Introduction to Information Literacy in the K12 Classroom/Chapter 9
Safety in the Digital Age
When teaching about information literacy in the digital age it is imperative that parents and teachers teach students how to stay safe when using technology. Dangers that range from spam and spyware to online predators should be identified and methods to protect yourself should be outlined for students so they can make use of the wealth of information and technology available in a safe manner.
Possible Student Dangers:
- Spam : Spam is large amounts of messages sent to people who did not choose to receive them. Spam messages can include advertisements for questionable products and services, pornographic images, scams offering to help the receiver “get rich quick” or viruses and Trojan horses. To avoid spam try to not to give out your e-mail address to often. Often companies will sell your information to others. This can result in large amounts of unwanted e-mail.(Muller, 2008)
- Viruses: Viruses are pieces of computer code which attach themselves to computer programs. When the program is run the virus becomes embedded in the computer's memory. The virus can then cause damage to software of files on the computer.
- Trojan Horses : Trojan horses appear to be useful software. However, once they are downloaded they can damage your software or files and/or send sensitive information (like usernames and passwords) back to someone else.
- Spyware : Software that tracks your movements on the Internet, collects personal information or targets advertising to you. (What is Spyware?, 2008)
- Cyberharrasment/ cyberstalking : When an adult harasses, threatens, humiliates or targets a child or another adult on line. This can occur through e-mails, instant messages, posts on discussion boards, text messages etc. (Stop Cyberbullying 2008)
- Cyberbullying : When minor harasses, threatens, humiliates or targets another child on line.
- On line predators: Predators may attempt to lure children into dangerous or sexual situations through contacting them on the Internet. This can happen through chat rooms, instant messaging, e-mails, or other communication.
(Stop Cyberbullying 2008)
Guidelines for Avoiding Danger:
- Never give out personal information on the Internet
- Do not open e-mails, files or attachments from people you do not know
- Do not tell your password to anyone except your parents
- If anything makes you uncomfortable tell an adult immediately
(Canada Safety Council 2008)
Tips for Parents and Teachers:
- Keep the computer in a central location so you can monitor activity
- Possibly share an e-mail account with your child so you can monitor communication
- Check with your Internet service provider to see if they offer any services that can restrict access to certain sites for your child
- Look into software that filters on line content
- Teachers--make sure safety is part of your lesson plan. Make sure students are aware of any safety before using new technology. Here are some ideas for integrating internet safety into the classroom: EducationWorld
- Most importantly—talk to your children about safety. Make sure they know they can come to you if they are having problems or feel uncomfortable
(Web Myths 2008)
Visit this site for lesson plans on internet safety: http://www.staysafeonline.info/content/lessons-and-teaching-materials
McGruff's safety information: http://www.mcgruff.org/Advice/online_safety.php
30 Ways to stay safe on the internet: http://www.chaminade.org/MIS/WebSafety/30ways.htm
Safe surfing quiz: http://www.staysafeonline.org/content/self-assessment-quiz-0
Internet safety tutorial: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/computer/topic.aspx?id=97
NetSmartz information workshop to promote internet safety: http://www.netsmartz.org/index.aspx
Mueller, Scott What is spam?. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from Fight Spam on the Internet Web site: http://spam.abuse.net/overview/whatisspam.shtml
What is spyware?. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from Windows Live Web site: http://onecare.live.com/site/en-us/article/spyware_what.htm
What is cyberbullying, exactly?. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from Stop Cyberbullying Web site: http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/what_is_cyberbullying_exactly.html
Web rules. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from Canada Safety Council Web site: http://www.safety-council.org/info/child/webrules.html.
Safety myths and tips for web 2.0. Retrieved June 20, 2008, from SafeKids Web site: http://safekids.com/2008/03/18/safety-myths-and-web-20/