Learning Literacies - Protect It

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Protect It - Identity, Privacy and Copyright

  • Privacy represents an important area of society that is being impacted by computers. Just Google for your favorite recording artist or movie star. They don't have much privacy - there are pictures of them everywhere. Their personal information is very public.
  • Freedom of speech takes on new meaning in cyberspace. While it is possible for repressive regimes to control print and broadcast media, it is much more difficult to control online publication. This is especially true when the source of the information is outside the jurisdiction of those endeavoring to control speech.

Your personal information may not be so public, but it could be. See how easy it is to find your phone number and address using one of the online services. While this great if old friends are trying to reach you, it could be a problem if the interested is unwanted. In this topic, we will look at issues surrounding privacy and how to protect your personal information. The "worst case" is identity theft - a growing problem that is extremely hard for the victim to recover from. Being aware of these issues is an important first step.

Learning outcomes

  • understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to using digital tools, strategies, and resources to enhance my learning, and practice appropriate legal and ethical behavior.
  • explore the topic of Privacy through reading, media and related assignments
  • practice appropriate and legal behavior
  • cite the work of others
  • support own learning and intellectual rights
  • respect the views, information, and opinions of others
  • use a process to read college text chapters


  • privacy, risks, data collection, surveillance, Fourth Amendment, personalization, privacy regulations, public records, communications interception, encryption, freedom of speech, media, spam, offensive speech, censorship, anonymity, net neutrality

Study questions

  • How do you feel about your own privacy when you are using technology? Are you more or less concerned than transacting in other media?
  • How safe is your personal information?
  • Do you think "big brother" is watching you?
  • Should we have a National ID system? What difference would it make?
  • If more health data was collected, researchers could cure more health problems. Do you agree? Would you allow you health records to be shared with researchers if your personal identity were hidden?
  • Is there a right to privacy? How far should that extend? What limits are necessary?
  • Should anonymity be allowed? Encouraged? Protected?
  • To what extent can new communities develop over the internet? Are these "real" communities? What makes them special?
  • Who am I if someone steals my identity?

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Identity theft, privacy

  • PrivacyGrade Grading The Privacy Of Smartphone (Android) Apps from a team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. assigned privacy grades to Android apps based on some techniques developed to analyze to their privacy-related behaviors.
  • Twelve Really Useful Links You Need to Know to Stay Safe on the Internet - a collection of articles that will help you understand the tricks and tactics used by malware writers and that explain how to set up some powerful computer defenses.
  • You Can Create The Perfect Password. Here's How - useful tips for creating and keeping track of your passwords, to better protect your personal information online
  • *Passwords - comic illustrates the problems with rules for passwords
  • *11 Tips For Students To Manage Their Digital Footprints - Digital Footprint - the record or trail left by the things you do online. Your social media activity, the info on your personal website, your browsing history, your online subscriptions, any photo galleries and videos you’ve uploaded — essentially, anything on the Internet with your name on it.
  • *You're Being Watched - even if someone isn't trying to steal your identity, they still want to know everything about you so they can place advertising where you are likely to see it.
  • *Here's How Easily Someone Could Hack Into Your Life (Infographic) - If you're reading this, there's 69 percent chance you will become a victim of hacking at some point in your lifetime. And if you think protecting yourself is as easy as changing a couple passwords and installing some anti-virus software, you're 100 percent wrong.
  • SciFri 12jul podcast - With the NSA conducting surveillance on our data and Google scanning our email, how can we protect our personal information? Jon Xavier, digital producer at Silicon Valley Business Journal, discusses the services that you can use to make your information more secure and private.
  • Cloudsweeper email tools - Safeguarding your cloud based storage.] - tools to help users understand and control their risks online while also conducting research to better understand those risks at a systemic level.
  • *DuckDuckGo - Search anonymously. Find instantly. - search engine that does NOT save your search history and share it with the government.
  • Ghostery - user-friendly privacy tool to understand and control more than 1,800 trackers that are tracking them when they browse.
  • Steal this blog - "Oversharing might result in more risk and unintended consequence than on might think, especially in the long run. If you’re comfortable being a human homing beacon, that’s fine, we just want you to be fully aware of what that means and the potential risk it might involve."
  • Three types of online attack: Mikko Hypponen on TED.com - Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online attack on our privacy and data — and only two are considered crimes.
  • Identity Theft Information - approximately 15 million United States residents have their identities used fraudulently each year, about $50 billion loss, approximately 7% of all adults have their identities misused, $3,500 losses each. each year 100 million personal identifying information placed at risk when government and corporate databases are lost or stolen.

Copyright, citation, plagiarism

  • Did I Plagiarize? - infographic
  • Can I Use That Picture? - infographic
  • Plagiarism: How to Avoid It (video 2:50) - good overview of plagiarism, what it is and how to avoid it.
  • Why It’s Time To Change How Students Cite Their Work - Without readily available sources to review, the audience cannot truly evaluate the validity of the project. They are left with what might be a beautiful and elegant project (the product) without knowing the sources used to construct it (the process).
  • Citing Sources - Finding the information for your research paper and determining whether that information fits what you need is just the first part of the process. Next, when you’re using this information in your own work, you’ll need to cite your sources to avoid plagiarism. Ethical standards require that you give credit to all published authors for their ideas.
  • Plagiarism - Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source is usually enough to prevent plagiarism.


  • DeAnza Student Success - Reading - resources, reading strategies, practice articles
  • Reading College Texts - preview, ask questions, read for details, review
  • Reading Skills - strategies for reading for college
  • How to do a Close Reading - developing a deep understanding and a precise interpretation of a literary passage that is based first and foremost on the words themselves. But a close reading does not stop there; rather, it embraces larger themes and ideas evoked and/or implied by the passage itself.

Social media, Twitter

  • Newbie's guide to Twitter - Twitter is an interesting and practical real-time messaging system for groups and friends. It's just not completely obvious how to get started.

Financial literacy

Also see...

How to Maintain Your Privacy While Using Reddit: 8 Tips
From news to debates, cooking, and fashion, Reddit has got you covered.Despite all this, many people are concerned about their privacy on...
More privacy, more protections.
Firefox created the Tech Talk to help make those awkward conversations less awkward. Get helpful tips and download the Super-Official Fam...
Massive Losses Define Epidemic of ‘Pig Butchering’
U.S. state and federal investigators are being inundated with reports from people who’ve lost hundreds of thousands or millions of doll...
Proton - Your Online Privacy, by Default | Proton
"Secure email that protects your privacyKeep your conversations private. Proton Mail is an encrypted email service based in Switzerl...
One mistake you’re making with your email that hackers love
Delete your email attachments ASAPJust think about everything you’ve sent through your email. paperwork with sensitive information, lik...
10 of the best Gmail tips and tricks you should be using
Most people only use their email inbox to send and receive messages. There are a lot of secret tricks you can use to speed up your workfl...
So You Think You've Been Hacked?
Tell-Tale Signs You've Been HackedSometimes the best security software in the world can't protect you from yourself. If you click...
Why the heck are SSNs still treated as passwords in the US? | TechCrunch
a lot of systems in the U.S. are woefully poorly designed. To wit: This morning I called my bank and was asked for the last four digits o...
Why the heck are SSNs still treated as passwords in the US? – TechCrunch

<p class="diigo-tags"><strong>Tags:</strong> <a href='https://www...
Digital Literacy 101: A Guidemap to Becoming a Data Citizen
Get proactive — help others with their digital skills and to protect their data online; join campaigns to improve our rights online. Re...
Check if a Website is Malicious/Scam or Safe/Legit | URLVoid
When you submit a website you can view its safety report, which includes names of blacklists used for scanning and a link to their respec...
Firefox Multi-Account Containers – Get this Extension for
Firefox Multi-Account Containers lets you keep parts of your online life separated into color-coded tabs. Cookies are separated by contai...
Is private browsing really private? Short answer: No
why using the feature may not guarantee complete privacy. The goal of private browsing is to prevent information from being automatically...
Digital ID tech is moving fast. #GoodID will ensure it doesn’t break things – TechCrunch
The Digital COVID Certificate is an example of a digital ID. Governments are increasingly adopting these technologies in order to solve a...


  1. Before you start the reading and the assignments, take a few minutes to think about what you already know about the topic - Privacy and Freedom of Speech. Write a sentence or two about this in the I know... discussion.

  2. Read the Study notes for an overview for the topics that will be covered.

  3. Identity theft, privacy - Scan 2-3 articles listed in the selected Media above, or research to find others online. Which of the articles about identity theft did you read? What did you learn? What precautions can you take to prevent someone from stealing your identity? In the Identity theft discussion, post the link to the article you selected and a brief description of what your learned.
    Review the posts of 2 others.

  4. Citing sources - College writing requires that you understand the rules for academic research and reference to your sources of information. Citation is the practice of saying where you found the information you are quoting or using ideas and information from. Review 1-2 articles in the selected Media section. Which of the articles about citing sources did you read? What did you learn? In the Citing sources discussion, post the link to the article you selected and a brief description of what your learned.
    Review the posts of 2 others.

  5. Reading - You think you already know how to read? You may be surprised. Review 1 of the articles about reading. Which of the articles about reading did you read? What did you learn? In the Reading discussion, post the link to the article you selected and a brief description of what your learned.
    Review the posts of 2 others.

  6. Financial literacy - Many financial transactions now take place online - bill paying, buying shoes and books, making reservations, applying for college,... so it is important to understand both the financial aspects as well as the internet technologies. Review the topics in the Financial Topics for College Students and pick one to review. Write a summary of the article and post it along with a link to the articles you reviewed to Financial literacy discussion.
    comment on the work of 3 others.

  7. Scams, fraud - To gauge your personal risk, and find tips for lowering it, take the nifty 10-question safety quiz at IDsafety.net. http://idsafety.net/

  8. Online identity, digital footprint - Digital Footprint - the record or trail left by the things you do online. Your social media activity, the info on your personal website, your browsing history, your online subscriptions, any photo galleries and videos you’ve uploaded — essentially, anything on the Internet with your name on it. Just like a tattoo, your digital reputation is an expression of yourself. It's highly visible, and hard to remove. Explore how your online identity affects you, your friends, your school and your job - for better and for worse - and how to make informed choices. Take the self-assessment at Connect Quiz: What Do You Think?
    In the Digital footprint discussion, post a brief note about what you learned from taking the quiz. Will you do anything differently based on what you now know?

  9. Textbooks - This course doesn't have a specific textbook, but it does require a lot of reading. Is reading from web resources different than reading from a textbooks? Which do you prefer and why? In the discussions Textbooks and resources, post a brief description of your preferences. Include 2-3 questions about your concerns.
    Review the posting of 2 other students and respond to their questions. Your reply can be more questions.

  10. Test drive - Twitter - Twitter is a social media communication network that allows messaging and comments. However, "Tweets" are limited to 140 characters. Review the inforgraphic - A Simple Acronym For Encouraging Digital Citizenship and the guide to using Twitter. Find some interesting hashtags and authors who tweet about a subject of interest to you. Have you used Twitter? What was your experience? Do others you know use Twitter? In the Test drive - Twitter discussion, post a brief description of the topic of interest, the hashtags and authors and 2-3 examples of tweets that were particularly interesting.
    Review the posts of 2 others and provide feedback.

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