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Introduction to Information and Communications Technology

What is ICT?

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) deals with the use of different
communication technologies such as mobile phones, telephone, Internet, etc. to locate,
save, send, and edit information.

When we make a video call, we use the Internet. When we send a text or make a call, we
use cellular networks.

“According to Rouse (n.d.), ICT means: ICT (information and communications technology -
or technologies) is an umbrella term that includes any communication device or
application, encompassing: radio, television, cellular phones, computer and network
hardware and software, satellite systems and so on, as well as the various services and
applications associated with them, such as video conferencing and distance learning.”

The history of ICT originates from humble beginnings (Barnes, n.d.):

• The abacus is thought to have been originally invented 3,000 years before the birth
of Christ.
• In 1624, Wilhelm Schickard built the first four-function calculator-clock at the
University of Heidelberg.
• The first general purpose computer was designed by Charles Babbage around the
year 1833.
• In 1855, George and Edvard Scheutz built a practical model based on
Babbage's original designs.
• The first electronic calculator (named the Z1) was built by Konrad Zuse in 1931.

ICT in the Philippines

Several International companies dub the Philippines as the “ICT Hub of Asia”. It is no secret
that there is a huge growth of ICT-related jobs around the country, one of which is the call
center or BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) centers.

According to the 2013 edition of Measuring the Information Society by the International
Telecommunication Union, there are 106.8cellphones per 100 Filipinos in the year 2012.
That would be mean, for every 100 Filipinos you meet, there is a high chance that they
have a cellphone and approximately for the seven of them, they have two.

In a data gathered by the Annual Survey Philippines Business and Industries and NSO in
2010, the Act industry shares 19.3% of the total employment population here in the
Philippines.

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To add to these statistics, Time Magazine’s “The selfish Cities around the World” of 2013
places, two cities from the Philippines in the top 1 and top 10 spots. The study was
conducted using Instagram, a popular photo sharing application.

With these numbers, there is no doubt that the Philippines is one of the countries that
benefit most us of ICT.

Famous Personalities behind the ICT


a. Bill Gates – He introduced Microsoft

b. Steve Jobs – He introduced Apple.

c. Mark Zuckerberg – He pioneered Facebook and later bought Instagram.

d. Martha Lane Fox – Developed last-minute.com., an online booking site for airlines,
hotels, restaurants, and everything under the sun. Her website relied heavily on
online systems which other websites soon followed suit.

e. Tim Berners-Lee – invented the World Wide Web, an Internet-based hypermedia


initiative for global information sharing.

f. Arthur C. Clarke – a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor,
undersea explorer, and television series host. He envisioned in his sci-fi books that
computers, communication, and technology will have a significant impact on how
man will deal with his everyday life. In a few years, it came true (ComputerWeekly
Staff, 2006).

Online Systems and Platforms

Web 2.0: Dynamic Web Pages

Web 2.0 is a term coined by Darcy DiNucci on January 1999. In her article titled,
“Fragmented Future”, she wrote:

The web we know now, which loads into a browser window in essentially static
screenfuls, is only an embryo of the web to come. The first glimmerings of WEB 2.0 are
beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop.

Web 2.0 is the evolution of Web 1.0 by adding dynamic web pages – the user is able to see
a website differently than others. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites,
blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, and web applications. Web 2.0 allows
users to interact with the page: instead of just reading a page, the user may be able to
comment or create a user account. Web 2.0 also allows users to use web browsers instead
of just their operating system. Browsers can now be used for their user interface,
application software (or web applications), and even for file storage. Most websites that we
visit today are web 2.0.

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Web 3.0 and the Semantic Web

The Semantic Web is the movement led by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The
W3C standard encourages web developers to include semantic content in their web pages.
The term was coined by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. Lee also
noted that the Semantic Web is the component for Web 3.0.

According to the W3C, “The Semantic Web provides a common framework that allows data
to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and the community boundaries.”
The aim of Web 3.0 is to have machines (or servers) understand the user’s preferences to
be able to deliver web content specifically targeting the user. For example, when doing a
web search in Web 2.0, the topmost result is based on the preference of several users who
already searched for the item. The search engine then labels it the most common answer to
the search query. Though there are instances wherein several preferences are considered
like geographical location, Web 3.0 aims to do better. This is through studying personal
preferences of an individual user and showing results based on those preferences. The
Internet is able to predict the best possible answers to your question by “learning” from your
previous choices.

Trends in ICT

As the world of ICT continues to grow, the industry has focused on several innovations.
These innovations cater to the needs of the people that benefit most out of ICT. Whether it
is for business or personal use, these trends are current front-runners in the innovation of
ICT.

1. Convergence

Technical convergence is the synergy of the technological advancements to work on a


similar goal or task. For example, besides your personal computer to create Word
documents, you can now use your smartphone. It can also use cloud technologies to
sync files from one device to another while also using LTE technology which means you
can access your files anytime, anywhere. Convergence is using several technologies to
accomplish a task conveniently.

2. Social Media

Social Media is a website, application, or online channel that enables web users to
create, co-create, discuss, modify, and exchange user-generated content. According to
Nielsen, a global information and measurement company, Internet users spend more
time on social media sites than in any other type of site. With this, more and more
advertisers use social media to promote their product.

Types of Social Media

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a. Social Networks. These are sites that allow you to connect with other people with the
same interests or background. Once a user creates his/her account, he/she can set
up a profile, add people, create groups, and share content. Examples: Facebook and
Google+
b. Bookmarking Sites. These are sites that allow you to store and manage links to
various websites and resources. Most of these sites allow you to create a tag that
allows you and others to easily search or share them. Examples: Stumble Upon and
Pinterest
c. Social News. These are sites that allow users to post their own news items or links to
other news sources. The users can also comment on the post and comments may
also be ranked. They are also capable of voting these news articles of the website.
Those who get the most amount of votes are shown most prominently. Examples:
Reddit and Digg
d. Media Sharing. These are sites that allow you to upload and share media content
like images, music, and video. Most of these sites have additional social features like
liking, commenting, and having user profiles. Examples: Flicker, YouTube, and
Instagram
e. Microblogging. These are sites that focus on short updates from the users. Those
subscribed to the user will be able to receive these updates. Examples: Twitter and
Plurk
f. Blogs and Forums. These websites allow users to post their content. Other users are
able to comment on the said topic. There are several free blogging platforms like
Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr. On the other hand, forums are typically part of a
certain website or web service.

3. Mobile Technologies

The popularity of smartphones and tablets has taken a major rise over the years.
This is largely because of the devices’ capability to do tasks that were originally
found in personal computers. Several of these devices are capable of using high-
speed Internet. Today, the latest mobile devices use 4G Networking (LTE), which is
currently the faster mobile network. Also, devices use different operating systems.

a. iOS – used by Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad


b. Android – an open source operating system developed by Google. Being open
source means several mobile phone companies use this OS for free.
c. Blackberry OS – used in Blackberry devices
d. Windows Phone OS – a closed source and proprietary operating system
developed by Microsoft ®
e. Symbian – the original smartphone OS; used by Nokia Devices
f. WebOS – originally used for smartphones; now used for smart TVs
g. Windows Mobile – developed by Microsoft ® for smartphones and pocket PCs

4. Assistive Media

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Assistive Media is a nonprofit service designed to help people who have visual and
reading impairments. A database of audio recordings is used to read to the user.

Online Safety, Security, Ethics, and Etiquette

The Internet, truly, is a powerful tool. It can be used to promote your business, gain new
friends, and stay in touch with the old ones. It is also a source of entertainment through
games, online communities, and everything in between. But like most things in the world,
there is always the “other side of the coin”. The Internet is one of the most dangerous
places, especially if you do not know what you are doing with it. But there is no need to
worry; it is never that late.

How Safe Are You Test

Type of Risk
Information
1. First name There is a risk in sharing your first name. Chances are, a hacker may
already know plenty of stuff about you even if you only give out your
first name. Likewise, you cannot just walk into a room and start
introducing yourself to everyone. You do not know whom you can
across with.
2. Last Name If sharing your first name is a small risk, having both your first and last
is riskier. You will be vulnerable in being searched for using search
engines, which include image search. Matching a name with a face is a
modus to several cybercrimes like identity theft.
3. Middle Name Sharing your middle name alone is probably not the riskiest of this
shared information, but sharing your full name would be.
4. Current and Most people who steal identities study their subject. They can use this
Previous information for verification purposes.
School(s)
5. Your cellphone Your cellphone number should never be posted over the Internet. The
number Internet is a public place. It is the same as posting your number on a
billboard. You would not want random strangers to text or call you, or
worse, pretend that they are someone else.
6. The name of Risky, yet not as risky as posting their full names, especially your
your mother mother’s maiden name. In fact, you may have already encountered
and father many websites that require your mother’s maiden name as an answer
to a secret question whenever you lose your password.
7. The name of Disclosing this is a huge risk. Strangers may pretend or use their
your siblings identity to dupe you.
8. Your address Giving the Internet your number is one thing; giving them your address
is a whole other level. It would be much easier for criminals to find you.
9. Your home This shared information is riskier than your personal phone number.
phone number Scams usually use this information to deceive you, one of which is
when a stranger pretends to know your parents or pretends to be you.
10. Your birthday Letting people know your birthday is probably a must if you want to get

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as many gifts as possible. But having it in your profile makes you


vulnerable to identity theft.

The Internet is defined as the information superhighway. This means that anyone has
access to this highway, can place information, and can grab that information. Any
information, even things that you set privately, can be accessed one way or the other. This
is why social networking sites like Facebook continue to improve their security features.
The threat of cybercrime is very real. While you may not experience the threat now,
whatever information we share today could affect our future.

Tips to Stay Safe Online

The Internet is a public place and it is up to you to protect yourself. Here are some tips to
help you stay safe when using the Internet.

1. Be mindful of what you share online and what site you share to it.
2. Do not just accept terms and conditions; read it
3. Check out the privacy policy page of a website to learn how the website handles the
information you share.
4. Know the security features of the social networking site you use. By keeping your
profile private, search engines will not be able to scan your profile.
5. Do not share your password with anyone.
6. Avoid logging into public networks/WIFI. Browsing in “incognito (or private) mode,” a
feature of the browser, will not protect you from hackers.
7. Do not talk to strangers whether online or face-to-face.
8. Never post anything about a future vacation. It is similar to posting, “Rob my house
at this date.”
9. Add friends you know in real life.
10. Avoid visiting untrusted websites.
11. Install and update an antivirus software on your software on your computer. Use only
one antivirus software to avoid conflicts.
12. If you have a Wi-Fi at home, make it a private network by adding a password.
13. Avoid downloading anything from untrusted websites. You are most vulnerable in
peer-to-peer downloads (torrents) as the download is likely not monitored by the site
owner.
14. Buy the software; do not use pirated ones.
15. Do not reply or click links from suspicious emails.

Most people would dispute that there is no such thing as private over the Internet and they
may be right. There are hackers who can find a backdoor even if your profile is already set
to private. You have no control of whoever is looking at your friend’s screen whenever they
open your profile or chat with you. You have no control over people getting access to
friend’s account and seeing your private stuff.

Internet Threats

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Here are some of the threats you should be aware of when using the Internet:

1. Malware – stands for malicious software


a. Virus – a malicious program designed to replicate itself and transfer from one
computer to another either through the Internet and local networks or date
storage like flash drives and CDs
b. Worm – a malicious program that transfers from one computer to another by any
type of means. Often, it uses a computer network to spread itself. For example,
the ILOVEYOU worm (Love Bug Worm) created by a Filipino.
c. Trojan – a malicious program that is disguised as a useful program but once
downloaded or installed, leaves your PC unprotected and allows hackers to get
your information
*Rogue security software – tricks the user into posting that it is a security
software. It asks the user to pay to improve his/her security but in reality, they are
not protected at all.
d. Spyware – a program that runs in the background without you knowing it (thus
called “spy”). It has the ability to monitor what are you currently doing and typing
through keylogging.
*Keyloggers – used to record the keystroke done by the users. This is done to
steal their password or any other sensitive information. It can record email,
messages, or any information you type using your keyboard.
e. Adware – a program designed to send you advertisements, mostly as pop-ups
f. Ransomware – restricts access to your computer or your files and displays a
message that demands payment in order for the restriction to be removed. The
two most common means of infection appear to be phishing emails that contain
malicious attachments and website pop-up advertisements.
2. Spam – unwanted email mostly from bots or advertisers. It can be used to send
malware

Fig. 1 Retrieved from https://www.mcgill.ca/it/information-security/phishing-alerts

3. Phishing – Its goal is to acquire personal information like passwords and credit card
details. This is done by sending you an email that will direct the user to visit a

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website and be asked to update his/her username, passwords, credit card, or


personal information.
*Pharming – a more complicated way of phishing where it exploits the DNS (Domain
Name Service) system

Protecting Reputations Online

Think Before You Click


Here are things you might want to consider before posting something over the Internet

1. Before you post something on the web, ask these questions to yourself: Would you
want your parents or grandparents to see it? Would you want your future boss see
it? Once you post something on the web, you have no control of who sees your
posts.
2. Your friends depend on you to protect their reputation online. Talk to your friends
about this serious responsibility.
3. Set your post to “private”. In this way, search engines will not be able to scan that
post.
4. Avoid using names. Names are easy for search engines to scan.
5. If you feel that a post can affect you or other’s reputation, ask the one who posted it
to pull it down or report it as inappropriate.

Copyright Infringement

If you create something – an idea, an invention, a form of literary work, or a research, you
have the right as to how it should be used by others. This is called intellectual property. In
other words, the copyright law includes your rights over your work, and anyone who uses it
without your consent is punishable by law. Try grabbing any book then browse its first few
pages and you will a page with a disclaimer with words: “No part of this book may be
copied, reproduced...” That is a copyright page.

As a responsible user of the Internet, you have to consider that not everything out there is
free out for you to use. Just like your own, contents that you see from websites have their
respective copyrights. There are several instances where employees or business owners
face copyright infringement and are sentenced to a huge fine due to the reckless copying of
materials.

Here are some tips that could help you avoid copyright infringement:

1. Understand. Copyright protects literary works, photographs, paintings, drawings,


films, music (and lyrics), choreography, and sculptures, but it generally does NOT
protect underlying ideas and facts. This means that you can express something
using your own words, but you should give credit to the source.
2. Be responsible. Even if a material does not say that it is copyrighted, it is not a valid
defense against copyright. Be responsible enough to know if something has a
copyright.

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3. Be creative. Ask yourself whether what you are making is something that came from
you or something made from somebody else’s creativity. It is important to add your
own creative genius in everything that will be credited to you.
4. Know the law. There are some limitations to copyright laws. For instance, in the
Philippines, copyrights only last a lifetime (of the author) plus 50 years. There are
also provisions for “fair use” which mean that an intellectual property may be used
without a consent as long as it is used in commentaries, criticisms, search engines,
parodies, news reports, research, library archiving, teaching, and policy of fair use,
seek first.

Online Research

Have you ever searched the Internet for certain information where the search engine
returned a different result? For example, if you were to search for “The Madonna” as the
representation of Mary in the form of an art, you would probably use the keyword
“Madonna” to search for it on the net. But if you use that same keyword nowadays, you are
more likely to stumble upon “Madonna” the music artist instead. And if you used “The
Madonna” to search for “The Madonna” in the first place, you will be directed to the right
place.

The information that we need is more likely already on the Internet. It is just a matter of how
to look for it and how to use information from the most credible source. Here are some tips
in conducting online research:

1. Have a question in mind. Focus on a question you want to be answered. If it is a


series of questions, start with one. Never search everything in one go.
2. Narrow it down. Search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo use several filters to
determine the most appropriate result for you. These search engines use your
previous search history and your geographical location, and send you the result
which is the most related to you.

Core Rules of Netiquette

Netiquette, or network etiquette, is concerned with the "proper" way to communicate in an


online environment. Consider the following "rules," adapted from Virginia Shea's The Core
Rules of Netiquette, whenever you communicate in the virtual world.

Rule 1: Remember the Human


When communicating electronically, whether through email, instant message, discussion
post, text, or some other method, practice the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would
have others do unto you. Remember, your written words are read by real people, all
deserving of respectful communication. Before you press "send" or "submit," ask yourself,
"Would I be okay with this if someone else had written it?"

Rule 2: Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life

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While it can be argued that standards of behavior may be different in the virtual world, they
certainly should not be lower. You should do your best to act within the laws and ethical
manners of society whenever you inhabit "cyberspace." Would you behave rudely to
someone face-to-face? On most occasions, no. Neither should you behave this way in the
virtual world.

Rule 3: Know where you are in cyberspace


"Netiquette varies from domain to domain." (Shea, 1994) Depending on where you are in
the virtual world, the same written communication can be acceptable in one area, where it
might be considered inappropriate in another. What you text to a friend may not be
appropriate in an email to a classmate or colleague. Can you think of another example?

Rule 4: Respect other people’s time and bandwidth


Electronic communication takes time: time to read and time in which to respond. Most
people today lead busy lives, just like you do, and don't have time to read or respond to
frivolous emails or discussion posts. As a virtual world communicator, it is your
responsibility to make sure that the time spent reading your words isn't wasted. Make your
written communication meaningful and to the point, without extraneous text or superfluous
graphics or attachments that may take forever to download.

Rule 5: Make yourself look good online


One of the best things about the virtual world is the lack of judgment associated with your
physical appearance, the sound of your voice, or the clothes you wear (unless you post a
video of yourself singing Karaoke in a clown outfit.) You will, however, be judged by the
quality of your writing, so keep the following tips in mind:
Always check for spelling and grammar errors
Know what you're talking about and state it clearly
Be pleasant and polite
Rule 6: Share expert knowledge
The Internet offers its users many benefits; one is the ease in which information can be
shared or accessed and in fact, this "information sharing" capability is one of the reasons
the Internet was founded. So in the spirit of the Internet's "founding fathers," share what you
know! When you post a question and receive intelligent answers, share the results with
others. Are you an expert at something? Post resources and references about your subject
matter. Recently expanded your knowledge about a subject that might be of interest to
others? Share that as well.

Rule 7: Help keep flame wars under control


What is meant by "flaming" and "flame wars?" "Flaming is what people do when they
express a strongly held opinion without holding back any emotion." (Shea, 1994). As an
example, think of the kinds of passionate comments you might read on a sports blog. While
"flaming" is not necessarily forbidden in virtual communication, "flame wars," when two or
three people exchange angry posts between one another, must be controlled or the
camaraderie of the group could be compromised. Don't feed the flames; extinguish them by
guiding the discussion back to a more productive direction.

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Rule 8: Respect other people’s privacy


Depending on what you are reading in the virtual world, be it an online class discussion
forum, Facebook page, or an email, you may be exposed to some private or personal
information that needs to be handled with care. Perhaps someone is sharing some medical
news about a loved one or discussing a situation at work. What do you think would happen
if this information "got into the wrong hands?" Embarrassment? Hurt feelings? Loss of a
job? Just as you expect others to respect your privacy, so should you respect the privacy of
others. Be sure to err on the side of caution when deciding to discuss or not to discuss
virtual communication.

Rule 9: Don’t abuse power


Just like in face-to-face situations, there are people in cyberspace who have more "power"
than others. They have more expertise in technology or they have years of experience in a
particular skill or subject matter. Maybe it's you who possesses all of this knowledge and
power! Just remember: knowing more than others do or having more power than others
may have does not give you the right to take advantage of anyone. Think of Rule 1:
Remember the human.

Rule 10: Be forgiving of other people’s mistakes


Not everyone has the same amount of experience working in the virtual world. And not
everyone knows the rules of netiquette. At some point, you will see a stupid question, read
an unnecessarily long response, or encounter misspelled words; when this happens,
practice kindness and forgiveness as you would hope someone would do if you had
committed the same offense. If it's a minor "offense," you might want to let it slide. If you
feel compelled to respond to a mistake, do so in a private email rather than a public forum.

Adapted from The Core Rules of Netiquette Shea, V. (1994). Core rules of
netiquette. Netiquette (Online ed., pp. 32-45). San Francisco: Albion Books.

Ransomware. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/cnt/rsks/cmmn-thrts-


en.aspx last September 7, 2017.

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