Implementing A Solution!

We all know that the internet can be a very scary place if someone is not properly educated on how to look out for creeps and thieves, protect yourself and your information, and to not be naive to the potential dangers. In attempt to solve the problem of under-educated students on the web is to educate them. Teachers around the country have made great headway to make sure that these students are able to protect themselves.

“Educating children about being safe online is as fundamentally important as teaching them how to cross the road, says head of online child abuse charity, and parents must be aware of this from birth”. -D.A.R.E

While searching the web, I found great resources that are available to anyone and for free. The federal trade commission is supporting this solution by providing free publications to educators on topics such as scams, privacy, identity, online safety and security and more. And yes I did say FREE! They don’t even charge you for shipping and handling. Click here to access the website

“Internet Safety 101SM is a multi-media Internet safety resource designed to educate, equip and empower parents, educators and other adults with the knowledge and resources needed to protect children from Internet dangers including pornography, predators, cyberbullies and threats related to online gaming, social networking and mobile devices”. – InternetSafety101.org

Not only is it important for our schools to educate these children early on, but it is even more important for parents, aunts, and uncles to educate these children as well. Children should feel comfortable talking about some of the things they see on the web. When I was growing up, my mom didn’t and still doesn’t know anything about the internet. She never knew what threats I would be exposed to by not having adequate training.

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According to the Faculty of Education, Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University located in Maha Sarakham, Thailand, “people live in a technology and media-suffused environment with: (1) access to an abundance of information, (2) rapid changes in technology tools, and (3) the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale. To be effective in the 21st century, citizens and workers must be able to create, evaluate, and effectively utilize information, media, and technology”.

There is a significant difference in the work ethic in today’s society that set employees apart from one another by the way they are able to use the internet and applications. Employees who are well training with computers can work faster, more efficiently, and are learn very quickly. Therefore, not only is it beneficial to children as they make their way through grade school but will ultimately benefit them in their careers as well.

Resources:

D.A.R.E (2017) Internet Safety ‘Teaching Children Online Safety ‘As Important as Crossing The Road’, Says Marie Collins Foundation’. Retrieved by: https://www.dare.org/teaching-children-online-safety-as-important-as-crossing-the-road-says-marie-collins-foundation/

Faculty of Education, Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University, Maha Sarakham, Thailand. (2017) International Journal of Science and Technology ‘Educational Research Thailand’s classroom learning practices in secondary level: Are we ready for learning in the 21st-Century?’ Retrieved from: http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/IJSTER/article-full-text-pdf/E561C4B63532

Internet Safety 101 (2017) Retrieved by: https://internetsafety101.org/internetsafety101

Getting Results!

In life, we do things strictly to see results. We go to school to earn a degree, we work to earn money, we exercise to look/feel better, etc. We do not do things to just do them. We are always looking for something in return. In a recent blog I posted, I attached a link to a survey regarding the internet, scammers, identity thieves, and who is being educated about these topics. After 32 total responses, I’ve decided to share the results from that survey with you. Not only was it important for me to obtain those results and understand the different experiences but to also share them with you so it can be used to inform you as well.

It turns out that out of the 32 responses, that more than half, 56.25%, have been scammed through the internet and 21.88% had their identity stolen and the same percentage (21.88%) said they lost money from an internet scam. A whopping 84.38% took a typing class in grade school but only ONE person, I repeat ONE person said that they were instructed on how to protect themselves from scammers. A whole class for learning on how to type but no one thought that being instructed on how to actually protect yourself from scammers would be helpful…? Amazing. When asked on if a course on how to protect yourself from scammers would have been beneficial, 87.50% said yes. Lastly, I asked when we should start educating children on how to protect themselves from internet scammers and the majority said middle school.

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These results were kind of shocking to me. Shocking in a good way. I was overall pleased with the results and I appreciate each and everyone’s participation. If you didn’t get to participate and you would like to… the survey remains open at this link here: open survey here

I first started using a computer with internet when I was in elementary school, more specifically, I was in 3rd grade. I got my first computer when I was in the 4th grade. My mom, who calls herself “old school” actually put a computer in my bedroom and didn’t know a thing about parental control. I had no locked websites, no computer curfew, nothing. Let me just say that I learned a lot in 4th grade and was exposed to a lot more than what I should have been at the young age of 9 years old. It’s written on parklandsd.org that, “any student who is old enough to type a few characters can literally access the world”. So, I think that students should be taking internet protection classes starting at 9 years old. Just like how I took my first drugs and alcohol course, also known as D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), was provided to me in 5th grade.

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On the website that I mentioned earlier, parklandsd.org, there are numerous websites that go into detail about the different protection sites for children who are beginning to access the internet in attempt to make them safer. Feel free to click here and/or spread the word about children internet safety.

 

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Resources:

Parkland School District. (2017) Internet Safety. Retrieved from http://www.parklandsd.org/departments/technology/internet-safety/

Ward, T. (2017) Internet For Dummies. Survey Money. Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L7ZPTY9

Do You Know How To Protect Yourself?

Coming from someone who has dealt with scamming, spamming, and hacking multiple times. The worst part of it all is getting your identity stolen. Not only does that affect you mentally, but it also affects you financially. When you get your identity stolen there is so much they can do with that information. “Identity theft is the unlawful acquisition of the personal information such as credit card numbers, social security number, addresses, and bank numbers of another in order to commit fraud or other crimes” defined by Business Insights.

When I was 18, I went to Verizon to open my own phone account so my mom would stop hassling me about racking up the data charges… (I think we’ve all been there). When I got there, they already told me I had an account that I hadn’t been paying for. I was so embarrassed. They couldn’t give me a lot of details regarding the account. But when they asked me if I have ever lived in Hillsborough, Tampa. I said no, but I have an aunt who lives there. Come to find out, my aunt had actually found a document with my Social Security number on it and used my information to open up the Verizon account. So, lesson learned, it might not even be a stranger who is stealing and using your information… It can be someone you know and thought you could trust. Which was a very sad reality.

“Because identity theft is a widespread problem affecting more than 27.3 million people in the past 5 years and costing the US economy upwards of $53 million per year, there are many organizations and services available to help victims of identity theft”, also stated by Business Insights. It is so important for you to know not only know how to protect yourself from getting hacked, but to know how to protect yourself after you get hacked. Knowing the right numbers to call after something like this has happened and who to get into contact with to keep it from happening again.

One good thing that came from me getting my identity stolen is being on a credit protection list. Last week, my fiancé and I went to Best Buy to get a new Sony TV. As we were going through the credit check and what not, they stopped the process and handed me a telephone. The person on the other line was someone who needed to verify my information, send me text message with a code that I would then tell him in order to verify that it was really me. Even though it ended up being a longer process to get our TV, I was so happy that there is someone out there who is looking out for me and making sure that my identity wasn’t used again. Click on the link below to see options on the available services to help protect you, rated by Reviews.com.

The Best Identity Theft Protection Services

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Resources:

“IDENTITY THEFT.” Internet Law – Legal – Piracy & Hacking 1 May 2005. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 26 June 2017. Retrieved by: http://bi.galegroup.com.proxy.lib.fsu.edu/essentials/article/GALE%7CA132427472/1e2025a20f6182d83de6e15294d8cdcc?u=tall85761

Your Opinion Matters!

What feels better than thinking of a solution to a ongoing problem that is affects millions? Creating the solution and making it come to life!

I previously mentioned a potential solution in my last blog post to an ongoing problem regarding the dangers of  internet scammers and spammers. I just recently had my school e-mail hacked into (for the 2nd time) and the hacker used my e-mail account to send hundreds of emails out to people I don’t know. They sent so many e-mails that my school IT help desk got flagged and they shut down my e-mail until I could prove myself. This infuriates me to no end because it happens to so many people. In this modern era, we do absolutely everything online. We pay bills online, we shop online, we tell secrets online.. Don’t you ever ask yourself… How can I protect myself? How can I protect my children?

Where there is a problem, there is a solution. And I personally believe that education is the solution. There are blogs set up for parents to teach their kids about internet safety. Click here to find out how to teach your kid about internet safety.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Nelson Mandela

On a website called kids.usa.gov, they offer lesson plans featuring activities for 3rd-12th graders, “teaching about various aspects of internet safety through games, videos, and other interactive features”. I think that exposing children starting in third grade is the perfect age to start getting into more serious, important, and relevant topics. I mean that’s when we started learning about multiplication, so you know it’s serious.

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“The National Cyber-security Alliance offers activities and material to help you teach cyber-security and [cybernetics], to students from kindergarten through 12 grade”. Not only are there options and printouts for teachers but more importantly there are options for activities for parents. It is so unbelievably important for parents to be involved with their children and teach them the “do’s and do not’s” of the internet world. There are even tips on how to proactively monitor your child’s internet use while they’re at home. You can find tips on your phone here!

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In conclusion, we all want what is best for ourselves and our children. Not only it is important to educate your children, but it is also important to educate yourself. So you, the parent, can be a prime role model for your children and the friends of your children. Like my grandparents say, “it is a much different and complex time than when [they] were young”. So, get up, get out, and get educated so you can prevent scammers, spammers, and hackers from getting your identity, your money, or your time.

Feel free to click on this link provided to take a quick survey (7 Yes-or-No questions) telling me your history with internet scammers and your opinion on what I’ve discussed today. Even if you don’t agree, I would still love to hear your opinion.

 

Resources:

GCF Global. (2017). Teaching Kids About Internet Safety. Retrieved from https://www.gcflearnfree.org/internetsafetyforkids/teaching-kids-about-internet-safety/1/

USAgov. (2017). Online Safety. Retrieved from https://kids.usa.gov/teachers/lesson-plans/online-safety/index.shtml

Ward, T. (2017) Internet For Dummies. Survey Money. Retrieved from https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L7ZPTY9

First blog post

Spammers and Scammers Galore!

If you’re reading this, it is likely that you have once been scammed, spammed, or hacked in some way or another while using the Internet. As children, our parents always stressed the importance of not putting our personal information on the web and they were always skeptical of pages like MySpace to connect with our friends or our “friends”. From my own personal experience, I know first hand how dangerous the internet can really be and I would like to share that experience with you in efforts that it will help you one day. 


When it comes to the internet, I highly dislike scammers. I personally have a problem with this because I have been hacked, scammed, and spammed before which ultimately resulted in my identity being stolen…multiple times actually.

A few years ago, I was scammed by purchasing a dietary supplement online called “Garcinia Cambogia” that was discounted for a great price. I typed in my debit card information at checkout, I received my supplement and next thing I know, they withdrew over $250 from my account. When I called their customer service number, they simply told me I “should have read the fine print” and that there was nothing I could do. #shouldawouldacoulda

“Awareness is the key. If your instincts are saying, a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is” (SafeTravel.govt, 2017).

I should have listened to my parents when they told me to be cautious with the internet. I thought I knew what I was doing and that I could read people well enough to see who was real and who was fake and vice versa. I thought to myself, “my parents are old school and don’t know that the internet is safe”. However, it turns out that I could not have been more wrong. Below is a chart retrieved from Forbes.com. The chart below shows that “millennial’s are more likely to be scam victims that boomers”.

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You Can Never Be Over Educated

In attempt to solve or minimize the problems with identity theft, local efforts should be implemented to further educate students who are using the internet starting in elementary school and repeated in both middle school and high school. There should be a class set aside to directly expose children to the individual risks online. Throughout school, I was taking classes that taught me about sex, drugs, and alcohol. I think we should be adding in a mandatory class and/or program that bring awareness to what kind of people are out there. People who are wanting our personal information and what exactly they are using it for.

Secondly, international governments should work together with local governments to further instruct young adults on the potential dangers going on over seas. I think education is the most important factor here.

Good read: “How Social Media is Changing Law Enforcement”

I see no drawbacks, only improving the safety of children. The internet will not “look” any different, but the way students look at the internet will change. The goal is for students not to be easily suckered into fake deals, fake opportunities, and fake people that are too good to be true and could be potentially dangerous. I am specifically talking about younger individuals because I personally wish I had been taught more about the dangers of the internet at a younger age by a professional.

Resources:

Scams

R, Eisenberg.(2016). Surprise! Millennials More Likely To Be Scam Victims Than Boomers, Forbes. Retrieved by: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/07/26/surprise-millennials-more-likely-to-be-scam-victims-than-boomers/#1b027729685c

SafeTravel. (2017) Internet Fraud and International Scams, SafeTravel.govt. Retrieved by: https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/internet-fraud-and-international-scams