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With the Dotcom gold rush and the advent of the Internet, the world has proliferated and grew more sophisticated. The Internet, just like the cellular phones and televisions, has become a need in this modern era. Closer to home, the introduction of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) has boosted the numbers of Internet users in Malaysia. In fact, the cyberspace fever is still spreading, faster than we ever imagine.
The Internet, once dominated by the military intelligence has brought changes into our lives. Although it was initially created as a communication system to last the fallout of a nuclear war, the Internet has been librated. One needs only a telephone line and a computer equipped with a modem to explore the cyberspace. Thus, knowledge is now easily and readily accessible. With just a simple surf to various search engines in the Net like Yahoo or AltaVista, we can get thousands of web addresses linked to the information we want. We can even download it and save it into our computer for free.
Further more, communication via the Internet is very convenient and cheap. Net communities can congregate via e-groups or chat rooms with a very low cost. Discussion can be made online without the hassle of rushing to a meeting place. We can even contact our friends or relatives anywhere in the world easily by sending e-mails, which is much cheaper than the conventional Snail Mail. In deed, the Internet boom has made the world even smaller.
Besides that, Internet-based companies, usually known as the Dotcoms, are sprouting everywhere, creating a new type of business for the communities. This so-called business of the new millennium is e-commerce. It is actually an online web portal created by the companies as a platform for them to provide their services or sell their products to everyone in the world without the need of launching new branches in other countries. In Malaysia, many Dot Com companies are formed due to the fact that we need these type of companies for our MSC project. Some meet failures in the middle of formation, but those successive ones keep on earning big money from the benefits of e-commerce.
However, cyberspace is no longer a safe zone. One of the major treat caused by the introduction of the Internet is pornography. The recent survey shows that 30% of the websites parked in the Net contain sexual-based images or materials. These pornographies poison the minds of the young. Their fresh minds have been corrupted by these negative elements. Some of them even get addicted and neglect their responsibility as a student. Though there are many censorship software in the market such as NetNanny and SurfWatch, the governments policy of not censoring the Internet has affected the young very seriously. Therefore, a comprehensive study should be made in searching for the best solution.
In addition, classy crimes like hacking, cracking credit card numbers, spreading computer viruses and spamming have been a common topic lately. These done by unscrupulous people have caused a lot of damage and loss. A companys database can be destroy in a split second and home users will have to send their computers to the service centres more often if these people keeps on exploiting the Internet.
Besides, to understand more deeply about our national cyber awareness, one must surf the websites. Some of these websites sell a mixture of rumours, black propagandas and amateur political analysis. These half-truths especially by the anti-government movements have created a certain havoc in the nation. The citizens and the international communities seem to receive false news about our country, which will affect our economy and politics stability.
Thus, there are many advantages of the Internet. But the current migraine suffered from the exploitation of the Internet should not be taken for granted. Government should take serious measures to handle the problems and make the Internet a safer place for everybody to explore.