of note:

A Proposed Reset Button in Online Privacy for Minors

Technology | Business Day | Personal Tech Friday, September 20, 2013 For the latest updates, go to » Daily Report   A Proposed Reset Button for Children Online | California legislators, faced with the problem of reckless online behavior by children, and of the sometimes outsize and life-changing repercussions from that behavior, are trying to solve the problem with the first […] - Cyber Safety Guidelines:

- Keep a Clean Machine.
- Keep security software current: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system
are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
- Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend
against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option..
- Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems,
and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
- Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security
software to scan them.

Protect Your Personal Information.
- Secure your accounts: Ask for protection beyond passwords. Many account providers now offer
additional ways for you verify who you are before you conduct business on that site.
- Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to
create a more secure password.
- Unique account, unique password: Separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals.
- Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure
place away from your computer.
- Own your online presence: When available, set the privacy and security settings on websites to your
comfort level for information sharing. It’s ok to limit how and with whom you share information.

Connect with Care.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way
cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to
delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
- Get savvy about Wi- Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings
on your device to limit who can access your machine.
- Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites is security enabled. Look for web
addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your
information. “Http://” is not secure.

Be Web Wise.
- Stay current. Keep pace with new ways to stay safe online. Check trusted websites for the latest
information, and share with friends, family, and colleagues and encourage them to be web wise.
- Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something
that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
- Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an
electronic copy and storing it safely.

Be a Good Online Citizen.
- Safer for me more secure for all: What you do online has the potential to affect everyone – at home, at
work and around the world. Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
- Post only about others as you have them post about you.
- Help the authorities fight cybercrime: Report stolen finances or identities and other cybercrime to (Internet Crime Complaint Center), the Federal Trade Commission at

Visit for more information.

OSHA Ergonomics Checklist:

WORKING POSTURES–The workstation is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so it allows your Y N
1. Head and neck to be upright, or in-line with the torso (not bent down/back). If "no" refer to Monitors, Chairs and Work Surfaces.    
2. Head, neck, and trunk to face forward (not twisted). If "no" refer to Monitors orChairs.    
3. Trunk to be perpendicular to floor (may lean back into backrest but not forward).  If "no" refer to Chairs or Monitors.    
4. Shoulders and upper arms to be in-line with the torso, generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward). If "no" refer to Chairs.    
5. Upper arms and elbows to be close to the body (not extended outward). If "no" refer to Chairs, Work Surfaces, Keyboards, and Pointers.    
6. Forearms, wrists, and hands to be straight and in-line (forearm at about 90 degrees to the upper arm). If "no" refer to Chairs, Keyboards, Pointers.    
7. Wrists and hands to be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward the little finger).  If "no" refer to Keyboards, or Pointers    
8. Thighs to be parallel to the floor and the lower legs to be perpendicular to floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees). If "no" refer to Chairs or Work Surfaces.    
9. Feet rest flat on the floor or are supported by a stable footrest. If "no" refer to Chairs,Work Surfaces.    
SEATING–Consider these points when evaluating the chair: Y N
10. Backrest provides support for your lower back (lumbar area).    
11. Seat width and depth accommodate the specific user (seat pan not too big/small).    
12. Seat front does not press against the back of your knees and lower legs (seat pan not too long).    
13. Seat has cushioning and is rounded with a "waterfall" front (no sharp edge).    
14. Armrests, if used, support both forearms while you perform computer tasks and they do not interfere with movement.    
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Chairs.  
KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE–Consider these points when evaluating the keyboard or pointing device. The keyboard/input device is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so the Y N
15. Keyboard/input device platform(s) is stable and large enough to hold a keyboard and an input device.    
16. Input device (mouse or trackball) is located right next to your keyboard so it can be operated without reaching.    
17. Input device is easy to activate and the shape/size fits your hand (not too big/small).    
18. Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges.    
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Keyboards, Pointers, orWrist Rests.  
MONITOR–Consider these points when evaluating the monitor. The monitor is designed or arranged for computer tasks so the Y N
19. Top of the screen is at or below eye level so you can read it without bending your head or neck down/back.    
20. User with bifocals/trifocals can read the screen without bending the head or neck backward.    
21. Monitor distance allows you to read the screen without leaning your head, neck or trunk forward/backward.    
22. Monitor position is directly in front of you so you don't have to twist your head or neck.    
23. Glare (for example, from windows, lights) is not reflected on your screen which can cause you to assume an awkward posture to clearly see information on your screen.    
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Monitors orLighting/Glare.  
WORK AREA–Consider these points when evaluating the desk and workstation. The work area is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so the Y N
24. Thighs have sufficient clearance space between the top of the thighs and your computer table/keyboard platform (thighs are not trapped).    
25. Legs and feet have sufficient clearance space under the work surface so you are able to get close enough to the keyboard/input device.    
ACCESSORIES–Check to see if the Y N
26. Document holder, if provided, is stable and large enough to hold documents.    
27. Document holder, if provided, is placed at about the same height and distance as the monitor screen so there is little head movement, or need to re-focus, when you look from the document to the screen.    
28. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, is padded and free of sharp or square edges that push on your wrists.    
29. Wrist/palm rest, if provided, allows you to keep your forearms, wrists, and hands straight and in-line when using the keyboard/input device.    
30. Telephone can be used with your head upright (not bent) and your shoulders relaxed (not elevated) if you do computer tasks at the same time.    
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Work Surfaces,Document Holders, Wrist Rests or Telephones.  
31. Workstation and equipment have sufficient adjustability so you are in a safe working posture and can make occasional changes in posture while performing computer tasks.    
32. Computer workstation, components and accessories are maintained in serviceable condition and function properly.    
33. Computer tasks are organized in a way that allows you to vary tasks with other work activities, or to take micro-breaks or recovery pauses while at the computer workstation.    
"No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Chairs, Work Surfaces, orWork Processes.  

Winter 2013




Microsoft Online Saftey and Security Center

National Cyber Security Alliance

PBS Children and Computers

Google Family Center



Through Howard Gardners Good Works Project -

The Developing Minds and Digital Media Project (also known as DM2) is a study of the myriad ways in which “new digital media”—such as the internet, cell phones, and the like—influence the culture, psychology, and creativity of young people and of adolescence as a developmental phase.  Contact: Katie Davis, Project Specialist.

The Good Participation Project seeks to explore forms of contemporary youth civic and political participation, and to discern broader notions of citizenship held by contemporary youth. Contact: Carrie James, Research Director.

The GoodPlay Project explores the ethical character of young people’s activities in the new digital media.  Contact: Carrie James, Research Director.

The GoodWork® Toolkit is a Guidebook and a set of Narratives and Value Sort Cards designed to inspire conversation and reflection about excellent, ethical, and engaging work. The primary purpose of the Toolkit is to engage individuals in reflective questions that all professionals should consider. Contacts: Wendy Fischman, Project Manager; Lynn Barendsen, Project Manager.


Support Wikipedia

Teaching About Cybersecurity: Taking Steps to Improve Online Safety and Prevent Data Breaches

Related ArticleCredit Christophe Vorlet
Lesson Plans - The Learning NetworkLesson Plans - The Learning Network

Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.

Overview | From data breaches at Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan and even the White House to celebrities’ stolen photos, cybersecurity and online privacy have been making the headlines every week. But how do data breaches at companies and government institutions affect individuals? What can individuals do to enhance their digital security?

In this lesson, students will learn about the extent of cyberattacks just in the past year and the risks they pose for companies, governments and individuals. They also will learn about the steps individuals and organizations can take to better protect their data online, and will reflect on their own digital security practices.

Materials | Computers with Internet access

Warm Up | Initiate a quick brainstorm about computer security with your students, as a way to assess their level of understanding. Ask questions such as: What have you heard in the news recently about people harming companies or other organizations by gaining unauthorized access to their computer systems? How do these people break into the computers, and what steps can we take to keep this from happening in the future?

Then, watch the NOVA Labs video “Cybersecurity 101″. [Stop the video at 3:05].

Have a short conversation about the main points raised in the video. What is the Internet, and how did connecting computers into networks introduce the vulnerabilities that criminals take advantage of today? What are some of the ways in which networked computers can be compromised, and why is it difficult to prevent these kinds of attacks?

Related | In the Bits post “Hacked vs. Hackers: Game On”, Nicole Perlroth explores the explosive growth in cyberattacks against governments, companies and individuals over the past decade:

Paul Kocher, one of the country’s leading cryptographers, says he thinks the explanation for the world’s dismal state of digital security may lie in two charts.

One shows the number of airplane deaths per miles flown, which decreased to one-thousandth of what it was in 1945 with the advent of the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958 and stricter security and maintenance protocols. The other, which details the number of new computer security threats, shows the opposite. There has been more than a 10,000-fold increase in the number of new digital threats over the last 12 years.

The problem, Mr. Kocher and security experts reason, is a lack of liability and urgency. The Internet is still largely held together with Band-Aid fixes. Computer security is not well regulated, even as enormous amounts of private, medical and financial data and the nation’s computerized critical infrastructure — oil pipelines, railroad tracks, water treatment facilities and the power grid — move online.

Read the entire article with your class, using the questions below.

Questions | For discussion and reading comprehension:

  1. What is digital security, and why are experts in the field concerned about its “dismal state” in the United States?
  2. What is data and what are some of the kinds of data that are increasingly being stored online? What is a “data breach,” and what are some of the consequences of data breaches for governments, organizations and individuals?
  3. In the post, Perlroth states, “…at every level, there has been an awakening that the [cyber] threats are real and growing worse, and that the prevailing “patch and pray” approach to computer security simply will not do.” What evidence does she use to support the argument that threats to computer security are growing worse? Cite three specific examples.
  4. What steps can companies take to prepare for online attacks, and why are these steps helpful?
  5. What are firewalls and why should these be only one part of a broader computer security scheme?


In this activity, students will read additional coverage of major online data breaches and assess their scope and impact. They also will review security experts’ suggestions for preventing these kinds of attacks in the future and assess the protections they have in place for their own online data.

Part 1: Assessing the Impact

Divide the class into groups and assign one of the articles listed below to each group.

Each group should briefly summarize the article, noting:

  • The name of the organization attacked;
  • The nature of the data breach — Were credit card numbers stolen? Passwords? Personal information?
  • The extent of the breach: How many people did it affect? How much money does the organization estimate it lost as a result of the data breach? What other information was compromised?
  • How the cyberattack occurred, if known. Did the organization, for example, take any missteps that allowed for data to be easily compromised?
  • What, if anything, could have prevented it.
  • What should individuals do if they are concerned their financial or personal information might have been stolen?

Then have groups briefly present what they learned. You might record the key pieces of information about the nature and extent of major data breaches in a table at the front of the room.


How to Create a Secure Password

How to Create a Secure Password

Four easy tips to protect your digital accounts from the next breach.

 Video by Wendi Jonassen, Molly Wood and Vanessa Perez on Publish DateNovember 5, 2014. Photo by Mel Evans/Associated Press.

Part 2: Taking Steps to Improve Security

Watch the video “How to Create a Secure Password,” and talk about tips for creating secure passwords. Those students withsmartphones might also assess how secure these devices are and make notes on how they might improve their security settings as well.

Be sure students can explain:

Have students assess the passwords they use in light of the information they just learned. How secure are their passwords? Do they think they should come up with more secure passwords? Do they currently use the same password on more than one website or device? Now that they have learned more about how to protect their own data online, what changes might they make to their online behavior?

Finally, have students read “Getting a Clear Picture of a Computer Network’s Security.” Why does Hitesh Sheth call the fight to keep hackers out of corporate computer systems a “race you cannot win?” What are some ways in which computer security systems are trying to win this race? How does human error sometimes thwart even the best security software, and why are retailers who use credit and debit card systems especially vulnerable to data breaches?

Going Further

1. Cybersecurity: You might delve deeper into the topic of cybersecurity by first learning about the Internet in the first place — how did it develop, and how did its design unintentionally lead to the kinds of vulnerabilities we are seeing more and more every day? Then, have students play the NOVA Labs Cybersecurity Lab game, in which they take steps to protect a company from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. You can also have students respond to our Student Opinion question, “Whom Would You Share Your Passwords With?”

2. Online Privacy: To further explore online privacy, students could log into Take This Lollipop, an interactive Facebook app that shows users the degree to which their personal information is available on Facebook. The app incorporates the user’s own photographs, posts, and other personal information into a short “horror movie” in which the user becomes the subject of a cyberstalker. [Note: the movie, while short, may be disturbing to some students; use discretion when deciding whether to share with your class]. Follow up with a conversation about what students saw. How did it feel to see their information being used in this way? Were they surprised by how much of their information the app could access?

Alternatively, students might visit Privacy Grade, an online tool that grades popular apps, such as Instagram and Angry Birds, for their privacy safeguards. And, they can read what other students have to say on the topic, and share their own opinions, through our Student Opinion question, “Do You Wish You Had More Privacy Online?”

3. Digital Literacy and Citizenship: Use our guest post “Who Are You Online? Considering Issues of Web Identity” by the Common Sense Media writer Kelly Schryver to explore issues related to social media, privacy settings and online behavior.


This resource may be used to address the academic standards listed below.

View all