Extra Credit-Curate Great Media Literacy Resources

Here is a short list of sources that I found had a great variation of explanations towards a key topic we have learned about this session, media literacy. These sources focus on the fact of how essential learning media literacy is, and how as a society we should recognize this is an endless tool we should always prioritize as a media consumer. I have chosen four different sources ranging from articles, blogs and videos. The best way to understand a necessary topic such as media literacy, is continuing to learn different sides of it from different sources, and these were some of the most informative for me. Video

Student Reporting Labs

In this first source, It is actually an article, that Josephine Lister has put together, and a video she showcases on behalf of the Student Reporting Labs she references in her article. The article itself starts off with a strong point, “The revolution of the internet – and all the content it brings with it – has left a key skills gap for today’s young people. That gap is media literacy.” Which in all truthfulness, the gap between generations and media literacy seems to be getting farther on the spectrum, and that needs to be the complete opposite in this digital age we are in. The video I highly urge you to see, is explaining what Student Reporting Labs is, and what a great benefit it is for our younger generations to understanding and practicing media literacy. This video and article is noteworthy because it is an educational organization designed to seek and share innovations, such as transforming children’s classrooms into newsrooms with ages K-12 for free. Their focus is to teach our younger generation, but our older generation can learn just as much from this source as well.

Media Literacy Now Video

In this source its a short video but very informative. For those of us that are more of a visual learner, videos like these are great, they not only explain but also show you the examples and questions the author is referring to referring to . A key point to take note of here is, “If each of us makes the practice of using the five key questions for media literacy in all our activities and with all of the people we encounter, we will all move closer to the more positive and well informed physical engagement that we want and deserve.” This source is noteworthy because it actually is coming from a media literacy center where one can find much more informative sources as well.

The 74 Blog

This Source I actually had never heard of until this recent research of media literacy sources, but i am so happy that i now know of The 74. The 74 is a non-profit non-partisan news site covering education in America. Their mission is to lead an honest, fact-based conversation about how to give America’s 74 million children under the age of 18 the education they deserve. In this particular blog, Katie Stringer is the contributor to this blog and she, along with Sherri Hope Culver,(director of the Center for Media and Information Literacy at Temple University)  cover topics such as: urgency in media literacy that is needed in schools, how fake news has only risen since 2016, laws to promote media literacy and vaccine for #fakenews? This source is noteworthy because it has a mission unlike any other source out there, their goal is to reach those 74 million kids that need the media literacy education as well as all those people that surround the children.

Overall, in this particular exercise of learning media literacy noteworthy sources, I noticed that I unintentionally gravitated towards sources that emphasized teaching media literacy to school aged children as well as adults. The important key in all of us becoming media literate is to gain as much knowledge of it that we can early on, and that eventually means law reforms at some point, within the educational systems, would have to take place perhaps all across the world one day. As for now, it has to be spread by word of mouth and take actions into our own hands to constantly keep informing, learning and practicing not only for our good, but for many of those around us that may need our support in becoming media literate.


Digital Security

How have I been approaching my own digital security?

With caution.

I’m careful about what I do, what I download, what I share, and what I click on.

I was born in 1990. The internet hasn’t always been an integral part of my daily life. My first hands-on experience came in an elementary school classroom. When Mavis Beacon wasn’t teaching us how to type, we were given lessons in internet safety. The prevailing theme of these lessons was not to trust anything. While I think giving a bunch of children the impression that everyone online is trying to kidnap you was a bit much, the need to be skeptical has stuck with me.

Here are a few examples of how that skepticism has shaped my approach to digital security:

    • If a link in an email or on a website seems suspicious, to avoid malware or phishing scams, I take a moment to further inspect it.
    • Before adding an app to my phone or an extension to my browser, I do some research to find out if it’s safe or if it’s not to be trusted.
    • While I don’t share my financial information with just anybody, there are reasons to doubt that even large, legitimate companies will be able to keep it safe and secure. Should my information end up in the wrong hands, I signed up to get text messages from my bank whenever purchases are made (including my own). That way, I’ll know something is wrong and will be able to cancel my card as soon as possible. This hasn’t happened yet, but it seems inevitable in today’s world.

Additionally, I was glad to learn that keeping our software and devices updated is an important security measure because that’s something I’m already doing. It’s good to know that my desire to prevent those obnoxious pop-ups from constantly reminding me that updates are available is also keeping me safe.

After finishing this week’s readings and lectures, I am strongly considering giving a password manager a try. I’ve had questions about how secure these things truly are since hearing that LastPass was hacked in 2015, but I can see why they’ve become such highly recommended security tools. Plus, I’ve just about reached my breaking point when it comes to creating and remembering secure passwords. It would be nice to have that taken care of for me. I’ve done some light Googling for recommendations and 1Password has come up often. I like that it offers a free trial. With Spring Break about to start, I’ll have plenty of time to test it out.


Module 8 Blog-Security

In this weeks module, security is in my opinion, one of the key topics we have learned this whole session, if not, actually the most important for all of us. We live in such a digital world now, that almost anything that we hold, listen to or see can be tracked through particular devices. We often may question how, what, when, where? Almost feels as if there is a separate galaxy where all of our cyber and digital records are being sent to. Although we may not have those exact answers to curiosity now, we can take the necessary steps needed to protect ourselves until further discoveries.

I am an avid digital user when needed. I actually don’t necessarily use the internet unless I have specific tasks to accomplish online, outside of work of course, and even so, I value my online security and try to do the most I can to protect my identity and digital activity. At least I thought I did, before this weeks module.

Coincidentally, In my email this week, as a subscriber to Vox, I saw this recent article, and it had to do on financial hacking that Sara Morrison experienced. She had three very simple ways to protect yourself from common hacks, that I felt can be applied to not only financial hacks but any type of cyber hack we have learned about this week. These are simple but detailed, and could be that small extra step to help us become more cyber protective. 1.) Don’t reuse your passwords 2.) Put two-factor authentication on everything and 3.) Don’t save your credit card info on your account.

As professor Gillmor mentioned in one of his lectures, we should take precautions and deploy countermeasures, followed by the number one thing he advised all of us to do, which is to install software updates when they are available, encrypt data and have a two factor authentication for your passwords. After I heard this in the lecture, I realized I actually don’t do any of those currently. I think my most protective thing is a “stronger” password each time one needs updating. I also have McAfee security on my laptop, but then again, I don’t update the software as often as it asks, and I am realizing this week its a huge risk going about my day to day taking minimal to no protective measures in my digital space.

In order to move forward with a positive approach on my digital security, I plan to establish and use a threat model chart. This module was the first time I had ever heard of it, but it is a very clever form of security. Also, I would incorporate safety guides from credible resources such as  Committee to Protect Journalists or Society of Professional Journalists   that have available resources for all of us to learn from not just journalists. I also, found out last week of duckduckgo which is a free privacy protection option available to use in order to have privacy and protection while you browse. Lastly, I plan to continue researching and learning more about protective measures to secure my digital security and overall just keep observing endless ways to become proactive about it.

Week Eight

Safe & Sound

If you told someone 50 years ago that we’d be using technology that reaches any piece of information in history and stores our information for our own targeting and sometimes sale to the highest bidder, that person would look at you like you had three heads. Yet here we are, and it’s arguably the scariest time in history to live if you have private information.

I like to think I’m generally safe on the internet. I try not to visit any sites that might be unsafe for my private information, and I definitely don’t give any personal information out to any sites that I don’t completely trust. One thing I definitely don’t do is monitor the trackers during my internet usage, as the article from The New York Times suggests. To be completely honest, that kind of monitoring spooks me to the point where I’m not sure if I want to know.

I do, however, use antivirus software called Norton, which also offers a VPN and a password storage system. I haven’t run into many problems with it the way I’ve seen with McAfee, and I think it does a really good job of alerting me when I might be visiting sites that don’t have my best interests in mind.

I’m happy to report that I do use a password manager, as our reading from Digital Trends suggests. As I mentioned, Norton has a password  manager, but I think the one installed on my MacBook Pro is a bit easier to use. It automatically connects all of my devices, and it helps me to use complicated passwords that I would typically never remember, which is safer against hackers.

Finally, I’ve taken surface level encryption steps by using a password on my laptop and a passcode on my phone. I do still worry about hacks of my backups on iCloud, as we’ve seen with celebrities, but I find that my data has been well-protected by these types of passcodes.

One area I could stand to improve upon is in my updating of my software, as Professor Gillmor suggests in his article on The Guardian. I’m definitely the kind of person who sees software updates and puts them off until the last possible moment. I do it with my phone, and I do it with my laptop despite knowing full well that the software updates from Apple are for the best. Now that I know how important it is to take those precautions, I’m definitely open to making that change in my life.

I mentioned this in my discussion board post, but I tend to think of protecting data as a losing battle. I have found myself wondering it it’s worth it to worry about losing my data when, for all I know, it might be able to be had by anyone who wants it. That said, I’m open to the idea that I might not be making the best decisions with my data, and I’m absolutely interested in learning how to better protect it.


My approach to digital security

My Approach to Digital Security

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Up until this point, my approaches to digital security have been equal parts throw my hands up, look the other way, and do what’s popular. Although I do cringe when news of data breaches hit the air. And who wouldn’t be a little taken back by Joe’s ability to locate and profile his victims in the Netflix original, “You?”

Hopefully, my lack of attention to this matter doesn’t indicate ignorance. I mean I may or may not have been raised in a cult that considers cell phones to be the mark of the beast. If you’re shocked at what you just read, please do yourself a favor and Google, “Are cell phones the mark of the beast?” And then take your pick! It’s an actual thing. So, let’s just say that I am very aware of big data, big brother, and the amount of access our digital devices give to others; perhaps, unreasonably aware.

That said, my therapist (yup, I said it), says that we can swing to either end of the spectrum, showing excessive amounts of precaution or being reckless without care, or we can strive to stay in the middle. Oddly, “The Middle” is playing as I write this.

So, this is what “the middle’ looks like for me when it comes to digital security.

Access to my phone is protected by a fingerprint and passcode. That was a lesson we learned the hard way when my husband lost his unprotected phone at a gas station. By the time he got to another device to track it, the phone had been reset. I also use fingerprints to access any banking and finance apps on my phone rather than entering a password each time.

We also learned the importance of backing up the data on our phones from that experience. My husband uses his phone more than I do, so, naturally, he had most of our family vacation photos and memories stored on his phone. We lost all of those photos when he lost his phone.

We back up our phones now.

However, I do not use encryption, because I am not concerned about the data on my phone being “out there,” it is more so to make it harder to access and wipe our phones if they are lost.

I am guilty of quickly scrolling through terms and conditions and agreeing without seeking an understanding of how my personal information is being tracked and used. I don’t think that will change much. I don’t have a problem with big data, so long as that data is not being used to harm me in any way.

As far as I know, I am not participating in any illegal activities that would get me in trouble with the government or other authorities, nor am I a member of any secret or private work/groups. So privacy and security in that capacity is not a concern of mine.

I did take a moment to check all of my electronic devices for updates. This is the main change I will make after studying this module. My laptop and cell phone needed system and app updates. I went ahead and scheduled automatic updates and notifications for both of my devices.

The last digital security measure I have is credit tracking. Most of my credit cards offer this service for free and I also use Credit Karma. If there is a credit inquiry, a new account, or any other credit changes to my credit report, I will get an email from Credit Karma and a push notification from my credit card companies.

So, that’s where I am at with digital security for now. I will continue to digest the information I have learned throughout this course and make changes as I go.


Online Security MCO 425 Module 8 Blog

After working through this weeks module regarding online security, I was alarmed about just how little I knew. Who is tracking our online activity and why? The fact is that our online behavior and even physical behavior such as where we drive and who we contact are all tracked whether we like it or not.

I surprised to learn just how valuable our online data is to companies. I learned first hand how Google makes money off of data in the article The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff. One part of the article that was alarming is when Zuboff is speaking to a CEO of a Silicon Valley tech company that stated ” The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale” in relation to their app. The article also points to the fact that Google generates massive revenue due to being able to predict our future behaviors.

With the reality that companies are making massive capital from our online behavior data, it’s no secret that our information is valuable. The question arises just who is tracking us and what they will do with the data? Bottom-line is their is ample reasoning that cements the need to be digitally literate when it comes to online security.

Looking at my own online security measures, they are elementary at best. I attribute this lack of security to simply not being educated on the subject matter. I did adhere to the very basic security rules of utilizing strong passwords, never sharing them with anyone, and periodically changing them. I also have always been vigilant in avoid phishing by not clicking external links and avoiding emails from unfamiliar senders.

After working through this module, I will certainly be changing how I approach my online security.  The first measure that I realized I must take is to utilize an https service such as HTTPS Everywhere. Using https essentially means that you are using ssl to hide your traffic from third parties, or in programmer speak, “Eve.” Additionally, I learned that ssl is not effective without also using end to end encryption. Another immediate measure I will be taking is to ensure that my router is secure and monitor the activity on it.

Overall, this module opened my eyes to the importance of online security. There is a huge demand for our personal data and whether we like it or not companies are creating great capital from it. There are many measures that we can take to help secure our online activity. The first step is to educate yourself in this subject manner so that your online information remains safe. Becoming digitally literate in online security is a responsibility that can not be overlooked.

Francisco Healy



My Web Security

For a few years now I’ve used ad-blockers on my desktop browsers, but I have done little else to protect my private data. There isn’t a rhyme or reason for it, I just never put much thought into it. I save most of my passwords in the Google Chrome password manager, except for the websites that have my very personal info like my bank’s website, MyASU, etc. For websites like Facebook and Twitter, though, I don’t have any personal information that can be taken from there and used to hurt me in any meaningful/financial way. Otherwise, I make sure that all of the websites I put my payment information or personal information into are using an encrypted code. For example, I have a Chrome extension that ensures every website I visit is using https.

I know that I need to take my online security more seriously and enact measures that give me more privacy, but there are so many things to do to ensure online security that it can seem overwhelming and expensive at times. For instance, just the act of retrieving all of the passwords I currently have saved on the Chrome password manager and transferring them to a separate password manager, like 1Password, can be very time-consuming. Using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, can be a very good way to protect my information online. However, these have a cost alongside the password manager.

Another issue with things like VPNs is that when your data is encrypted and the website you’re on sees your location as a different country than your home country, the website likely changes to match the country it thinks you’re in. For instance, if you’re using a VPN and go to Spotify to pay for a plan for you and your friend to try and save some money. While there, you see the Duo plan, which you’ve never heard of. It’s basically a family plan but cheaper and only for two people, which is perfect for you! However, this is only available in certain countries and you won’t actually be able to sign up for it if you live in the United States. Spotify isn’t compatible with VPNs, so you’re going to have to turn that off in order to listen to music.

I need to take my online security more seriously and make a step forward in that direction, though. I doubt I’ll ever use a VPN regularly, but I might start moving my passwords out of Chrome and to a more specialized, and probably free, password manager. I don’t think I’ll ever feel the need to use a VPN, but I understand why some people do. I plan on being more careful about what information I’m letting get saved in my browser as well.


My internet security

Honestly, my approach to digital security has always been a bit lackluster. I use a similar password for everything (which I probably shouldn’t be sharing here), and I also save most of my passwords to my computer or phone. I rarely use incognito mode, many of my social media accounts are public, and I don’t have any encryption on my devices. These are all things I vaguely knew I should be doing, but I did not realize how important these things were until I did the readings.

I thought the Business insider piece on national security was quite interesting. The idea that giving up our personal information to protect national security actually seemed crazy to me, as I have never thought my information, in any way shape or form, would benefit our security or the government. Additionally, the Microsoft CEO saying it’s a mistake to give up that information is also surprising. His words made me realize how essential our privacy can be. Having grown up in an era where everything is online, I have never really assumed I had privacy, nor have I made a large effort to try and remain private. Satya Nadella’s words were quite thought-provoking, and make me want to begin to develop a more private online presence.

Additionally, the Washington Post article on internet extensions and selling of data was something I knew nothing about previously. I use web extensions on Firefox, including Grammarly, Chartbeat, and Tabagochi (highly recommend), as well as others, to make my internet usage more efficient. To know that those extensions (though after researching, I think I’m good) could have sold my clicks and information to companies for their own profit really frustrates me. I know that no one reads the terms and conditions, which probably benefits this practice, but it just seems incredibly unethical and inconsiderate to be doing this to consumers who want to use your product. When leaks or hacks occur from these extensions, it puts thousands of people’s information at risk, completely violating so many basic rights we take for granted.

Just from these few articles alone, there are security habits of mine that I know need some sort of change. For one, I need to protect my passwords better, as I would really hate to be hacked and lose my information. Additionally, I will likely update my privacy settings on certain social media. For example, I use my twitter for 90% journalistic purposes, so that will remain public, but my TikTok and Facebook, which I tend to post on less frequently, may get some increased privacy on my end. I’m not sure, honestly, that I will encrypt things, but I will certainly look into it. But, I will absolutely do more research on extensions before I download them. I had no idea extensions selling info was an issue, and I feel like that is something I will 100% look for in the future.




Security in the Internet Age

It can be overwhelming to think deeply about what the technology companies are doing with our data. I think we were all feeling the change once we started seeing advertisements for products pop up on a news site just minutes after we were shopping for said products on another site. How could CNN or Huffington Post know that I was just shopping for Nike shoes on Amazon?

“What is this sorcery?!”  That was my gut reaction to realizing that every keystroke that I make while online can be tracked, traced, and spit back at me in a bid to sell me something. Nearly every web page that I visit is funded by either direct advertisements or by selling my information and online habits to companies that want to use it for their own profit.

In her article, “The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism,” Shoshana Zuboff describes what she calls surveillance capitalism, which is the market created by Google and other tech companies to sell your data to third parties. I knew about the ubiquitous advertisements that fund my favorite web pages, and was aware that sites use cookies, but did not understand the extent to which companies were selling user data until recently. The implications of companies using that data in a way that is manipulative or even harmful is frightening.

I will admit to not being overly worried about having my shopping habits tracked for the sake of trying to advertise relevant products to me. What does worry me are the “off-label” potential uses and abuses of my data. Zuboff mentions car insurance companies using tracking data from cars to profile drivers based on their driving habits. The Internet of Things opens a whole new can of worms for surveillance opportunities. Amazon’s Alexa smart speaker is always listening, but who is paying attention? How is that information being used?

This is a similar worry about doing home DNA tests with companies such as or 23 and Me. The Golden State Killer was recently found and arrested based on DNA that was collected from him and matched against a database of DNA profiles. If my DNA will be used to catch a serial rapist/murderer all the better. But what about selling my DNA profile to pharmaceutical companies or medical insurers? How will that be used? Can DNA show markers for potential future illnesses that can be used by medical insurers to discriminate against patients by charging higher premiums? Can government step in and use our data to control us? We know from Edward Snowden that they are listening, but to what end?

As a result of this class, I will be taking a long hard look at how I use the internet and how I am making myself vulnerable to bad actors. I know that I have been too lax in my internet hygiene by not clearing my browser history and cookies regularly, not using strong enough passwords or not changing them regularly. It is my responsibility to ensure that I am safe online, not the companies whose priority is to make a profit.




This week’s readings and lectures have opened up my eyes to how, in a sense, dangerous being online can be. I always knew of hackers or being watched by the government, but I’ve never really thought it could happen to me. The only security measures I take are making a hard to guess, complicated password. Often times though I use this same hard to guess password on a variety of my logins, which in hindsight isn’t the best. This isn’t really a smart idea since if the hacker gets that one password, they could hack into all my accounts.

. . . . .

But something that stuck out to me in the lecture where Dan was discussing security and encryption, while using Skype. He says that him and his wife use Skype often because they don’t particularly care if anyone was to listen in. He said there would be nothing worth listening to. Which that’s how I feel. I’m not a US national security journalist, a black-market criminal, or someone working for a corporate business to steal someone else’s data, so I’m not too worried about if someone were to listen in. If someone were to listen in or somehow hack into my social media pages or email, all they would find would be a lot of irrelevant conversations, funny memes, or the hundreds of selfies I have of myself, so not really much to benefit from.

. . . . .

As an avid online, and in store, shopper the only thing I would be worried about is if someone where to get my bank and credit card information. A precautionary measure I take with that is that I have alerts set up to be sent to my phone when any purchase is made with my cards. So, I would know right away if someone were to have my card information, as soon as they use it.

. . . . .

But a security measure I think would be very useful, and one that I’m thinking of using is a password manager. From this article we learn of LastPass, which is a password manager that allows you to create a master password and just import all other login information. It also helps with deleting information that isn’t needed but is open to threats from hackers. Like I said before I often use the same password for a variety of my log in since its hard to remember all of them. With a password manager like LastPass I think it would greatly enhance the security of my information, help with remembering passwords, and also help with deleting information that could be open to a breach.