We do everything possible to keepour computers, bank accounts and families safe. Our list ofto-doscontinues to grow as our use of digital technologies increases. While thesetasks are rote to mostadults, we can’t expect that our learners will follow our lead.It is our responsibility that people know how to do more than surf the web and consume media.

Everyonefrom classroom teachers to technology coaches and school administratorsshouldlead the discussion on digital literacy.Here are some ways to make sure tostay safe and secureonline.Teaching digital responsibility is not just for middle school teachers or library media specialists. I

t’severyone’s duty. Consider developing a digital media scope-and-sequence to address what should betaught at each grade.Being alertbeing aware of online actions, andknowing how to be safe and create safe spaces forothers onlineis one of the five competencies of the #DigCitCommit campaign, as an example.

As more and more of our lives arestored and spent online, it’s hugely important that we understandhow to protect both our devices and our information from malicious elements online. Leaving yourdevices unprotected can result in anything as small as a slower computer (not so small if you’ve gota deadline coming up), right through to losing all the money in your bank account, to identity theft.

Just by taking a few of these simple steps you can improve your safety on the web and stop yourselffrom becoming a target online. Whilst web security across the board is a good idea, it’s mostimportant that you show the utmost caution when dealing with:Financesanything to do with money, from online-banking to paying for anything through a website.

You need to make sure that you are taking the utmost care of your information. Banks often providea series of checks to weed out false login attempts but that’s no guarantee of protection if you haven’ttaken precautions about who has your information.Outside of online banking you need to be even morecautious. There are several services available toyou as a buyer now, such as Amazon payments or PayPal, which offer you more protection than youwould get just putting your information into a website and we recommend you use those as much aspossible.

Another issue you need to be aware of is malware, or computer viruses, as these can log everythingyou type and even perform browser injections’ or “highjacks” that show a web page identical toonline banking. There are various tricks that make this work, but the end result is the same someonehas access to your cash and can effectively lock you out of your own account.Contact detailsYour email is a popular striking point for malware. Make sure that you only give it topeople and websites you feel you can trust. 

Furthermore, make sure that you protect your physicaladdress online as well as your digital one as that information can be used to steal your identity.