activity The Computer Misuse Act (1990) This was passed by Parliament and made three new offences: 1 . Accessing computer material without permission, egg looking at someone else's files.

2.Accessing computer material without permission with Intent to commit further criminal offences, egg hacking Into the bank's computer and wanting to increase the amount in your account. 3. Altering computer data without permission, an account. Types of computer misuse: Misuse of computers and communications systems comes in several forms: Hacking Hacking is where an unauthorized person uses a network, Internet or modem injection to gain access past security passwords or other security to see data stored on another computer.

Hackers sometimes use software hacking tools and often target, for example, particular sites on the Internet.Data misuse and unauthorized transfer or copying Copying and illegal transfer of data is very quick and easy using online computers and large storage devices such as hard disks, memory sticks and DVD's. Personal data, company research and written work, such as novels and textbooks, cannot be copied without the copyright holder's permission. Copying and distributing copyrighted footwear, music and film This includes copying music and movies with computer equipment and distributing it on the Internet without the copyright holder's permission.This is a widespread misuse of both computers and the Internet that breaks copyright regulations. Email and chat room abuses Internet services such as chat rooms and email have been the subject of many well- publicized cases of impersonation and deception where people who are online pretend to have a different identity.

Chat rooms have been used to spread rumors about well known personalities. A growing area of abuse of the Internet is email Pam, where millions of emails are sent to advertise both legal and illegal products and services.Pornography A lot of indecent material and pornography is available through the Internet and can be stored in electronic form. There have been several cases of material, which is classified as illegal, or which shows illegal acts, being found stored on computers followed by prosecutions for possession of the material. Identity and financial abuses This topic includes misuse of stolen or fictional credit card numbers to obtain goods or services on the Internet, and use of computers in financial frauds.These can range from complex well thought out deceptions to simple uses such as printing counterfeit money with color printers.

Viruses Viruses are relatively simple programs written by people and designed to cause nuisance or damage to computers or their files. How to prevent computer misuse: Close down chat rooms Some chat rooms have been closed down due to abuses, especially where children are vulnerable. Some have moderators who help to prevent abuses. Advices about sensible use is important; especially to never give personal contact details or arrange meetings without extreme caution.

Reduce email spamming This may be reduced by: never replying to anonymous emails setting filters on email accounts reporting spammed to Sips, who are beginning to get together to blacklist email abusers governments passing laws to punish persistent spammed with heavy fines Regular backups and security Responsible computer users need to take reasonable steps to keep their data safe. This includes regular backups and sufficient security with passwords. Copyright Copyright gives the creators of some types of media rights to control how they're used and distributed.Music, books, video and software can all be covered by forthright law.

Copyright law Limitations imposed by copyright When you buy software, for example, copyright law forbids you from: giving a copy to a friend making a copy and then selling it using the software on a network (unless the license allows it) renting the software without the permission of the copyright holder The law that governs copyright in the UK is called the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.Prevention of software piracy Software companies take many steps to stop software piracy: An agreement between the company that developed the software and the user must be agreed before the footwear is installed. This is called the license agreement and covers copyright. Certain pieces of software require a unique license key to be entered before the installation will continue. Some applications or programs will only run if the media (CD / DVD) is in the drive.Some applications or programs will only run if a special piece of hardware called a dongle is plugged into the back of the computer.

The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) FAST was founded in 1984 by the software industry and is now supported by over 1,200 companies. It is a not-for-profit organization with an aim to prevent software racy and has a policy of prosecuting anyone found to be breaching copyright law. FAST also works to educate the public about good software practice and legal requirements.Describe one way in which the software industry prevents people from copying software illegally. (2 marks) Answer A: installation will continue.

Answer B: Some software has a sticker on it telling you it must not be copied. It can only be copied in accordance with the license agreement. Answer C: The software industry has set up an organization called FAST to try to prevent users from breaking copyright law.