It is essential that students learn Digital Citizenship and Cybersafety from an early age. Teaching such things as privacy, safe behaviours, password protection and strategies for dealing with cyberbullying, are necessary tools in this digital world (Howell, J. 2014).
It is equally important for students to learn about digital etiquette. It is not unusual to see dinner companions at a restaurant, fixated on their phones, rather than each other, or passengers travelling on public transport, being forced to listen to an inconsiderate person’s phone conversation. As Goldberger (1969) discussed in his article, there exists an ever increasing “disconnected urbanism”. This uncaring attitude does matter and I will be teaching my students that phone etiquette in public is just the same as practicing good manners.
Cyberbullying has become more prolific since the general population’s access to technology has grown. It doesn’t stop at the school gates and can continue day and night. Cyberbullying can include areas such as social exclusion, spreading rumours, posting of images and verbal abuse (Stay smart online, 2010).
As teachers, we need to teach strategies to deal with cyberbullying such as not responding, keeping the evidence and reporting it to an adult they trust (Stay smart online, 2010). The Cybersmart website offers online reporting and counselling, as does the Kids Helpline website, or the Kids Helpline number can be called at any time day or night on 1800 55 1800.
Internet scams have exploded in number in recent times and many innocent people have fallen victim to them.
One such scam is the Windows Help Desk scam (Keizer G. 2013). A cold caller claiming to be from Windows Help Desk, informs the victim that their computer is infected and directs them to view the Windows logs, which will show a large amount of errors. These errors are low level errors but the victim doesn’t know that.
The scammer is allowed access to the victim’s computer, where they can gain access to the victim’s sensitive data. The scammer will also ask for credit card details, to pay for their services, or for a fake subscription. Although this scam is quite well known now, there are many people who still fall prey to it. Microsoft has posted a warning on its website, of this and other scams . Malwarebytes has also published a list of the supposed errors that the scammers cite, along with explanations of what these errors really mean.
This is another reason why teachers should make every effort to ensure that their students are aware of such threats.
This video is a timely warning about the problems you may encounter if you do not secure your digital identity, and do not have backups of your data (Tekzilla, 2012).
Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world Mod 03 Week 11 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/3540c5f3-92af-4a01-93d6-2d9462252547
Keizer G. (2013, November 20). Fake windows tech support calls continue to plague consumers. Retrieved from: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2486136/cybercrime-hacking/fake-windows-tech-support-calls-continue-to-plague-consumers.html
Martinez R. (2012) Cyber predators lurking [image]. Retrieved from: http://securelist.com/blog/opinions/34464/cyber-predators-lurking-20/
Stay Smart Online, Commonwealth of Australia (2010). Retrieved from: http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/kids_and_teens/dealing_with_cyber_bullying
tekzilla. (2012, August 8) Don’t get hacked! Secure your digital identity [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xHTJ7iSRBA
The Compendium. (2014, September 6). Cell phone etiquette at dinner [image]. Retrieved from: http://maklum.net/cell-phone-etiquette-at-dinner/