Can you be safe online?
A digital footprint is the trail of data we create while on the Internet. It includes emails we send, websites we visit, social media accounts we follow, and information we submit to different online services and companies.
- What do you know about online safety? What are some of the dangers of being online?
- What are some ways that we can ensure our own safety online?
Discuss your thoughts with a partner or record your responses in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, or through discussion.
Nearly all other social media services require users to be at least 13 years of age to access and use their services. This includes Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Skype.
Why do you think that popular social media sites have age restrictions?
What questions do you still have about online safety and how to protect yourself and your privacy?
- What concerns do you have with social media and safety?
- Is it even possible to be safe online?
- How can you protect your privacy?
Record your questions and thoughts in an audio recording, on paper, on a computer, in an organizer of your choice, or through a discussion with your partner.
Note to teachers: See your teacher guide for collaboration tools, ideas and suggestions.
It is now time to apply your questions and get a deeper understanding on safety and the media. Brainstorm a list of games and websites you visit or know that students your age visit.
- Are there age restrictions?
- What are age restrictions?
- Why do we need these restrictions?
- What are the warnings associated with these games, websites or social media platforms?
After brainstorming a list of games/ sites and apps that people your age use, your job is to do some research to learn even more.
Make sure to do research on at least 3 different online games/apps or websites. In your research, look for:
- concerns for online safety and privacy
- age restrictions and the warnings associated
- the advertising that accompanies this app/website/game
- What are the possible risks for users? What about young users?
An example of an online game is Among Us.
- There is no age restriction for this game but users must download to their device. *Advertising pop ups do occur as a part of this game.
- The purpose of the game is to play with others and solve who is the spy among the players. The game’s purpose is to make money by selling subscriptions and selling products in their advertising. As well the game collects information on the players that it can then sell to other companies.
- One risk is that young children can play this game because there is no age restriction.
Complete the Safety Online Research Chart in your notebook or using the following fillable and printable document.
|Apps/ Websites and Games Online||Age Restriction if there are any||Ad Pop-ups||What is its purpose?||What are the Possible Risks?|
|Example: Among Us||No age restriction but must download the app to your device||
The purpose of the game is to play with others and solve who is the spy among the players. The game’s purpose is to make money by selling subscriptions and selling products in their advertising. As well the game collects information on the players that it can then sell to other companies.
|Children can play the game as there is no age restriction|
Press the ‘Activity’ button to access Safety Online Research Chart.
Before applying your understanding of being safe online we are going to have a crash course in learning about our digital footprint. A digital footprint is a trail of data you create as you browse/ use the internet. You may not be aware of the digital footprint you are using and what information different apps you use are taking from you.
One way to think about it is that if you aren’t paying for the product, then you are the product.
How can you protect yourself and maintain a positive digital footprint? Brainstorm ways that you can protect yourself online. Share your ideas with a partner, then come together as a class to discuss the best ways to protect yourself and maintain a positive footprint.
Creating a PSA media text
Now you are going to use information that you have learned through reading, researching, discussions and listening to create a PSA for younger students in the area of online safety and maintaining a positive digital footprint.
A PSA (Public Service Announcement) is meant to share important information about a specific topic. You are aware of the topic, you are aware of the audience and the purpose of the media text. Now you must determine what kind of media text will be the most effective!
You can choose from the following options:
- an audio or video advertisement
- a visual advertisement like an information poster
- an artistic creation that shares the information
- an announcement or short skit
Create a planning page in the format of your choice and discuss your plan with your teacher and why this is the most effective way for younger students to learn about online safety and maintaining a digital footprint.
As you read the following descriptions, select the one that best describes your current understanding of the learning in this activity. Press the corresponding button once you have made your choice.
Now, expand on your ideas by recording your thoughts using a voice recorder, speech-to-text, or writing tool.
When you review your notes on this learning activity later, reflect on whether you would select a different description based on your further review of the material in this learning activity.