Good morning all!
Apologies again for the technical difficulties at the last session. We’ve been in touch with the tech department and should be back to normal today.
Week One Recap
At our last session we covered the topic Share With Care. It’s important that we filter the information we put online about ourselves. Before we post we need to think about:
- Is this information we want others to know about us?
- Would this information be hurtful to anyone else?
- Could this information be taken advantage of by other people?
We asked that everyone complete the Mindful Mountain activity before today’s session so a few questions about that:
- Of all the posts you shared in the game, which type do you think you would share most often in real life? And why?
- Describe a time when you may have accidentally shared something that you shouldnʼt have.
- Why do you think the character in Mindful Mountain is called an oversharer?
- Describe the oversharer’s character and how his actions affect the game.
- Did playing Mindful Mountain change the way you’ll think about sharing with others online in the future?
- Name one thing youʼll do differently after joining in these lessons and playing the game.
- What is one example of a possible negative consequence from sharing something with the public instead of just your friends?
- What steps can you take if you accidentally share something personal?
Don’t Fall For Fake
There is a lot of information online and it’s not all true. The internet can also be used for different scams to catch people out and cost them money. It’s important to be alert to these kinds of schemes. Today we will be discussing:
- How to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake
- What phishing is and how to report it
- How to spot a potential scam
A phishing attack happens when someone tries to trick you into sharing personal
information online. Phishing is usually done through email, ads, or sites that look
similar to sites you already use.
A phishing scam where an attacker targets you more precisely by using pieces of your
own personal information
A dishonest attempt to make money or gain something else of value by tricking people
Able to be relied on to do what is right or what is needed
Real, genuine, true, or accurate; not fake or copied
Something that can be proven or shown to be true or correct
Intended to make someone believe something that isn’t true
Done to trick someone for the purpose of getting something valuable
A program that shields your computer from most scams and tricks
Phishing is when someone tries to steal information like your login or account details by pretending to be someone you trust in an email, text, or other online communication. Phishing emails—and the unsafe sites they try to send you to or the downloads and attachments they try to get you to open—can also put viruses on your computer that use your contact list to target your friends and family with more phishing emails. Other scams might try to trick you into downloading malware or unwanted software by telling you that thereʼs something wrong with your device.
Remember: A website or ad canʼt tell if thereʼs anything wrong with your machine!
Some phishing attacks are obviously fake. But others can be sophisticated and convincing. For instance, when a scammer sends you a message that includes some of your personal information, itʼs called spearphishing, and it can be very effective.
Itʼs important to know how to spot anything odd or unusual in emails and texts early, before you click on questionable links or enter your password on risky websites.
Here are some questions to ask when youʼre assessing a message or site:
• Does it include the indicators of a trustworthy site, such as badges?
• Does a siteʼs URL match the name and title youʼre looking for?
• Are there any pop-ups? (Theyʼre often bad news.)
• Does the URL start with https:// preceded by a green padlock? (That means the connection is encrypted and secure.)
• Whatʼs in the fine print? (Thatʼs where they put the sneaky stuff.)
And what if you do fall for a scam? Start with this: Donʼt panic!
• Tell your parent, teacher, or other trusted adult right away. The longer you wait, the worse things could get.
• Change your passwords for online accounts.
• If you do fall for a phishing attempt or scam, let any friends who might be targeted as a result know.
• Use settings to report the message as spam, if possible.
Activity 1 – Real or Fake
In groups, take a look at the following examples and decide if you think they are real or fake. Which seem trustworthy and which seem suspicious? Some questions to consider when looking at these examples:
• Does this message look right?
Whatʼs your first instinct? Do you notice any untrustworthy parts?
• Is the email offering you something for free?
Free offers usually arenʼt really free.
• Is it asking for your personal information?
Some websites ask for personal info so they can send you more scams. For example,
“personality tests” could be gathering facts to make it easy to guess your password or
other secret information. Most real businesses, on the other hand, wonʼt ask for personal information over email.
• Is it a chain email or social post?
Emails and posts that ask you to forward them to everyone you know can put you and others at risk. Donʼt do it unless youʼre sure of the source and sure the message is safe to pass on.
• Does it have fine print?
At the bottom of most documents youʼll find the “fine print.” This text is tiny, and often contains the stuff youʼre supposed to miss. For example, a headline at the top might say youʼve won a free phone, but in the fine print youʼll read that you actually have to pay that company £200 per month.
For the purposes of this exercise, assume that Internaut Mail is a real, trusted service.
Who are you, really?
How do you know itʼs really them?
When youʼre on the phone with a friend, how can you tell itʼs them, even though you canʼt see them? Sometimes people pretend to be other people online in order to tease them. Other times, they impersonate others in order to steal personal information. When youʼre on the Internet, strangers could ask to connect with you. Itʼs up to you to decide whether you want to connect with that person, and what or how to reply.
Fortunately, you can verify peopleʼs identity and spot scammers. Here are a few ideas to start thinking about.
• Is their profile picture suspicious?
Is their profile picture blurry or hard to see? If so, be cautious; a blurry photo is easier to hide behind. Itʼs also common for scammers to steal photos from a real person in order to set up a fake profile.
• Does their displayed name match their username?
On social media, for instance, does their profile URL match their given name? (For example, Jane Doe, with an address thatʼs something like SocialMedia.com/jane.doe.)
• Do they have a personal biography?
If so, does it sound like it was written by a real person? Fake accounts might not have much “About Me” information, or might have grouped together some information to create a fake profile.
• How long has the account been active?
Is the profile new or does it show a lot of abnormal activity? Fake accounts often lack a history of posts or social interactions
Activity 2 – Who are you, really?
Each group is going to be assigned one of the following scenarios. One person is each group is going to narrate the scenario. A second person will perform the message. A third person will respond to the message. The fourth person will explain why the third person responded in such a way.
You get a message request online from a stranger. “Hey! You seem like a fun person to hang out with. Letʼs have some fun together! Can you add me to your friends list? – Jason”
You get a text message on your cell phone from someone you donʼt recognize. “Hey, this is Jen! Remember me from the summer?”
After math class with Mrs. Beckstrom you get this message on your cell phone. “Iʼm Mark from your Math class with Mrs. Beckstrom. Did u understand the homework?”
You get a message from someone you donʼt follow. “Hey! Love your posts, youʼre SO funny! Give me your phone number and we can talk more!”
You get a chat from someone with whom you arenʼt familiar. “I saw you in Math class today. U R CUTE! What is your address? I can come over 2 hang out.”
You receive a message online. “Hey, I just met your friend Sam! She told me about you, would love to meet you. Whatʼs your address?”
Activity 3 – Interland: Reality River
The river that runs through Interland flows with fact and fiction. But things are not always as they seem. To cross the rapids, use your best judgement and don’t fall for the antics of the phisher lurking in these waters.
Visit www.g.co/Interland, and navigate to the land called Reality River.
Before you go…
Let’s discuss today’s Interland activity:
• Describe a time when you had to decide if something was real or fake online.
What signs did you notice?
• What is a phisher? Describe its behaviors and how it affects the game.
• Did playing Reality River change the way youʼll evaluate things and people online
in the future?
• Whatʼs one thing that you think youʼll do differently after joining in these lessons
and playing the game?
• What are some clues that could signal that something is “off” about a certain
• How does it feel when you come across something questionable online?
• If you really arenʼt sure whether something is real, what should you do?
CoderDojo Coolest Projects
The annual showcase of CoderDojo projects will be taking place in the RDS in Dublin on Saturday 26th May 2018. This is an opportunity to see some amazing projects and meet some of the ninjas from CoderDojos around the world. Kids under 16 get free entry and for a limited time only so do their parents/guardians. Register for your free tickets here: https://coderdojo.com/news/2018/01/30/early-bird-tickets-for-coderdojo-community-to-coolest-projects-international/
Check out the highlights from last year’s event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCKkSBxCvMg
NI Science Festival
You may have heard that the Northern Ireland Science Festival is coming up soon. It will be taking place from 15th February – 25th February. There are plenty of interesting events taking place in Derry and further afield. Check out the programme of events here for more details: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/programme.php
To get you geared up, why not try the fun maths game on the festival homepage: http://www.nisciencefestival.com/