• Lesson 1: Protecting your Identity

     This lesson brings awareness to you about online privacy and ways to be responsible digital citizens. It focuses on the risks involved with social networking and ways to protect personal identity. You will examine the possible dangers of posting personal information on the Internet. You will also learn ways to identify risky situations and ways to guard their privacy.

  • Lesson 2: Safety Risks in Online Activities

    This lesson will discuss online activities that can pose threats to your safety. You will learn about cyberbullying, including reasons that people cyberbully others and ways to be an upstander. You will explore the difficult but important online issue of sexting. And you will learn about risks involved with the very popular activity of online gaming.

  • Lesson 3: Legal & Ethical Issues of Internet Content

    In this lesson, you will explore the many aspects of legal and ethical use of the information and materials they find on the Internet. You will explore rules and guidelines for copyright, fair use and permissions associated with original authorship of writing, music, audio, video, graphics/images and computer software, among other types of downloadable items.

  • Lesson 4: Protecting Your Computer From Security Threats

    In this lesson, you will explore various cybersecurity threats and risks that affect their computing systems, and learn techniques to minimize the associated risks.

  • Cyber Security Essentials

    Chapter 1: Protecting your Identity


    Lesson 1 Notes

    Lesson Skills
    After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
    • Define "privacy," and relate it to the term "digital footprint."
    • Explain the risks associated with giving out personal information.
    • Describe the possible consequences of posting personal messages online.
    • Suggest ways in which people can behave positively in cyberspace.
    Key Terms
    • blocking
    • digital footprint
    • dossier
    • online predators
    • online profile
    • privacy
    • privacy settings
    • risk
    • social network
    • stranger


    What are the things you like to do online? You may believe you are totally anonymous when playing games, watching YouTube, reading books on your e-reader, etc. Privacy, according to Dictionary.com is, "the state of being free from unwanted or undue intrusion or disturbance in one's private life or affairs; freedom to be let alone: Tourists must respect the tribe's privacy" (Dictionary.com, 2016). How does this apply to you? How does the meaning change between the real world and the online world? How much privacy do you have online when doing each of the things you mention? 

    Privacy is affected when someone knows your name or address. What if someone reads your e-mail? What if someone follows you around all day? These examples represent a loss of privacy. People online, often strangers, may try to obtain information about you.
    You can accidentally open yourself up to danger without meaning to; giving out personal information is often done in dribs and drabs, and there are people who will add up the little things to be able to figure out where you are and how to find you. For example, imagine you're in a chat room and there's someone there who's pretending to be a kid but is really an online predator: someone who intentionally targets people for harm using online chat rooms or social media. You're smart and you don't give out your phone number, your school, or even your last name: you think you're being really careful. But you mention that you play soccer for a county team, and you tell them which county you're in. No biggie, right? There are tons of people in the county. You post a picture of yourself in your jersey—again, no biggie, because they don't know your name and finding one person in a whole county can't be easy. But now the predator knows your team name and colors, and which county you're in. All he has to do is look up the team Web site and find out which team is yours and when they're playing, then show up at a game. Bingo. He's found you, from a picture and the name of your county alone, and only has to follow your parents' car home after the game to know where you live. Always, always assume that any stranger on the Internet has bad intentions and will cause harm if given the chance; that may not be the case, but just as you don't trust random strangers in public with your home address or a key to your house, don't trust random strangers online with information that can provide a key to your privacy. On social media, such as Facebook, you're safest to lock your account down so that only people on your friends list can see what you post and be very, very picky whom you friend.

    Links to Learn More
    Digital Footprint
    Your digital footprint means that when you update your status, check-in to a location or post a photo, these things are being saved and tracked, both by the companies that provide the services and, probably, by your browser in files called "cookies". That's how browsers remember your favorites and your previous searches, and can fill in fields for you. Ask yourself which breaches of privacy would worry you. Which information do you not mind sharing with the world? What kind of information needs to be kept secret? 

    dossier is a detailed report, usually about a person. A digital footprint is like a dossier: everything you do online, everything you post, everything you share, is saved somewhere on a server and can, theoretically or in truth, be accessed, even years later. Colleges and potential employers look at your social media footprint when they're considering whether to you admit you. That stupid picture of yourself when you were fifteen holding your dad's can of beer can be used against you five, ten, fifteen or more years later. 
    • What are some Web sites where you might go? What kind of footprint would you leave there? (i.e., if someone at a college admissions office or your potential boss saw it, what would they think?)
    • What kind of things do you post? They don't go away. Even the stuff you send on Snapchat is saved on their servers and can be retrieved.
    Top Tips for Internet Safety
    • Treat your password like your toothbrush: don't share it with anyone and change it often.
    • Always remember to log off when you have finished with an online service.
    • Use your own digital footprints to remember your favorite Web sites, like the history button and your bookmarks.
    • Remember that most of the Web sites you visit will make a note of your visit, and may also track the Web sites you visit before and after their Web site!
    Suggested activity

    Social Networking Sites and Privacy

    A site or online community where people with like experiences or interests communicate with each other and share information, resources, etc. is called a social network. Web sites such as Facebook are one of the most popular online activities and one that poses the greatest risk to privacy. Similar social networking sites that you may visit include Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, and others.

    Privacy settings are the settings on social networks that allow users to control who sees what they post, and they can either be adjusted post by post, or set to a default setting. Consider these points:
    • Legal issues – Defamatory posts and tweets—saying insulting things about people—can be brought to court. Libel is untrue, defamatory statements that are written; slander is untrue, defamatory statements that are spoken. Both can land you in trouble with the law, and if you've posted something on social media, law enforcement or lawyers can get permission to retrieve what you wrote.
    • Cybercrime – Burglary and identity theft are just two types of crime that can be traced to sharing information on social media. Birthdays, addresses, where you go to school, teams you're on, where you work, where you go to meet friends/associates—any or all of these can help criminals.
    • Behavior tracking – Many, if not most, Web sites use cookies (tracking software) to track where you've been on the Web and what kinds of things you access. Often, that information is sold to other companies (known as third parties), who can use it for their own ends. There are types of blocking software like Adblock Plus or Privacy Badger, which can prevent most sites from collecting your data. If you use these, though, some sites won't let you access their information. In some browsers, like Chrome, you can open an Incognito Window, which doesn't connect your Google account to the information you're accessing.
    • Geolocation and geotagging – Software that uses GPS to track where you are when you take pictures or access information on your cell phone. Geotagging automatically tags any pictures you take with the location of where you took it, whether you want it to or not. This can provide criminals with where you've been and what you've been doing. Turning off the GPS on your phone can help stop this from happening, though sometimes location can be gained via WiFi or 4G connections.
    • Image and persona – As bad as rumors can be in person, they can be much worse online, because they can spread farther and faster, and can be harder to disprove. Information you post can do the same thing. In some cases people have been fired for complaining about their jobs, or denied entrance to college because of party photos they've posted. Always be aware of what you're posting and what it can mean for other parts of your life, now or in the future, and remember that privacy settings can be used to help protect what you post.

    Cybersafety Techniques 

    View the privacy settings on various social networking sites (such as FacebookApps connected to Facebook accountPinterestMicrosoftiPad). 
    Many social networking Web sites require you to set up an online profile, but there are ways to protect your privacy when you're doing so. Here are some ideas to think about:
    • Screen name – Create a screen name instead of using your real name, if you're allowed to. Some social media sites, like Facebook, require you to use your real name, but most others don't. Choose a screen name that reflects your interests, like SoccerPlayer23 or Gamer2000, and make sure you avoid ones that are inappropriate or suggestive; they can not only attract the wrong sorts of attention, but can cause you problems in the long run, especially if prospective employers or college admissions offices discover them.
    • Profile picture – Nothing says your profile pic has to be a full-face view of you, or even a picture of you at all. Pictures of things you like, places you've been, objects that mean something to you, etc. can be perfectly good profile pictures, and don't give predators any way to identify you in real life. Alternatively, some social media sites allow you to create cartoon-like avatars to represent you.
    • Profile information – Never make your birthday, phone number, or home address viewable to the public! Nearly every social media Web site has a way for you to keep your information private, or viewable only to people you've friended on the site.
    • Contact information – Avoid using your phone number on social media sites. If the site you're on requires it to create an account, generally the site keeps it hidden (and tells you so when you're signing up). Again, be aware of your privacy settings; make sure your phone number is hidden from everyone except the people you really want to have it.
    • Online persona – Remember that your likes, preferences, wallpapers, etc. say a lot about you, and that you will be judged based on what you post. Anything that's racy or inappropriate may lower someone's impression of you when you apply for college or jobs.
    • Linking Accounts – Be wary of linking accounts. There are a lot of sites out there that will let you log in by linking your social media account to their site. Be aware of how much information both the site you're linking to, and the social media site, are gaining when you link them. They're learning about your likes, your dislikes, where you live, what you do, and sometimes even more information than that, depending on what site you're logging into. It's often safest to create a secondary e-mail account to log into these sites instead.

    Review Your Privacy Settings
    • Google yourself. It's the best way to see how your profile is being displayed.
    • Review the site's privacy policy. This will tell you what information they require, whether they sell your information to third parties, and how they use the information themselves. If their privacy policy is too long or confusing, do some research using a search engine and see if anyone out there has advice or information that's easier to understand. Often there are blogs or how-to articles for the sites you want, and they will explain how to maintain your privacy on those sites.
    • Pay attention to site policy changes, which are always communicated to users, though not always obviously; sometimes it's just an e-mail or online message telling you that their privacy policy has changed. Just because your information is private when you set it up, doesn't necessarily mean it'll stay that way, or that you won't have to go in and change settings to keep your information private.

    Monitoring Your Digital Footprint
    Beyond your settings on social media, there are ways to keep your digital footprint at a minimum.
    • There are browser extensions that you can download that help keep your browsing history private, or at any rate more so. Some of these include Disconnect Me, DoNotTrackMe, and Ghostery.
    • Google tracks everything you do, especially if you're using Chrome. However, Chrome has an alternative called an Incognito Window. It can be accessed under the 'File' menu. However, be aware that that means you won't have access to any of your saved passwords or your bookmarks, because it effectively disconnects you from your account without having to log out.
    • Keep a list of your accounts, then delete the ones you no longer use. If it's been more than a year since you used your Tumblr account, it might be time to get rid of it. That's less information about you that's available for easy searching.
    • Be wary of oversharing. That includes 'checking in' via GPS at places you're visiting. Not only can the Web site track you that way, so can online predators, and they can (and might very well) make note of patterns of behavior. If you check in at the same place every Monday for dinner, you're giving a predator an easy way to find you.
    • Use a password keeper to keep your passwords straight. Just don't lose the password to the keeper! There are lots of them out there, including Keeper Password Manager, Zoho, and DashLane.
    • Remember: even if you're using its privacy controls, Facebook still records and uses every scrap of information it gets to help it market itself and its advertisers better. Google does the same thing with search and browsing habits. If you are logged into your Google account, the service tracks every keyword they search, every Web page you visit and every time you visit YouTube. There are ways, however, to control the bits of data that we leave strewn around. First of all, even though Google is practically an official synonym for "Web search," it isn't actually the only one. Other search engines like DuckDuckGo.com and Ixquick.com may take a little getting used to, but their policy explicitly protects users' browsing privacy.
    • Posting is forever. Every time you send a message, post, or picture, you're publishing it the same way CNN does a news story, and the Internet never forgets. You might want to take a look at The Wayback Machine to view past posts.

    Netiquette is short for "Internet etiquette." There are rules for interacting politely online, just as there are rules for interacting politely in person. They've been developed over the last twenty or so years, and are pretty well accepted internationally.
    • Be respectful: Treat everyone as you'd like to be treated. Just because you can't see them face-to-face doesn't mean you have license to be rude or hurtful.
    • Don't be too quick to take offense. Remember, in person you can see a person's facial expressions and hear their tone of voice to help you tell what they mean; those don't exist online. If what someone has said has upset or offended you, ask them to clarify.
    • Use emoticons and abbreviations to convey meaning. In order to clarify your own messages, use smileys or abbreviations like "jk" (just kidding) or "lol" (laughing out loud) to help your reader understand. Be aware, though, that saying something mean and adding "jk" doesn't let you off the hook for being mean!
    • Protect others' privacy. Ask permission before you post pictures or information about other people. It's just polite.
    • Use appropriate language. Keep your audience in mind, and use word choice appropriately. How you type when you're texting with a friend is likely to be different from how you type when you're e-mailing teachers, employers, or people in authority.

    Case study

    Chapter 2:Safety Risks in Online Activities


    Lesson 2 Notes

    Lesson Skills
    After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
    • Describe cyberbullying, its impact on perpetrators and victims, and ways to respond.
    • Describe risks associated with sexting, and discuss methods for response, reporting and prevention.
    • Describe risks associated with online gaming, and identify ways to reduce these risks.
    Key Terms
    • bystander
    • cyberbullying
    • gaming
    • harassing
    • upstander
    • sexting


    Cyberbulling is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Some examples can be sending mean e-mail messages, posting mean comments on social media, sending pictures on SnapChat, making threats via text or other forms of online communication, etc.
    Think about your reactions to cyberbullying. Have you been bullied? Have you seen someone else bullied and reported it? Have you seen someone else bullied and done nothing? Why? 
    Cyberbullying can happen to anyone. Think about the types of hurtful things that:
    • People tell each other in person.
    • People tell someone else about a peer.
    • People post online or text.
    What differences and similarities are there between things that are done in person versus things that are done via cyberbullying? Think about why people bully, and consider what actions you can take to help stop bullying from happening or keep it from continuing.

    Links to Learn More
    Common Sense Education 

    Peter, Paul and Mary "Don't Laugh at Me" (video, 3:10 mins). Reflect on situations where you might have been guilty of laughing at someone and how you can help yourself from repeating that action.

    There are two types of people when others are being bullied: upstanders and bystanders. Upstanders stand up for people, either by directly telling bullies to stop, or by reporting what they saw/heard to a responsible adult.

    Tips to Help Stop Cyberbullying
    Review the following Information from ConnectSafely.org.
    • Don't respond. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. It gives him or her power over you. Who wants to empower a bully?
    • Don't retaliate. Getting back at the bully turns you into one and reinforces the bully's behavior. Help avoid a whole cycle of aggression.
    • Save the evidence. The only good news about digital bullying is that the harassing messages can usually be captured, saved, and shown to someone who can help. Save evidence even if it's minor stuff - in case things escalate.
    • Block the bully. If the harassment's coming in the form of instant messages, texts, or profile comments, do yourself a favor: Use preferences or privacy tools to block the person. If it's in chat, leave the "room." This may not end the problem, but you don't need harassment in your face all the time, and no reaction sometimes makes aggressors bored so they'll stop.
    • Reach out for help. You deserve backup. Of course you know there are different kinds of help, from talking with a friend to seeing if there's a trusted person who can help. It's usually good to involve them. If you're really nervous about saying something, see if there's a way to report the incident anonymously at school or work. Sometimes this can result in bullies getting the help they need to change their behavior.
    • Use reporting tools. If the bullying took place via a social network, use that service's reporting or "abuse" tools. The social network may also have "social abuse-reporting" tools, which allow you to forward hurtful content to a trusted friend or directly ask someone to take offensive content down. If the abuse threatens physical harm, you may have to call the police.
    • Be civil. You're doing yourself a favor. Even if you don't like a person, it's a good idea to be decent and not sink to his or her level. Research shows that gossiping about and "trash talking" others increase your risk of being bullied.
    • Don't be a bully. You know the old saying about walking a mile in someone's shoes; even a few seconds of thinking about how another person might feel can put a big damper on aggression. That's needed in this world.
    • Be a friend, not a bystander. Forwarding mean messages or just standing by and doing nothing empowers bullies and hurts victims even more. If you can, tell bullies to stop, or let them know bullying is not cool - it's cruel abuse of fellow human beings. If you can't stop the bully, at least try to help the victim and report the behavior.
    It is often hard to decide what to do in cyberbullying situations. This is one of the toughest parts of living in the Digital Age: learning how to deal with problems that may not directly involve you, but which you know are wrong.

    Suggested activities
    Think about what you know about sexting. Why would anyone want to engage in sexting? 

    Note: Sexual images of people under the age of 18 can be considered child pornography. Thus, sexting images on a mobile phone can carry criminal charges related to the creation and distribution of child pornography. This is true even if everyone involved is under the age of 18.

    The consequences associated with sexting can include removal from athletic teams/clubs, suspension from school, police involvement, losing your job, and public embarrassment if photos are shared with unintended recipients. Remember, the Internet is forever: photos may resurface any time, even years later, to be seen by colleges, employers, family, or friends. Also consider the risk of attracting sexual predators. Just because you sent it to one person doesn't mean it won't end up in the hands, or on the phone or computer, of someone else.

    Cyberbullying can take the form of sexts sent to you, or requests for sexts sent to you. Both of these are sexual harassment. Sometimes, bullies will threaten to tell people you sexted them, even when you didn't. Think about the importance of bringing any such threats or requests to a parent, counselor, employer or clergy person rather than trying to handle them on your own so that you may get police involved immediately. 

    Think about how to minimize legal, social, and reputation risks by protecting yourself from sexting, as described in Table 2-1. 
    Protect Yourself from Sexting
    Remember the social, academic, and legal consequences of sexting
    You could face humiliation, lose educational opportunities, and get in trouble with the law
    Don't be a bystander or an instigator
    If you receive a "sext" message, do not forward the image to anyone else
    Talk to a someone in authority if you receive a nude picture on your mobile phone
    They can help by notifying police or contacting Cyber Tip Line.
    Table 2-1: Protect yourself from sexting
    Link to Learn More
    Allys Story (video, 3 mins).  Consequences of sexting.

    Suggested activity
    Online Gaming
    Note: Online, multiplayer gaming is extremely popular with a subset of the population, while others may prefer gaming on their own or with a friend they know, or may not game at all. If you aren't big on gaming, you may wish to skim lightly through this section; otherwise.

    Some of the online games that people play may be via game consoles, such as Playstation or Xbox; others may be computer-based. A multiplayer game is a game where you connect with other players and can chat with them either by voice or by text. Some of these might include Star Wars: The Old Republic; Minecraft; Warcraft; Halo; Call of Duty; Destiny; and others. Ask yourself the following questions: 
    • What kinds of people do you game with?
    • How do you respond if someone bothers you while you are gaming?
    • How much do you let people know about you while gaming?
    Remember that some features of online gaming (instant chat features, forums, voice-enabled interactions) can expose gamers to predators, because gamers communicate with other gamers (mostly anonymously) all over the world. Predators don't have to be able to see you in person to be a danger, especially online. Never give out personal information. Never agree to meet outside of the game. Do not respond to rude or bullying behavior. Block harassers or report them to the game's publisher. 

    How much time is reasonable to spend playing online games, and how much time is too much. Why might playing video games potentially be problematic? There's nothing inherently wrong with video games, but too much of anything is harmful.

    Chapter 3: Legal and Ethical Issues of Internet Content


    Lesson Skills
    After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
    • Define copyright, fair use and the public domain.
    • Suggest ways in which people can make smart choices when using content protected by copyright.
    • Identify and respect the ethical aspects involved in using copyrighted material.
    • Compare and contrast rules for copyright and fair use.
    Key Terms
    • citations
    • copyright
    • copyright infringement
    • fair use
    • original work
    • plagiarism
    • public domain
    Copyright and Fair Use
    Are you free to copy what you see or hear on the Internet? Why or why not?
    The concept of copyright can be confusing, especially to people who've grown up in a world where information is so readily available. Consider this hypothetical situation: A person spent weeks on a project and spent a bunch of their own money to make it. Then someone else takes it and uses it, pretending that it's theirs, without giving them credit or paying them for all the effort and money they put into it. It is the right of an author to protect his/her own original work—that is to say, work they created—and to control who can copy and share it, just like it's their right to protect their creations from someone else cheating with them or stealing them.

    Copyright is the exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical, or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc. A copyright dating on or after January 1, 1978, is protected for the creator's lifetime plus fifty years after his or her death. Copyrights may be renewed at the end of that time by the author's estate.
    Copyright laws protect original works of authorship, whether online or in print. In addition to text-based works, works of authorship include computer programs, musical compositions, graphical creations and sound recordings. Even student work is protected under copyright. You don't have to register a copyright in order to have one; any original work you create is automatically copyrighted.
    Downloading songs and movies from the Internet without permission or payment is an illegal use of copyrighted material. This crime is called copyright infringement. It means that the person/people who put all that time and effort into creating the song or movie don't get paid for their work.

    Fair use is another legal concept. It is the ability to use a copyrighted work's words, images, or ideas in a small, non-commercial way, or in a parody. Fair use allows limited copying and use of copyrighted material for educational purposes, without permission requirements or fees. This is why teachers can use articles from the newspaper, for example, in their classroom without paying the newspaper for all the copies. Short quotations or paraphrases, when cited, fall under fair use.

    public copyright license enables an author to distribute their copyrighted work freely. These public copyright licenses offer the right to use, share and add to work from these authors. Creative Commons is one of the organizations that manages the license for these authors. A Creative Commons license adds flexibility for the author and how their work can be used by various users. For example, they may only license non-commercial uses of the work. Creative Commons is not a full and complete public copyright license as they can limit the license based on the author's requirements.

    Public domain includes works that are not copyrighted for any of a number of reasons:
    • Works that are not copyrightable. For example: titles, names, numbers, symbols, ideas, facts, processes, systems, and government documents.
    • Works that have been assigned to the public domain by their creators.
    • Works whose copyright has expired.
    Your Ethical Responsibility
    How can you be a responsible citizen with regard to copyrights?
    The use of copyrighted material is sometimes permitted if the user asks permission from the owner, pays a fee and/or follows fair-use guidelines. These include:
    • Using only a small part of the work, e.g. a quotation or a single idea, and citing your source.
    • Creating a parody of the work.
    • Quoting from the work in a review, e.g. a book report for school.
    • Using a few paragraphs from a source in a classroom.
    In a school project, you may use the following without having to ask permission or pay a fee. Please remember you must cite your source for any or all of these!
    • No more than five pictures from any one photographer or illustrator.
    • Up to 10%, or 30 seconds, of any one song.
    • Up to 10%, or 3 minutes, whichever is less, of any copyrighted video from any format (DVD, VHS, streaming, etc.).
    • Up to 250 words from a poem.
    • Less than 2,500-word articles, stories, or essays.
    • Up to 10% of a longer work.
    • One image per book, newspaper, encyclopedia, or magazine.
    • Two pages from a picture book with less than 2,500 words.
    Links to Learn More
    Challenge yourself with these online tools, which pose critical-thinking questions:

    Finding Copyright-Free Images
    Use Google Advanced Search Options to find copyright-free images.
    • Go to Google Images (http://www.images.google.com) and search for an image.
    • When the pictures come up, click on the 'settings' icon (it looks like a little gear, or cog) in the upper right corner of the browser window.
    • Click on 'advanced search'.
    • A page with a bunch of fields for advanced search options will come up. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the 'Usage Rights' field.
    • Click on the down arrow so the drop-down menu comes up, and click on 'Free to Use or Share,' then click on 'advanced search'.
    • Any images that show up now can be used in any school projects, as long as they're attributed to their original creator.
    Remember, in creating artistic expressions that best use your skills and imaginations. You should aim to create new, original works whenever possible. Remember: Originality of expression is the only condition a work must meet in order to be protected by copyright.

    Suggested activities
    Citing Sources
     Giving credit to others for ideas and information is the difference between research and plagiarism.
    The concept of 'giving credit' in research by citing is sometimes hard for people to understand. Especially in today's digital world, where it's so easy to simply share someone else's post on social media without crediting them—or, often, without even knowing who created it, or whether or not it's true! Understanding why it's important to differentiate your work from your research is sometimes difficult to grasp. Ask yourself these questions: 
    • What could happen to you if you copy someone else's work and do not give them proper credit?
    • How would you feel if someone used your idea, writing, art or music, and did not give you credit?
    • Would you consider it stealing?
    Plagiarism is using someone else's work and passing it off as your own. This can be in the classroom (copying a neighbor's math homework), on social media (sharing someone else's photograph without their permission or without telling people who actually took it), or in a research project (reading something from a source and putting it into your project without saying who it came from, which implies that it's yours), or in a business stealing someone else's idea or proposal.

    Citations are formal ways of giving credit to people for their work. They are used in research papers and projects all through school, especially high school and college, to show readers where your information came from. They are also used in business to give credit to the author of an idea in a report or proposal. There are two major types of citations: in-text citations, also called parenthetical citations, and end-of-text citations, often placed on a bibliography or works-cited page. Every research paper or project should contain end-of-text citations in some form; as students' progress through school, they will increasingly be asked to include in-text citations as well, so that the reader knows not only the general source they used in their research, but which ideas belong to which sources, and where in the source a reader can find the original.

    The two most common citation styles are the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Psychological Association (APA). MLA style is most often used in the humanities, language, and literature (and is quite common in K-12 schools), while APA style is often used in education and social sciences. Style guides for both can be found both online and in hard copy, and are invaluable resources for both students and teachers. Purdue University has an excellent online APA style guide (click the hyperlink to go there) and MLA style guide. They're both free for anyone to use.

    Figure 3-1 describes the components of a citation for an Internet source. An online database might include a professional journal, a library Web site, or other source that is primarily a series of links to articles or books. Internet Web sites are more commonly used and could include informational sources like the Smithsonian or National Geographic, government Web sites, educational sites (such as universities or science labs), or private companies or organizations.

    The image displays the components of the Internet source citation. The image contains two square boxes with headings as Online Databases and Internet Sources, each containing seven points. The points in Online Databases are: Author name(s), Title of book or article, Original print source title, Date originally published, Online source name, Date accessed, and URL. The Internet Sources points are: Author, Title of Web page, Title of Web site, Date last updated, Name of organization that owns or sponsors the site, Date accessed, and URL.
    Figure 3-1: Components of Internet source citation

    Suggested activities






    Chapter 4: Protecting your Computer from Security Threats


    Lesson Skills
    After completing this lesson, you will be able to:
    • Distinguish between viruses and malware.
    • Describe the impact that viruses have on personal privacy and ways to avoid infection.
    • Describe common threats used to spread malware and viruses.
    • Practice cyber-safety techniques to protect the computer system when using Internet searches, e-mail and social network Web sites.
    Key Terms
    • antivirus software
    • malware
    • password security
    • pharming
    • phishing
    • spyware
    • threat
    • trojan
    • virus
    • worm
     Securing your Computer
    Although the Internet can make your life easier, it can also expose you and your computer to cybersecurity threats, such as viruses, malware, scams and identity theft.
    Malware and Viruses
    Malware is any program or file that is designed to damage a computer, tablet, or smartphone, or to gain unauthorized access to a device. These include Trojan horses, spyware, and viruses. Any computer, tablet, or smartphone can be damaged by malware, no matter who manufactured it.

    Table 4-1 shows the common various threats on the Internet.
    Common Threats Used in Spreading Malware Definition
    • URLs that may lead the user to download a virus or redirect the user to a Web site that will attempt to download malware
    • Hackers can secretly collect personal information and passwords
    • Programs that look useful, but actually cause damage to your computer
    • Fake e-mail message appearing to be from a trusted business, social network or other contact
    • Asks for personal information or requests a user to click on a link or download a file to verify personal information
    • Hackers can secretly collect personal information and passwords
    • Malicious code that secretly watches your computer activity and sends the information over the Internet
    • Spyware can secretly capture your keystrokes (including passwords) and compromise your identity
    • Malicious programs or code that damage or destroy data by attaching to a program or file in a victim computer
    • Viruses are spread by human action, such as sharing infected files
    • Special types of viruses that can travel from computer to computer without human action
    • A worm is self-replicating and can multiply until it uses up the computer's resources
    Table 4-1: Common threats used in spreading malware
    The easiest way to become a victim of malware, spyware and viruses is through downloads. Some tips for safely downloading from the Internet: 
    • Avoid peer-to-peer sites or torrents.
    • Only download from well-known and legitimate sites.
    • If your browser pops up a warning message about the site you're on or the file you're downloading, exit the site immediately and run a virus scan.
    • Run your anti-virus scan immediately after downloading anything, and also on a regular basis.
    • Keep your anti-virus software, your browser, and your operating system updated: install all updates right away.
    Even when you are surfing the Internet, you may see messages that look like they're coming from a friend or relative, or that offer "free stuff" such as music or games. Messages that try to convince you to click on certain links should always be approached with caution. These links can take you to sites that contain malicious content. Explore the Federal Trade Commission's Web page on malware to gain more understanding of the importance of avoiding, detecting and getting rid of malware.

    Anytime a Web page asks for private information, such as a credit card or address, the user needs to be able to identify whether the Web page is secure. A secure Web page will display a "lock" icon somewhere in the browser window. ALWAYS check for the lock icon before purchasing something online. 

    When you purchase a computer, antivirus software is available to protect the computer from any virus-related harm. Explain the significance of making sure that the software is always up-to-date because viruses are continuously being created, improved and evolved. 

    Links to Learn More
    Is This Your Family's Digital Life? (YouTube video, 4 mins)

    Staying Safe and Secure in a Digital World (YouTube video, 5 mins). The three important points to discuss from this video are: 
    • Never tell anyone your password (except your parents).
    • Don't give out personal information to anyone online.
    • Be careful what you download.
    Although the first point discussed (never tell anyone your password) in the previous video is not a direct cybersecurity measure, the violation of giving out your password can reveal your identity and personal information, which can then become a cybersecurity issue. 

    Additional stories can be viewed at: Caught in the Web.
    Mobile Device Protection
     Think about how many mobile devices used in your household need to be protected. The following can be done to protect their mobile devices and their personal information:
    • Use a personal identification number (PIN) or password.
    • Use precaution on the types of applications (apps) installed on the device.
    • Download an app that will wipe your data if your phone is lost or stolen.
    • Download an app to help you find your phone's location.
    • Watch out for apps that are designed to steal your information. (Only download apps from reputable marketplaces and read the reviews. Often, apps that steal information are tagged by other reviewers, but you have to look at the reviews to see.)
    • Check your phone's settings to make sure apps are not collecting information on your location.
    • Optional: play "The Case of the Cyber Criminal (Game)

    Strong Passwords

    Have you created a username and password to obtain access to an online site, such as game, social networking, and photos sharing Web sites? When it comes to online safety, password security is an important skill everyone will need to learn. Review the following tips to choose a strong password. 

    Password Safety & Security Tips
    • 10-14 characters is ideal.
    • Use as many kinds of characters as possible, include numerals, symbols, upper-case letters, lower-case letters, and punctuation.
    • When choosing a password, use mnemonic devices to help you remember it. For example, create a password which is really an acronym for a sentence (include punctuation/symbols and numerals in this acronym):
      • "My friend, Hayley, is a great tennis player" becomes "Mf,h,=gr8tP".
      • "I love singing in the rain every single day!" becomes "I<3SitR365!"
    • Never use any personal identifying information in the password. This includes names, birthdates, pets, street addresses, schools, phone numbers, license plate numbers, etc. These will be first guesses for anyone trying to gain access to your account.
    • Always keep passwords secret.

    Suggested activities