Part of the CyberSense Series
The Internet offers vast possibilities for learning, making a living, and having fun—but it can also destroy reputations, empty bank accounts, and ruin lives. This program cautions students about potential hazards to their computers—not to mention their careers, finances, and futures—that exist online.
Highlighting the importance of setting up a firewall and keeping one’s operating system up-to-date, the program provides straightforward advice about protecting against hackers, viruses, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, phishing e-mails, and other high-tech threats. Each concept is defined in user-friendly terms. More basic but equally vital steps like maintaining multiple passwords and not sharing personal information are also discussed. Commentary from experts, as well as questions from peers about the details of computer safeguards, will help students increase their online security.
1. Problems With Internet Security Security on the Internet is essential for all computer users. The FDA says that 5% of all identity theft victims are under the age of 18. The majority of identity theft victims are 18-29 years old.
2. Cyber Security: Firewall and Anti-Virus Software. The first step to Internet security is to secure the computer with a firewall. A firewall can protect against hacking, malicious software, computer viruses, and Trojan horses. Anti-virus software is a must for computer security.
3. Threat to Computer Security: Spyware and Adware. Spyware has the ability to gather information from a personal computer. This "malware" or malicious software is often introduced through downloading free ware or sharing programs. Adware is programmed to show advertisements to a user.
4. Cyber Security: Passwords. One vital way to keep intruders out of a personal computer is to safeguard passwords. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and should include letters, symbols, and numbers.
5. Online Identity Thieves. Teens often use public computers that are not secure, putting their personal information at risk. "Phishing" is a serious security threat often overlooked by Internet users, as emails are disguised as legitimate businesses.
6. Internet Users and Cyber Security. Every day in cyberspace there are new threats to cyber security. Internet users must take security risks seriously and be vigilant about updating anti-viral and other security software programs.
Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Time: 20 Minutes