INTERNET– MEANING, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES

If you are reading this post, then, you are using the internet.

The Internet is an international system of interconnected computer networks.

It is the network of networks often linking billions of private, and public networks located at different corners of the world. Internet, of course, is the largest network in the world.

Each computer on the internet is identified by a unique IP address.

An IP address is a unique number ( such as 212.11.22.124) assigned to a computer through which other computers can identify it.

The Internet provides us with many services and resources.

Firstly, it has millions or even billions of web pages created by people and companies. It, therefore, provides you access to a different set of information and entertainment. This information can be accessed via a web browser.

Secondly, The internet also allows you to communicate effectively through email and instant messaging apps.

The core of email messaging is that electronic messages can be sent and received between parties in different parts of the world provided both parties are online

Thirdly, the Internet provides businesses with easy access to the global market, thereby, providing a borderless market for a company's goods.

Bill Gates once said " if your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business"

This outlines the importance of the internet to business. With the Internet, business transactions can take place irrespective of locational distance. A person in Nigeria, for example, can buy a product from a seller in the United States of America easily through the internet.

Benefits or Advantages Of The Internet

1. Easy communication: It provides means through which people all over the world can communicate with each other. This communication may be in text, voice, or even video.

2. Source of information: Undoubtedly, the internet serves as a gold mine of information, but like most mines, you have to search for the good stuff through a search engine.

3. Source of entertainment: It provides a variety of entertainment to users. Video games, music, and movie, which serves as an essential component of everyday entertainment, is easily accessible via the internet.

4. Internet banking: This is yet another benefit of the internet. 

With internet banking, users can now send and receive and perform any monetary transaction without visiting the banking. Therefore, the internet provides us with a more flexible way of banking.

5. Online shopping: The Internet provides a flexible way of shopping as people can now buy goods over the internet without necessarily visiting a shop.

Abuse or Disadvantages Of The Internet

1. Access to pornographic and violent content: Though the internet has thousands of beneficial content, yet, it also has numerous content which is undesirable and harmful in a specific sense.

One of such is pornography and violent content. With the internet, individuals are exposed to pornographic and violent images and videos they may not want to see. This is one of the reasons the internet is becoming an unsafe place for children.

2. Cybercrime and cyberbullying: We have all heard of cases of people using the internet for fraudulent practices (cybercrime)

We have also heard of people using the internet to bully and intimidate other people (cyberbullying)

Cybercrime and cyberbullying are now becoming popular in our society no thanks to online business and social networks.

To perform business transactions, individuals will have to provide their confidential information such as credit card pins, and CVV numbers to the website they want to use for the transaction.

If such a website is not particularly protected by HTTPS, computer hackers can easily obtain such information and use it for illegal activities such as money fraud.

3. Source of virus: Often, computers get infected with a virus that can damage important files or slow down the operating system.

This virus can and is easily transmitted over the internet. Therefore, the internet also serves as a source of destructive programs like a virus.

4. Spam and advertisement: The Internet has the largest audience than other advertising mediums like television, and radio.

Hence, most advertising is now done on the internet. However, doing this on a large scale poses a problem: Spam message

A spam message is any undesirable mail auto-generated for commercial purposes.

Spam messages are inimical to internet users for two major things: first, they hamper the speed of the internet. Secondly, they serve as a means of stealing users' personal information particularly if the user takes action.

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5. Plagiarism and fake news: This is fast becoming one of the biggest issues of using the internet.

While plagiarism is the copying of someone else content and publishing it as your own, fake news is false information presented as news.

Because the internet serves as a source of various kinds of information, students can simply copy people's content on the internet without seeking approval.

This is a big problem because copying people someone's content is illegal in many countries.

Furthermore, and as we have seen recently, false information intended to deceive readers is usually created and distributed over the internet.

Conclusion

We just discussed the internet. For a recap, the internet is a system of interconnected networks. It is the largest network in the world. 

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