Tag: security

Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share a popular post from the past month (or so). 

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tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

This tip is about visiting a website that gives you an error code similar to this:

 

You probably think the site isn’t working, but a lot of times, it’s a different easily solved problem that takes no time to do.

Look at the URL address (at the top of the webpage):

If it has https (like this one does), it could mean the website hasn’t been changed from http to https so it doesn’t recognize the address. All you have to do is delete the ‘s’ in the URL to make the site work:

I blurred everything out for privacy, but I think you can see I changed the https to http. The site immediately opened. Interestingly, that works over half the time.

If a site you manage has that problem, check with your host or IT folks and upgrade to https security protocol. Often, that’s free.


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022

June is Internet Safety Month

June is National Internet Safety Month, thanks to a resolution passed in 2005 by the U.S. Senate. The goal is to raise awareness about online safety for all, with a special focus on kids ranging from tots to teens. Children are just as connected to the Internet as adults. This is a great list of internet cautions I got from an online efriend a few years ago. I reprint it every year because it covers all the basics, avoids boring details, and gives kids (and adults) rules to live by:

Not everything you read online is true

It used to be anything we read in print was true. We could trust newspapers, magazines and books as reliable sources of information. It’s not the same with the web. Since anyone can become published, some of the stuff you’re reading online isn’t true. Even worse, some people are just rewriting stuff they read from other people online, so you might be reading the same false information over and over again. Even Wikipedia isn’t necessarily a reliable source. If you’re researching something online, consider the source. Some poorly written, random web page, isn’t necessarily a good source. However, if you find a .gov or .org site, the information has a better chance of being true. Always look at who owns the website and whether or not they have an agenda before considering whether or not certain information is true.

Not everyone you meet online are who they say they are

This is the hard part because we want to trust our friends, even our online friends. The truth is, some of the people you meet online are lying about who they really are. Sometimes adults pretend to be kids and kids pretend to be someone else. They do this for a variety of reasons; grownups might want to try and have sex with kids or frenemies might want to act like friends to get information on someone they want to bully at school or online. Unless you know someone very well and can verify their identity, don’t trust that everyone who you speak to online are who they say they are.

Some people who are pretending to be kids really aren’t. There are grownups who pretend to be kids so teens and kids won’t get creeped out talking with them. This is never a good thing. Most of the grownups who are looking to talk to kids are looking for sex. Parents need to monitor their kids’ friends list and ask questions about the friends they don’t know. It’s more prevalent than you think and it COULD happen to you.

Not everyone you “friend” is your friend. Just like in the real world, not everyone you know is a friend. Think long and hard about the people you’re “friending.” Drama doesn’t just stay in school anymore, now it follows you home thanks to the social networks. Plus, stuff y

ou share with what you think is a private social networking page is a simple cut and paste away from being broadcast all over school. Also, be careful when friending friends of friends and friends of friends of friends. You don’t really know these people, why are you giving them access to your private life? Sometimes, it’s like giving them the keys to your house.

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Social Media or COVID: Which is more dangerous to students?

Not a surprise that student use of social media is way up since remote learning became de rigeur in learning. Social media limits users to 13+ but doesn’t monitor that. What could sober education’s on-going concern about the dangers of COVID is the booming number of arrests of students for misuse of social media. My conclusion: We aren’t teaching enough about the proper use of social media platforms and the danger of cyberbullying.

Read this article from DA District Administration and see if you agree:

Student behavior on social media is now a bigger threat than COVID

by Matt Zalaznick

Though the threats appear unfounded, they are closing classrooms and raising anxiety as schools are trying to find some send of normalcy.

Read More>>

More from Ask a Tech Teacher on social media:

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Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on that blog:

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tech tips for writersTech Tips for Writers is an occasional post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future tip.

This tip is about spam. I am fed up with it! The law requires email senders include ‘unsubscribe’ in the email (at least, they do in America–not sure about other countries), but that doesn’t apply to text messages. I didn’t get much spam there until recently and they’re annoying!

Here’s a trick that will stop some:

  • Select the text message.
  • Select the sender from the top detail with click-hold (in the case of the video, I click-hold the phone number). It will open the contact card
  • Click ‘Info’
  • One of the options toward the bottom will be ‘Block’. Click that.
  • When you return to the email, it will show it’s blocked.

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Tech Tips #173: Track Your Stuff

tech tipsThis is not part of the 169 tech tips for your class book but it will be when I update the ebook:

Tech Tip #173: Track Your Stuff

If you follow me on Instagram, or my writer’s blog, WordDreams, you already saw this tip!

This is a very cool tip: Track anything with Apple Air Tags. I hid one in my husband’s car, labeled it ‘Dad’s Car’. Now, when it’s away from me, it sends a message to my phone like this:

Though the Air Tags might be best suited to finding a car lost in a parking lot, it also works if someone steals the car by setting the Air Tag to ‘lost’. Because the Air Tag itself only tracks within Bluetooth distance, ‘lost’ engages the assistance of the 1 billion users with Apple devices to notify you if they pass the Air Tag’s location. Let me stipulate: The effectiveness depends heavily on having Apple devices close enough to catch the Air Tag’s Bluetooth tracking signal.

Here’s a longish video I became addicted to watching. A YouTube influencer techie sort of guy tested the findability of lost Air Tags vs. Squares. It’s pretty interesting. He starts with a discussion of both items. If you’re looking for the test, it’s in the second half:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yNOm_4sQpI]

Anyone else use Air Tags for clever reasons?

Note: It’s become a ‘thing’ for thieves to drop Air Tags into purses and pockets of unsuspecting people so they can follow them home. The iPhone–besides tracking your personal Air Tags–lets you know if unknown Air Tags are traveling with you, such as a thief’s. Good to know!

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#1 Skill to Teach–Protect Student Privacy

I’ve written a lot about the importance of teaching students to protect their online privacy. Yes, we must do what we can on the campus but the real impact will come from students taking care of themselves. District Administration has a great article on this topic. See what you think:

9 ways school leaders can protect privacy while protecting kids online

Matt Zalaznick

Monitoring is not quite the right word to describe the responsibility educators have when thinking about students’ online activity outside of school hours, a cyberbullying expert says.

Read on…

Ask a Tech Teacher has several articles you will enjoy on this same topic:

6 Ways Teacher-authors Protect Their Online Privacy

Tech Tip #44: Computer Safety

5 (free) Security Posters for Tech Ed

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tech tips

Tech Tip #96: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: How to Add Zip to a Slow Computer

Category: Maintenance, Security

Q: I have a netbook (or a PC, a desktop, or a laptop—pretty much any computer except for a Chromebook) that starts incredibly slowly. What can I do to speed it up?

A: Here are ten suggestions:

  1. Run malware programs.
  2. Uninstall unnecessary programs.
  3. Uninstall unnecessary fonts.
  4. Get rid of documents you don’t need anymore.
  5. Empty the trash.
  6. Clean the junk off your desktop.
  7. Clean up your Start Button.
  8. Clean out your subscriptions.
  9. Slim down your start-up process.
  10. Add more RAM.

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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Tech Tip #44: Computer Safety

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Computer safety

Category: Maintenance, Security

Q:  I’m afraid of getting slammed with viruses, malware–all that bad stuff that comes with visiting the internet. What do I do?

A:  If you take reasonable precautions, the chances of being hit are minimized. Here are two first-steps:

  • Don’t download from music or video sites. They carry the greatest danger of malware statistically.
  • Make sure your firewall is working.

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

What’s your favorite tech tip in your classroom? Share it in the comments below.

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Internet Safety Month–Rules to Live By

June is National Internet Safety Month, thanks to a resolution passed in 2005 by the U.S. Senate. The goal is to raise awareness about online safety for all, with a special focus on kids ranging from tots to teens. Children are just as connected to the Internet as adults. This is a great list of internet cautions I got from an online efriend a few years ago. It covers all the basics, avoids boring details, and gives kids (and adults) rules to live by:

Not everything you read online is true

It used to be anything we read in print was true. We could trust newspapers, magazines and books as reliable sources of information. It’s not the same with the web. Since anyone can become published, some of the stuff you’re reading online isn’t true. Even worse, some people are just rewriting stuff they read from other people online, so you might be reading the same false information over and over again. Even Wikipedia isn’t necessarily a reliable source. If you’re researching something online, consider the source. Some poorly written, ramdom web page, isn’t necessarily a good source. However, if you find a .gov or .org site, the information has a better chance of being true. Always look at who owns the website and whether or not they have an agenda before considering whether or not certain information is true.

Not everyone you meet online are who they say they are

This is the hard part because we want to trust our friends, even our online friends. The truth is, some of the people you meet online are lying about who they really are. Sometimes adults pretend to be kids and kids pretend to be someone else. They do this for a variety of reasons; grownups might want to try and have sex with kids or frenemies might want to act like friends to get information on someone they want to bully at school or online. Unless you know someone very well and can verify their identity, don’t trust that everyone who you speak to online are who they say they are.

Some people who are pretending to be kids really aren’t. There are grownups who pretend to be kids so teens and kids won’t get creeped out talking with them. This is never a good thing. Most of the grownups who are looking to talk to kids are looking for sex. Parents need to monitor their kids’ friends list and ask questions about the friends they don’t know. It’s more prevalent than you think and it COULD happen to you.

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World Password Day — It’s Today!

world password day

One of the most important yet underwhelming international events is coming up the first Thursday in May (in Canada, it’s March 15th). What is it? It’s World Password Day,

Yawn…

I know — words can’t express how tedious most people find passwords, how annoying they are to use, and how likely it is 99% of the world will not celebrate this event. Let me see if I can convince you otherwise. On January 1, 1983, when the Internet was invented, mankind agreed to a binary choice: Invent passwords or forever regret their absence. Without them, there would be no protection for your privacy, your online information, or even your personal identity. Passwords are now required to access websites, banking, email, social media, favorite shopping sites, chat venues like iMessenger, and even certain documents. These annoying, forgettable, intrusive entities are the first line of defense against hackers and for many, their entire defense.  Because so many treat passwords casually, despite all they know about their importance, password theft is one of the fastest growing and most effective crimes. 

While every expert recommends changing your password two-three times a year, no one does that. Do you? I don’t. I’m challenged to remember my password much less remember to change it regularly. As a result, World Password Day came into being:

Annually, on World Password Day, change all of your passwords

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