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Internet Safety and Ethics

Internet Safety and Ethics Activity: Oh No, You Didn't!: Internet Dangers and Strategies for Staying Safe

Instructions for Your Students

Okay, you've got your rules, and you've got your no-no's for how to protect yourself online. But let's face it: there's no substitute for real-life experience. So get ready to act out some real-life situations that either you or your friends have probably found yourselves in. What would you do? Would you jump in and do something differently? Let's find out.

Step 1: Begin by watching the video "Playing and Staying Safe Online." After you've watched the video, you'll work on answering the questions below, either in small groups or as a whole class—your teacher will tell you which.

  1. How is the Internet like real life? 
  2. What are some guidelines to keep yourself safe? 
  3. What personal information should you not post? 
  4. What kind of password should you pick? 
  5. Why do you have to think twice about sharing information with your friends? 
  6. How should you deal with people who harass you? 
  7. What should you do if something funky happens online? 
  8. How should you approach meeting new people online?
  9. What is something that you should never talk about with strangers?

Step 2: Good talk. Now let's tackle another video. This time, take a few minutes to watch the video "Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks." When you're done, you'll discuss the following questions with your whole class:

  1. What are some examples of cyber "tricks" a.k.a. scams? Name at least three. 
  2. What can happen once you're on websites' lists?
  3. What could be happening when you take a personality test on a website? 
  4. Should you participate in a pop-up contest? Why or why not? 
  5. What's one way to get information about a company? 
  6. What's phishing? (And no, that's not a typo.) 
  7. How can you fix a real issue with an account online? 
  8. What should you do if you do become a victim of phishing or hacking? 
  9. Where can you report phishers?

Step 3: Small group time again. In your small group, take a look at the list of "Privacy and Safety Scenarios." Your teacher will assign each group a different scenario to enact. With your group, write a short skit to demonstrate your scenario and run through it quickly so you'll be ready to perform it for the class. 

Your skit should be about 2–3 minutes long and the characters should be clearly labeled, for example, "creepy old dude," "unsuspecting middle school student," or "Facebook friend of a friend of a friend." You get the idea. These can be as fun and creative as you want to make them.

Step 4: Each group will now perform its skit. To do this, the class will circle up, leaving a big space in the center of the room (the "fishbowl") for the performing group. As each group performs, your teacher will call time-outs by making the classic time-out sign: hands perpendicular in the shape of a "T."

When your teacher calls a time out, if you're performing, you should freeze. If you're watching, listen up and answer your teacher's questions. 

Psst! Your teacher's questions might be something like the questions below:

  1. Is this a good way of handling the situation? 
  2. What are some alternative ways of behaving right now? Would you act differently right now? 
  3. What do you think are some consequences of this action? 
  4. Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do? What happened? How did you feel?

When the time-out is over, the performing group will continue its performance and you'll keep going like this until everyone has performed.