Digital Commerce

Aim: To create a 'c-book' on what it means to be a digital citizen in the 21st century.

1. Overview/Description

Digital Commerce is defined as the electronic selling and buying of goods however it goes further than that, nowadays technology is having a tremendous influence in our lives; currently we are having to deal with the fact that a large share of market economy is being done electronically. The Internet now gives us the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of products, as toys, clothes, cars, food, etc yet this faces a problem as illegal goods are being sold as well and this makes Digital Commerce something to think about. The access to almost any products makes us wonder about the legal and illegal acts that could be done simply by trading on the net. The point of this explanation is to make others aware, specially young students that the electronic commerce might be dangerous thus at the same time might be useful, it is important to know how to commerce electronically correctly. The rise of the digital economy does not change the issue of right and wrong, but it does enhance the user’s access to buying and selling goods, which magnifies the issue of illegal activities.
We may summarize what Digital Commerce is in 4 points:
  • Online buying
  • Online selling
  • Media subscriptions (i.e., i tunes)
  • Buying and selling "virtual merchandise" for online games

Why are more people shopping online?
This video shows one of the many benefits that we get if we shop online, we wont have to go through what this lady does.

Digital Commerce is the electronic buying and selling of goods. Now a days, a large amount is being purchased on the internet, because it’s easier and more convenient. Almost anything can be bought such as music, toys clothing, cars, food and even porn. Even though some of these purchases are illegal we will be focusing on all the item’s you can buy legally on the internet. Some of the popular websites are eBay, iTunes, Amazon, HMV, Best Buy and much more.

The Digital Commerce Cycle
The Digital Commerce Cycle

2. Background

**Online porn often leads high-tech way**:
This article is of great value.It is the story of an unsuccessful high tech pioneer named Jason Tucker, who tired of being a failure took some nude photos out of a trash can and went on to create a multi million-dollar Internet company with the worlds largest collection of erotic images. His explanation was that no one was willing to create new ideas and so that made him become more frustrated that he even was.
This is an example of how technology is so abroad that has enabled people to make the Internet one of the most profitable sources.
Currently it has such a great extent that everyday millions of video clips and photos are filched from for- pay porn sites and traded
, forcing the red-light districts of cyberspace to find novel ways to protect digital content..

-Commerce drives virtual world:
This article talks about how Michelle Valentine visits an online auction site which helps thousands of members to move all manner of virtual goods that they have created. These auctions are creative and very useful.
This is an example of Digital Commerce because it shows how people trade and commerce online with other people, this improves our capacities as buyers as well as sellers. There is a vast marketplace of goods being created and this is why the economy is humming.Players buy and sell things in several ways. Members run stores, they have their own catalog and people sell to each other one-on-one. But perhaps the most popular, and most efficient, is the auction system, which is much like eBay.
This proves how the internet can be used responsibly and safely, and is positively affecting the economy as each day more and more people and joining this program.

**New ways to untether travelers** :
This article talks about how technology seldom arrives on the counter wrapped in pretty foil and ready to go like a box of fancy chocolates.
It explains how technology advances more each day, as we are in a new era, everything around us is improving thanks to technology. It all started with new cellphones and now it is evolving with the use of internet on airplanes, hotels and public areas. All this is happening thanks toWi-Fi which is a system that uses radio frequencies to build local zones where laptops or personal digital devices can have access to Internet.
Thus even though the Internet might face some challenges, those can be easily solved in seconds which demonstrates that things are going much faster and that technology is becoming more useful for us. This is another great example of Digital Commerce.

**Porn law targets cybersquatters**:
This last article explains how prosecutors are looking to build a forceful test case against predatory domain-name practices. It about how people who unwittingly enter the misspelled names into their browser windows find themselves confronted with porn, pop-up ads and other unwanted distractions. To make matters worse, prosecutors note, some of those domains appear to directly target children. Current picks include the websites and, variations on the animated programs Teletubbies and Bob the Builder. But rather than finding their cartoon friends, those who type in the misspelled Web addresses get directed to a garish porn site called Hanky Panky College.
The policy experts say that downloading pornographic content on the internet and linking it to children is clearly a criminal offense and those who practice it should be punished. This is another example of Digital Commerce as those who are searching for some events and find others they do not wish to see, might feel uncomfortable. Overall it proves that even though the internet is very useful it might also be dangerous.

3. Social/ ethical aspects

  • Privacy and anonymity: This social aspect is very important in Digital Commerce. It refers to how we must be aware that privacy online is required, anonymity is involved as to who should be allowed to be anonymous in network interactions and under what circumstances. It also refers to consumer privacy, specially when buying online. Thus privacy is required because the implicit dangers are enormous and can easily affect anyone of us.
  • Security: This social aspect is very essential, security is necessary when it refers to buying items online, it is required because we must ensure that our private information doesn't go everywhere and that the pages we are visiting are safe.
  • Policies and standards:

What others can you add?

4. Possible solutions to the problems

There are always questions that pop up when someone is shopping online. Am I protected online? Is my credit card number safe? How can I keep my credit card number safe? There are many different tools and tricks you should know to buy and sell correctly online.

Am I protected online?

If you take the right approach towards online shopping, you won't have to worry about hackers and you will be 100% safe. One of the most dangerous threats to your personal information is a scam. A scam is when someone tricks you into giving them your personal information online. As long as you do not give out personal information, you will be safe.

How can I keep my credit card number safe?

There are many ways to keep your credit card number safe online. One way you can tell that the website you are shopping on is safe is if it has https: at the front of the URL. The "s" in https: stands for secure. If it only has http:, it is not guarenteed to be a safe website. When you use Internet Explorer, there is usuall a padlock at the bottom to assure the safety of the page.

What do I do if my identity is stolen?

The first thing you should do if your identity is stolen is to contact your credit card company and cancel your credit card to prevent anything being bought under your name. Then you should contact the authorities so they can find out who stole your credit card and be prosecuted.

5. Guidelines for teenagers

There are many ways to prevent teenagers from getting into the digital commerce world. Parents could stop teens by watching what kids do frequently. Most sites will not let teens buy or sell things over the internet unless they are 18. When teens turn 18, most parents really can't stop them anyways because they are legal to do some things. There are sites that let you buy stuff like music, movies, and other items. Sites such as iTunes, Ebay, and Amazon are part of Digital Commerce. Most of these web sites require credit cards. Unless that teen is independent, you can just not give your kid your credit card. Most commerce websites are legal such as iTunes. There are some sites that you should stay away such as Limewire and Frostwire. These sites let you download music for free but it is illegal and could give yourcomputer a virus. One way to restrict that is to block those sites. Parents should always check their kids computers to see what is downloaded onto their computer such as Limewire. If you find program like that then you should delete it immediately because it is against the law.

Input/Ideas for Digiteen Contract:

Think about it:
How children and teens can be safe during digital commerce:

"One of the most amazing things of Internet culture is that children are the most computer literate among us, but their vulnerability to on-line predators prevents their being able to enjoy or explore freely what is likely to be the defining medium of their lives.
The problem, to date, is intractable. On one hand, how do on-line services create a safe place for children to meet and play together while at the same time protecting them from pedophiles and unscrupulous marketers who often pose as children? On the other, how can we keep children away from pornographic adult sites, which are accessible at the click of a mouse button?
For example, America Online's ''Kids Only'' site displays many warnings and safety tips, but its ''pager'' system, which allows children to summon a monitor if they feel threatened on line, is hopelessly backed up. Many users report waiting half an hour or longer for a monitor to respond.
The result was Safe Playgrounds, which Mr. Morgan is now asking industry executives and politicians to support. Its tenets are:
To develop a ''kid's browser'' that includes an unbreakable bit of software code that Mr. Morgan is calling a G-bit, for general audience. This identifies the user as someone who is either under 18 years old or who does not want to see adult material. Web publishers then rate and code their own sites, and anyone who shows up at an adult site with this G-bit will be denied access."

Digital commerce can also be risky, because people sometimes get nervous about putting their credit card details on the internet or theft. There are a lot of different ways for paying for your online purchases, such as debit cards, electronic money, cash on delivery, cheques, wire transfer, postal money orders. Paypal, moneybookers, reverse sms billing so that the bill is sent with your phone bill, gift cards and of course credit cards.

Because buyers cannot see the real product before they purchase it, there are more chances of fraud happening. SSL (the secure socket layer) has solved the problem of credit card details being stolen but identity thefts are still an issue when they hack into the supplier's site and steal names, credit card numbers, addresses and other personal information.

To avoid theft, only shop from sites that you know and have heard are good and reliable, read the privacy policy to make sure you do agree with it, make sure that the vendor address is protected with SSL, and you will know this because the url begins with "https" instead of just "http", and to make sure your passwords are strong (a mixture of letters and numbers) and you don't display any unnecessary personal information.
It seems so much more convenient to do your shopping when you are sitting at your computer, not having to get up and go to the shops, and most of the sites deliver to your house. It is also convenient because they are open all day, everyday. This is why in 2006 alone, the US made $146.4 billion in online shopping or online auctions.

Ebay is a great example of an online auction. On Ebay you can sell or buy collectibles, appliances, computers, furniture, equipment, vehicles and other types of items. Nearly anything can be sold on Ebay, as long as it isn't illegal and does not violate the Ebay Prohibited and Restricted Items Policy. You can buy new items or second items on Ebay. Companies often sell new releases on Ebay as well as in the shops to maximize sales.

A few tips when buying or selling on the internet:

  • Know how the scams work. They only work if they can fool you. If you know about them they can't fool you. Read about the most common ones that affect this website by clicking here.
  • Purchase in person if possible. The most expensive items sold in the classifieds on this site are motorcycles. If you see a good deal on a motorcycle that is thousands of miles from you, there is a good chance you'll find a similar deal close to you. If the deal really good you might find it worth wile to travel.
  • Use a secure method of sending money. Never send cash or transfer money via Western Union to an unknown person. OK, it looks like were picking on Western Union. We don't mean to. They are great for sending money to someone you know.
  • Use a third party to help with the transaction. Escrow companies can help but be very cautious. Make sure you are dealing with a real and licensed escrow company. Many scammers are setting up fake companies to collect the money. This can be a problem if you are selling also. This is one of the common scams. Please take the time to read about it by clicking here. Some fake companies can be very convincing. If in doubt, don't use them. We have a few tips for spotting fraudulent escrow companies. Click here for that information.
See more information on Digital Commerce and what not.

Statistics from Vienna International School
45 students from Grade 8 (13-14 year olds) took this survey.
Have you ever purchased anything online?(books, songs, clothes etc.)
Yes 37/45 82% No 8/45 18%
Have you ever looked at an item online before buying it somewhere else?
Yes 36/45 80% No 9/45 20%
Do you feel safe giving out credit card details online?
Yes 12/45 27% no 29/45 64% (4 people weren't sure)
Do you think you will buy things online in the future?
Yes 39/45 87% No 6/45 13%

Links to:
Action Qatar Academy
Action Vienna International School
Action Westwood School