Learn it Yourself (LIY)

Non-Obvious Online Safety

Online privacy mind map. It includes topics such as cyber bullying, identity theft, password security, your online identity, and online tracking.

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The Not-So-Obvious Stuff

Online privacy – there’s the obvious stuff that you’ve probably heard a lot about already:

Giving online strangers your address or your bank info is a bad idea
Don’t post pics of yourself doing illegal things
Don’t use “password” as your password
Be nice to other people online

But what about the not-so-obvious stuff?

` External Link: How young people use social media

` External Link: Google’s digital literacy portal

- Question: When is it okay to use “password” as your password?

1. With social media accounts
2. With online banking accounts
3. Never


Think of an online account as your house and your password is the key to your house. You would never use a key to your house that is really similar to a lot of other people’s keys.

The same goes for passwords.

Make your passwords hard to guess – not just because your friends end up posting ridiculous status updates on your social media accounts, but because of identity theft.

When someone steals your identity they can do things like open bank accounts and use your credit cards.


Airtight Passwords

How can you avoid this? Quite easily, actually. Follow these simple steps for creating an airtight password.

  • At least eight non-repeating characters that aren’t dictionary words – the longer, the better 
  • A mixture of letters, numbers, symbols, capitals, and lowercase letters 
  • Make different passwords for everything – including phone and computer
  • Don’t use easy answers to security questions 
  • Don’t log into sensitive sites – like online banking – over public wifi
  • Avoid using the most common passwords

` External Link: Is your password on this list? The most common and dangerous passwords

` External Link: Having trouble remembering your password? Try this tool

- Question: Which this is the best password?

1. ninja
2. Shark08
3. IlLwOtB!

The Internet Never Forgets.

This is kind of true but kind of not. Once you delete something, no one else can access it.

The “never forgetting” part happens when other people have saved, emailed or re-posted something of yours before you deleted it.


Online Bullying

Bullying happens online, just like it does in real life. It can be a really difficult thing to handle but there are ways to deal with it.

1. Know that you’re not alone many people get bullied online Interactive:

  • 25% of kids between 12-15 have witnessed cyberbullying
  • 25% of girls and 17% of boys have witnessed online harassment
  • 51% of all teens have had negative experience with social networking
  • 16% said someone posted an embarrassing photo of them
  • 12% said someone hacked their account

Source: Ipsos Reid 2011 Survey of 416 Canadian Teenagers


Getting Help

2. Get evidence – take a picture or screen capture to document what is happening
How to do a screencap on any computer.
How to do a screencap on any phone.

3. Report it to an adult, to the site it’s happening on, and police if necessary
How to report abuse to social media sites.

4. Talk to someone
Talk to someone online.
Talk to someone on the phone.

- Question: On average, how many people experience bullying online?

1. Everyone
2. No one
3. A lot of people

Online Tracking

You have an audience for everything you do.

  • Friends
  • Potential employers and schools
  • Companies

Everything you do online is being tracked. What you buy, what you like on Facebook, things you read online – everything.

But tracking isn’t always bad. It creates a customized web experience.

This is how Google knows when you search for “burrito place,” to give you results for your area and not for another city on the side of the world.

` External Link: Online targeting and tracking

` External Link: Good to Know by Google


Who’s Tracking You?

The bigger problem with tracking is that it’s being done without you knowing. Your digital trail can also influence the prices you are offered on products, your credit card or loan limits, and insurance rates.

How to learn what is being tracked about you:

` External Link: Firefox’s Collusion

` External Link: Ghostery’s table of companies that track your info and how they use it


How To Change What Can Be Tracked About You

  • Keeper browsers updated
  • Delete your cookies. Usually this is found under the option tab of your browser
  • Turn on private private browsing which will delete all cookies collected when you close the browser.  Firefox → Private Browsing, Chrome → Incognito, Internet Explorer → InPrivate
  • Install do not track plug-ins for your browser like Privacy Choice
  • Choose privacy settings for sites and websites that do not track or share your info. Check the default privacy settings and change them so that you are in control of your info.

` External Link: The truth about privacy policies

` External Link: What to do if your info has been compromised

- Question: Of the top 1000 websites, how many have an option to opt out of their online tracking?

1. 28
2. 502
3. 720

Next Steps

When you’re online, the things you do add up to create an online identity, whether you’re aware of this or not.

See what your public online identity is right now. Go ahead – Google yourself. What did you find?

Since an identity is being created anyway, why not take control and create an authorized biography? You can create online identity that will help you achieve your education and career goals. Raise the Grade is going to help you do exactly that.