Digital Citizenship Week

Part 3 of 5 - Privacy

Welcome to part 3 of the 5 part series on Digital Citizenship! Today's newsletter is dedicated to privacy! As always, please preview the lesson to make sure that you are comfortable with the materials before sharing with your students.

Privacy Online

When we are online, by ourselves in a room, it's easy to imagine that our situation is private. Unfortunately, this illusion lands a lot of people into trouble... trouble that can last for their entire lifetime.

Before watching the next video, take a moment and reflect about what we learned about over-sharing in part 1 of this series.

Playing and Staying Safe online


  • What does privacy mean when you're online?
  • What information would you share/not share online?
  • How can your privacy be invaded on YouTube?
  • How would you feel if someone posted personal information or a video about you online?
  • What can be done to protect online privacy?
  • How is ‘online’ privacy different to 'offline' privacy?
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Choosing a Password

Online, having a strong password is the biggest key to your online privacy. You should always keep it safe, and never, ever, give your password to someone else (other than your parents), even if you trust them.

Follow these tips from to create the strongest password possible:

  • Never give out your password to anyone. Never give it to friends, even if they’re really good friends. A friend can – maybe even accidentally – pass your password along to others or even become an ex-friend and abuse it.
  • Don’t just use one password. It’s possible that someone working at a site where you use that password could pass it on or use it to break into your accounts at other sites.
  • Create passwords that are easy to remember but hard for others to guess. When possible, use a phrase such as “I started 7th grade at Lincoln Middle School in 2004” and use the initial of each word like this: “Is7gaLMSi2004.” And make them at least a little different (by adding a couple of unique letters) for each site. On some sites you might even be able to type in the entire phrase.
  • Make the password at least 8 characters long. The longer the better. Longer passwords are harder for thieves to crack.
  • Include numbers, capital letters and symbols. Consider using a $ instead of an S or a 1 instead of an L, or including an & or % – but note that $1ngle is NOT a good password. Password thieves are onto this. But Mf$1avng (short for “My friend Sam is a very nice guy) is an excellent password.
  • Don’t use dictionary words: If it’s in the dictionary, there is a chance someone will guess it. There’s even software that criminals use that can guess words used in dictionaries.
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Know Your History...

Imagine: One day, someone comes along when you're not around, and reads a list of everything you've ever thought. Everything... the good, the bad, and the ugly.

How does that make you feel?

If you're like most people, you wouldn't want that to happen. You'd feel uncomfortable, nervous, and possibly violated. Thankfully, we don't have a list of those sort of things laying around in our homes, or even in a safe in our homes... So, it can't happen, RIGHT??

Unfortunately, that same kind of information about you, except the Internet version, is stored online. It's kept in a "secure" place... but if there's one thing that the internet has taught us is that nothing is 100% safe from hackers. And everything online depends on the strength of your password.

Are you curious what would be there? You can actually take a look!

If you have a Google Account, click here to login.

If you have a Yahoo Account, click here, then login.

If you have a Microsoft Account (Bing search), click here, then login.

Your past searches and other web activity are probably also stored in your browser. Learn more about managing your browser history on Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox.

If you're uncomfortable with this amount of data about you being available to these companies, TURN IT OFF! And clear your history, cache, and cookies from your Internet browsers!

Know Your Friends (and filter yourself)...

No matter how you use the internet socially, you need to know your friends. Be more careful than just meeting someone new, and friending them minutes later... You are granting these "Friends" access to everything that you share. The video below will help explain:
Do you really have a private life online? (social network privacy loss due to friends)

Privacy Settings

Every social service that you can use online has "Privacy Settings". It's a GREAT idea to sit down with your parents and configure the settings to best protect your online reputation.

Here's a great overview for Facebook Settings, but make sure to find one for your favorite social network. And ask your parents for help.

What Can You Do If Your Privacy Is Violated?

First, Don’t post personal information about another person online, without first obtaining their permission! If everyone stuck to this rule, we wouldn't have to worry about online privacy quite as much.

If your privacy has been violated, unfortunately there is no way to be 100% certain that the information will be removed and never show up again. The internet is notorious for having pictures, videos, information, etc. show up online, posted by someone other than the original poster. The only way to be 100% safe is to never post the information online in the first place!

If something has been posted, and you would like to minimize your risk of it being reposted, you should get it reported/taken down as quickly as possible!! Time = Exposure, and the faster you get something removed/reported, the fewer people will have seen it. Use the Reporting or Flagging tools discussed in the lesson about Cyber-Bullying.

Do's and Don'ts For Social Media

Social Media Do's and Don'ts! (Modern Manners w/ Amy Aniobi)

Coming Soon

Up Next:

Digital Footprints

"Friends" and Followers


Building a Positive Footprint

Coming Soon:

Preparing for the Future


Curriculum Resources

Miss Part of This Series? Click Below!