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Online Safety Basics

Review how to stay safe online and play a game that shows what can happen if you're not careful.

This activity utilizes an online game, Digital Compass, to support a conversation about how to be safe online. By engaging in the activity, members will consider aspects of safety including sharing and oversharing, the spread of information online, and how and when to make choice about telling adults about what they’ve found.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Headphones
WiFiInternet
WiredInternet
 

STEP 1
TIME: 10 MINUTES

Online Safety

What are all the ways you can think of to stay safe online? Your facilitator will help you make a list of all the things you can think of. Who knows? Maybe there will be some that surprise you!
Facilitate a conversation about the ways in which young people have to stay safe online. Using a whiteboard or paper and markers, make a list of all the things you and your members can think of. For example: using strong passwords, not posting information that you don’t want someone else to see, not saying mean things about people, not giving your passwords away. With your members, make the list and discuss which are the most critical steps to take first.

STEP 2
TIME: 25 MINUTES

Digital Bytes

The Digital Compass game is located at https://www.digitalcompass.org. Click on that link to go to that site and play. As you move through the game, think about the decisions you are making, and what happens to your character. Be ready to talk about the character you chose, the decisions you made and what happened as a result.
For example, if players select Miko from the title screen, they will see that her challenge is what to do after she downloads the latest social media app. In the game, players will lead Miko through a series of question related to the app. Unlucky players might just get carted off to (virtual) jail.

STEP 3
TIME: 10 MINUTES

Discussion

OK, so your Digital Compass character may have been embarrassed, had their identity stolen or their password hacked. What can you learn from this? Look back at the list you and your friends created earlier in the session. What else might you add, or what would you change? What can you do to improve your online behavior today?
Now that members have played the game, it’s time to lead another short discussion. The questions:

--What choices did you make for your characters and what happened?
--What did you do differently that was a success?
--By playing the game, what did you learn that other people should know about?
--What changes could you make to your own behavior online?

STEP 4
TIME: 10 MINUTES

Media Activity

Take a screenshot of your gameplay to share. Do you know how to take a screenshot? You can search the web (http://www.google.com) to find out how to take a screenshot on your computer and save the file to the desktop.

Upload your saved file to your My.Future account.

If you wish, members may upload a screenshot of their gameplay to My.Future. Additionally, they can caption the image if they want to get a point across, e.g. “Don’t text bad things!” or “Be careful about what you post,” a bit like a “Caption This” project.

Members may log into My.Future and upload their files, too.

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