Learning All or Nothing About Cyber Safety

November 13, 2022 1 By Sydney Winterholt

Cyber Safety… a term that some older generations may have never heard before. As time evolved and technology became a norm there were and are always new tools to learn to protect ourselves with technology and the internet. I was born in 2002 and in my early elementary years of schooling there were not many opportunities for using technology but I do recall there being a computer lab. Towards my middle years in the school system technology became more prominent with classes getting smart boards, laptops and more. However, throughout those years I do not remember ever learning how to be safe on the computers.

When I was entering High School in 2015 technology was very prominent! I remember the high school I was going to promised future grade eights that chose to attend there, would receive a free laptop to keep after at least completing grade 10. There was not much digital literacy and cyber safety taught until grade 9. The school I attended had it set up that in grade nine you could take Digital Citizenship, a grade 10 course where most student would take the class as it would give you credits towards graduating.

I enjoyed my Digital Citizenship class and still use things I learned in it today while using technology. The one trick that I use every time when shopping online is to check for the little lock button in the right of the search bar by the url to make sure it is safe to use. I also learned from that class that snapchat actually has a snap bank of all the photos ever taken and sent on the app. I found that my class taught it in a proper use but would sometimes throw in little scare tactics here and there. The scare tactics that I remember clearly from the course is watching the movie, Snowden which is based of a true story about Edward Snowden who leaked information to the people that the government was hacking in to people cameras and watching them. Although this was taught through scare tactics, it clearly worked because majority of my classmates, myself included bought special cases for our phones that would cover our cameras and what not. I found that this approach was more beneficial than detrimental as most people took it seriously and changed bad habits. However, the scare tactics that my teacher used were real life events that actually occurred. I think using the real life events were helpful as it gave meaning to why we should be safe online and just not care what our digital footprint was. The teacher would explain things but until we connected it to real life it meant nothing to a lot of us. I also found that not just learning about cyber safety was helpful as we were not being constantly lectured on what not to do when we are online. The teacher would also teach typing, how to best book trips and more. I found doing this wouldn’t get us bored of learning how to be safe online.

Was your cyber safety experiences in school similar or completely different from mine? I would love to hear my experience compared to some of yours! Let me know in the comments.