Be Aware of What You Share

Protecting your privacy while you're online

Fall 2022 Digital Citizenship Newsletter

Secondary Edition

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Terms to Know

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What affects your privacy online?

When you are online, privacy becomes complicated. You can choose the websites you go to and what information you decide to share with others, like on social media. But, depending on the device, app, or website you're using, your words and actions are often being collected and tracked.


Companies place ads online based on everything they know about you. It might be based on information you provided when you signed up. Or it might be based on something you searched for, looked at, liked, or posted while using the app. It's also based on information they get about how you use the app: how often you use it, what time of day, etc. The websites and apps you use -- and the devices you use them on -- can collect a lot of information about you. Companies then try to target you with ads or content that can appear in different places.


Companies get information about you by tracking what you do. One way they do this is by using cookies. A cookie is a small text file placed on your device by the sites you visit. It allows companies to collect information about you and what you do while you are on their site. Companies use this information to learn your preferences so they can make recommendations of things you'll like and make it easier for you to use their site, and they also may sell this information to advertisers and other companies.

What Are Tracking Cookies?

How can I protect my personal information?

If you're not comfortable with this kind of tracking, you can turn cookies off in your browser settings. You can usually find the setting in the privacy settings. You should know that this might affect your browsing experience, as cookies also help the website automatically know helpful things about you, like your location or preferences.


Most apps have settings you can adjust, and these are screenshots of the settings screens in Snapchat. Within an app's settings, there are usually privacy settings, which are choices a website or app gives you about what information is visible to other users and third parties. You can usually use these settings to opt out of some of the ways that the app shows and shares your data. Opting out means choosing not to participate in something.

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Pay attention to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service!

Another way you can protect your privacy is by looking at what you're agreeing to when you sign up.
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These two terms are important! They actually tell you everything you're agreeing to, legally, when you agree to use the app. A privacy policy describes what user information the app or website collects and how they use it. The terms of service describe the rules that the company and users must obey when they use the app. These documents are usually pretty long and sometimes difficult to understand. They are legal agreements users opt in to.

Remember the word ASK when you're looking at a privacy policy.

A -- What personal information will be accessed?

S -- What personal information will be shared with other people or companies?

K -- What personal information could be known about me if I use this?

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Click on the image below to play Digital Compass -- Choose the H to play Sticky Situation

Standards Alignment:

  • CASEL - 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 1e, 2a, 2b, 2c, 2d, 2e, 2f, 3a, 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 5e, 5f
  • AASL - I.A.1, I.A.2, II.A.1, II.A.2, III.A.1, III.A.2, V.A.2, V.A.3, VI.A.1, VI.A.2, VI.A.3, I.B.1, I.B.2, I.B.3, II.B.1, II.B.2, III.B.1, III.B.2, IV.B.2, IV.B.4, I.C.1, II.C.1, II.C.2, III.C.1, III.C.2, V.C.1, V.C.3, I.D.1, I.D.2, I.D.3, I.D.4, II.D.1, II.D.2, II.D.3, III.D.1, III.D.2, V.D.1, V.D.2, VI.D.1, VI.D.2, VI.D.3, II.B.3
  • ISTE -2a, 2b, 2d

(See standards alignment chart)

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