Approaches to Digital Security

My Digital Security Approaches

My own digital security is something that I have always liked to keep myself aware of along with the effects of what I could have hacked and other damaging effects this may have.

In Terms of my various social media platforms, which includes Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc., I have most of them set to a two-factor authentication process. I additionally will change my passwords every 3-4 months to prevent potential hacking.

Similar with other applications like my email and Icloud I also change passwords periodically. I also have notifications for all the platforms and applications I have mentioned thus far for unusual activity for further prevention of privacy invasion or hackers.

I think it is important to note that I have recently picked up habits to not click on any links sent to me via social media unless I know it was from someone intentionally. I have seen many of my friends become victims of hacking via the strategy of sending links through other users within their social media networks and then proceed to hack them after clicking these links. This article further explains the ideas that I am talking about from social media.

Shifts for Further Digital Security

Although I believed the approaches I have been using above are effective, I now believe after further research from the resources given in Module 8, there is a lot more that seem critical that I implement.

One of the major recommendations from Professor Gilmore really opened my eyes. That being his strong emphasis to update software immediately if it is available. I have a poor habit of putting off software updates on basically all software I have on my computer, but after seeing the significant increase of hacking risk that poses, I hope to immediately shift that habit.

I also have been recently looking into the password managers we discussed within the following module because of the amount of passwords I am required to keep track of. I think attaining a password manager software would not only boost my security online, but also prevent me from having to constantly reset passwords I have forgot to write down.

Lastly, I plan to look further into encryption and ensuring that setting is turned on and in-use on all of my devices. After gaining more knowledge on encryption, it seems that is one of the most effective ways to protect your content and maintain my privacy.

I highly recommend others to look into some of these different approaches I now am more aware of after learning more about digital security and its importance.


Wikipedia “Hands-On” Experience

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Becoming a Wikipedia Contributor 

The following assignment has taught me a lot of things about Wikipedia. I am glad that I now know how to be an active contributor to pages on the website as well. Wikipedia provides multiple fantastic sources that help makes the learning process of how to become of contributer or add edits to pages fairly simple to comprehend. I found this brochure on editing in Wikipedia extremely helpful when beginning the process for this assignment.

I believe that I found the most trouble with locating a page that I could edit or contribute to that would add improvement to the original content. After a heavy amount of time browsing through various different pages, I had finally found where I could improve the Wikipedia page on Celina, Texas.

Choosing a page to Improve

Within the past five years or so, I had spent a lot of time in this small city right outside of the DFW metroplex helping my dad open up his very first Texas Barbecue restaurant, Tender Smokehouse. During this process, I had come to gain quite a lot of knowledge about the city of Celina and had come more aware that majority of people from the DFW area were not aware this city was even there! Now that my family has successfully opened two different concepts in the Celina Town Square, the area has gained more traffic. Many people have attributed this growth to my dad, but he will humbly decline this idea when asked.

The last updated population of Celina, Texas used information of the 2010 U.S. Census and after further investigation, I found there was an updated population in the 2017 U.S. Census which presented a substantial amount of growth for the city. That is when I decided that updating the population using this information would add improvement to the page and show evidence of growth within the town of Celina.

Taking the steps

As we were instructed for this assignment, I began by adding a note page in the talk section of the Celina, Texas Wikipedia. I expressed the change I wanted to change about updating the population to inquire if anyone would have an objection. So far, I have not had any replies or concerns but that could of course change at any moment. This could also be due to a small amount of traffic that comes across this specific page as well, with the evidence I found that there was only one other talk section added on this page prior to my comment.

(screenshot of my comment in the Talk section, taken by myself.)

After waiting some time for potential concerns of people or responses, I went ahead and made the changes I mentioned earlier about the population. I used a very similar sentence structure to the one that originally on the page. The original sentence had referenced the 2010 census stating a population of 6,028. Then proceeded to explain that the population had increased from the 2000 census giving where the page then provided the exact amount it had increased by.

Adding The Edits

After ensuring the information I found was factual and I had the correct sources, I went ahead and added the changes and updated the population of Celina, Texas according to the 2017 Census.

(screenshot of updated population edited via myself, screenshot by myself)

As you can see in the picture I added above, I also added the difference or growth between the updated 2017 population and the original 2010 population that was there prior to my edits. After I double-checked the information was 100 percent correct, I proceeded to add the citations to the new 2017 census.

I did find some difficulty with this and moving around the original sources, such as moving the Information of the population in Celina, Texas to the second half of the sentence. This is where I want to add an extra emphasis on how helpful the Wikipedia resources were during the process of this assignment.

Overall Experience and Take Away

Once I proceeded to add in my citations and publish my edits, it was simply updated and my improvements were then posted on the page. Although the entire process and practices to learn how t correctly make edits on wikipedia may be a lot of information for one to process, I am satisfied and excited that I can now say I have the knowledge and have officially contributed and improved a wikipedia page. I hope to continue to use this in the future and hope to eventually start adding entire pages of information on wikipedia rather than just adding edits.

I also want to add that prior to this assignment I always held a generalized idea that wikipedia could not be a source used for credibility, but I was very wrong in this assumption. I just think it is important to check other contributors sources and references before if you are skeptical. Otherwise, this can be a great source with a very wide range of information and research on multiple topics. I highly recommend to those that enjoy writing and journalism to go through the training and process of learning how to correctly contribute to Wikipedia.


My thoughts on Law & Media

After reading the materials provided for this discussion and gaining more knowledge about how the law affects media, I now realize it plays a lot more influential role than I had first thought.

Shifts in the Media Environment and Laws

In the media environment that we are growing into as of today, I believe that there seems to be many of our rights losing the value of what we had with them in the past. For example, Europe has now added laws that information created about other must have consent by who it is about or the content can be deleted. Fortunately, this is not the case in the United States, but I do believe rules regarding similar situations are taking away the true value of journalism and the purpose to inform the public on current events.

I think if laws similar to the one I mentioned above were to be enforced in the United States then it would result in a significant amount of information to be hidden from the public and strengthen the distrust between media and public consumers.


Furthermore the heavy influence and loss of basic rights is also relevant on the topic of privacy. This topic has been heavily covered over the course of the class and has given a substantial amount of evidence that allows me to assume that our privacy rights are slowly beginning to diminish and lose all its value. However, it can be argued that we are seeing this for good reasoning such as invasion of privacy in order to protect the security of our country.

Privacy violations have also been a topic of discussion within the workplace and when it is reasonable for an employer to invade privacy on its employees. It is understandable if it is the light of the best thing for the company as a whole but should always be justified before doing so. If employers fail to do this, it will also grow tension and distrust in the relationship between their employees.


Censorship within media has also drastically shifted in recent years. I don’t necessarily believe this is a good shift that I refer to. For example, a youtube video of citizens exposing live news feed to spread knowledge on what is happening in a specific country was taken down by Youtube because of graphic content. Although there is justification with youtube not wanted to have such content on their platform, it is taking away the rights of those to freedom of speech. In addition, it is taking away the ability for those to spread knowledge on the current events that are happening and emphasizes my prediction that more and more content will begin to become hidden or undercover.

Modifying Media Usage

Although I don’t believe any of these shifts will affect my current media usage, these ideas have created a stronger emphasis on things I should be more aware of. Some of my social media platforms have been changed to private accounts in recent years and I will remain keeping those accounts private in light of potential employers running into them.

As a student of communication and journalism, I find it extremely important that I do not lose my rights to freedom of speech and that we do not allow journalism as a tool to lose its role or value because of such laws discussed above.


Extra Credit: “The Grandmother Problem”

In my previous post…

I provided a strategy to help stem a discussion to those in your social media network that need to become more aware “to share with care” on social media. In other words, before sharing content online it is critical that one checks the information is factual and holds credibility.

My mom’s boyfriend has struggled with quickly making assumptions that all articles he comes in contact with online are true, which is definitely not the case. So for the purpose of this extra credit assignment, I wanted to choose him to start this discussion with by showing an example of what can happen when you assume content online and fail to make sure it is true.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I showed him the example analyzed in this Case Study from The New York Times regarding Eric Tucker and his “Fake News” tweet that went viral in less than 24 hours. I also made sure to emphasize the fact that Tucker felt he could never cause something at this scale due to his very small activity and following which is similar to the engagement of my mother’s boyfriend.

After letting him read the article and showing him how Tucker’s tweet had even reached Donald Trump, I think it helped put into perspective how important it is for him to start becoming more aware of the current media environment and how the spread of fake news can cause harmful effects at a national level.  He proceeded to ask for some strategies he can use to fact check the content he finds and gave him a few resources such as and also explained the process of simply googling the headline to see if other mainstream outlets are reporting on the same events.

I would argue that this conversation was successful in terms of spreading more awareness to “share with care” and what effects we may see caused by fake news if we do not start enforcing these types of strategies. I believe that my mother’s boyfriend now sees these ideas a lot more clearly and will continue to show more care when he now shares content. The conversation also remained civil and did not appear to offend him or his social media activity in any form.




“The Grandmother Problem” & Importance to Fact-Check

As social media becomes increasingly popular, it’s important we understand that content shared to your own audience comes with the responsibility that the content is accurate and credible. Although there are no real laws against sharing fake news, it could harm your credibility, the media environment, and cause harm at a national level.

The importance to “share with care” is under-emphasized in our current media environment and has led to an issue of widespread fake news. This may be due to the idea that many are unaware of how important it is to fact-check all content before sharing and recognize that not everything online is true. The discussion can be difficult to have because it could come off wrong and offend or confuse someone in your social network.

So what is the best way to approach the conversation?

I found that showing an example of fake news and its effects avoids offense and helps understand the importance to fact-check. This approach also shows how rapid and harmful effects of widespread fake news can be.

One example I have used iis this article by FOX regarding a misleading tweet where one man claimed that the charter buses in a picture he attached was filled with anti-trump protestors.

Eric Tucker, creator of the tweet, emphasizes that he thought the tweet would not ever become a big deal because he only had 40 followers and tweeted only twice a year.  Despite his circumstances, the tweet became a national controversy and led to Donald Trump becoming a victim of Tucker’s “fake news”.  It’s also important to note that all of these effects happened less than 24 hours after it was posted.

You should also remain neutral and provide only the evidence with this approach or you may lose engagement in the conversation or start an argument with a loved one.

This conversation is vital to have with those lacking the knowledge mentioned above and brings to light responsibility held online while emphasizing to always “share with care” so we can decrease spread of fake news and the harmful effects that follow. If the issue is not prioritized by consumers than we will only continue to see greater harm caused with misinformation.




Top NBA Sources & Revisiting Media Consumption

It’s fairly easy to find great sources on sports, specifically NBA because there usually little to not controversy. Rather, the stats and facts of the games or players are all there. However, I find that these sources to a great job at reporting NBA content while keeping their reporting unique and interesting.

My Top Sources for NBA news 

ESPN on the NBA

I use ESPN as my go-to outlet to check game statistics or breaking news. The app has brought me a lot of convenience because I get notifications on news about my favorite NBA teams. ESPN also does a great job at keeping their social media platforms up to date, such as instagram and twitter. ESPN is a reliable source for basic statistics and breaking news but is also very broad.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley, retired NBA player, is one of my favorite analysts to listen to about issues within the National Basketball Association. He always remains professional when reporting and gives his honest opinion about the game. I believe these attributes Barkley holds are hard to come by in the media environment we face today.

Bleacher Report’s Instagram

This is the source I look to when I am looking for some new content to read. However, Bleacher Report covers all sports and holds an occasional satirical twist in some of their content. They do always remain true to the facts of the news but add very unique strategies that make consumption of sports news more entertaining and fun.

Doris Burke

Similar with Barkley, Doris Burke is a retired WNBA player and is known as a veteran when it comes to the NBA reporting world. I want to note her one this list because of her skills shown when she interviews players before or after games. The questions she asks are more engaging and specific rather than the basic, “how do you think you played tonight?” which is where I hold a lot of respect for her.

Official NBA Website

The last source I want to highlight is the National  Basketball Association website. This source is always up to date and can be used for basically every detail of any NBA game, player, referee etc. Similar with ESPN, this is one of the most reliable sources that can be counted on to be accurate majority of the time. This source also provides multiple different sources on information about the NBA that make it convenient for consumers to further research certain topics.



Revisiting my Media Use

On the topic of NBA news, I still hold high respects and use the sources I mentioned above almost daily. The assignment did allow me to find a few new sources like some more NBA analysts social media accounts, especially twitter. This is another source I have begin to use more often for quick updates on the NBA.

Barkley and Burke still remain the two NBA reporters that I hold the most respect and accountability for and that remains true after this assignment. There are not many situations where either of these analysts have broke ethical journalism codes and remain extremely professional in their work.

In summary, the sources I have highlighted above are all still my top sources for NBA news and all do very well at executing the values and roles of reporting on NBA news.


Media Portrayal of NBA: Trailblazers loss & Missed Call

While looking at the topic of the media portrayal of the NBA, the article I have chose to analyze for this week’s assignment is ESPN’s article, Damian Lillard, Blazers livid after missed call in final seconds vs. Jazz” that reports on an incident of a missed violation which cost Damian Lillard and  Trailblazers to fall to Utah Jazz, 117-114 Friday, Feb. 7.

When further analyzing how the media portrays NBA news, I chose ESPN  because I believe it to be one of the most reputable sources for sports news. ESPN refers to multiple sources within the content of the article which includes, NBA officiated assessment of the last two minutes of the game, Interviews of players of Portland and Utah, and mentions that the Associated Press had contributed to the article. All the sources and evidence enhance the content of the article and reporting on these events.

The sources ESPN highlights in this article all convey credibility other than interviews with players because that would be categorized more into an opinion. The NBA officiating report is a source directly from the National Basketball Association and can be confirmed credible. Associated Press, according to The AllSides Media Bias Chart, remains as a neutral, source online and continues to hold high credibility for news in our media environment today.

I did find the following  article on the internet via ESPN’s website but the article here includes many hyperlinks with more information on specific players, statistics of this specific game, and evidence referred to like the NBA report. The article includes embedded tweets and other media that refer or report on the same line of events which portrays and makes it easy to fact-check the information provided by media consumers. All of these strategies mentioned above make it less difficult for consumers to verify the information in the article and reinforce ESPN’s credibility.

ESPN uses one of the officiants  of the game, Josh Tiven’s interview from a Pool Report to reveal a view from the officiatiants’ standpoint. Tivens admits in this Pool Report that after the play was later reviewed, they had missed the violation. The article also includes a quote from Utah’s Rudy Gobert  mentioning his opinion on the missed call,  “Mistakes are made. Officials are human. I feel like it’s all part of the game.” 

Although there is no specific ESPN reporter credited for this article, I do argue that ESPN remains to be a credible source when reporting on majority of NBA news. ESPN uses interviews, official reports, and other news sources to allow them to remain credible and back up the information provided.

I would give the overall content and article a letter grade of A because I would argue ESPN news services has excelled at remaining factual and neutral on the the topic reported on above. The source, as I previously mentioned, provides multiple links to more information and official league reports to ensure the information within the article is factual. All of these practices shown while I analyzed the following article enhance ESPN and the sports news provided as credible, factual, and showing no bias.


The Media’s Influence on Politics


In the media environment that we see today, there are so many different aspects of political news and current event coverage. There are many different sources for political news consumption ranging from a daily news brief on TV or our twitter feed. Although the shift we’ve experienced provides more accessibility and convenience, consumers should be more aware to filter what may look like political information may not always be true. It is important to prioritize this topic so journalism and media continues to be used as a critical tool to inform the public rather than fill consumers with negative connotations of our nation and lack the respect it deserves.



Traditional coverage or Mainstream media  is what I see as what has the most influence on our media environment today and in addition the most trustworthy. A few examples of these sources would be Fox News, CNN, Washington Post and New York Times. I perceive mainstream media as sources that are widely used and hold the most influence over our media environment. Unfortunately, consumers(including myself) associate their influence and providing real news at all times.


Social media and the use of these platforms for reporting is becoming more and more significant, but still may be unfamiliar to some people. In Fact, I have realized many have not recognized the growing importance of social media platforms and the benefits it could have as a tool. These platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the list goes on. Along with traditional media outlets, social media is becoming more widely used to seek news coverage. It is also important to note that with the popularity of these platforms growing, so does their influence on the media environment.

The increase of influence was a lot more evident after Donald J. Trump won the 2016 presidential election. President Trump uses Twitter as one of the main way to inform the public of current events. I do see his strategy as an improvement because he has the capability to directly provide information to the public, but not everyone has a twitter account or even access to the internet.


The shift in media coverage of political we are faced with in all media, fails to serve its ultimate purpose: to inform the public. Although that purpose holds a lot more depth, I don’t believe that majority of consumers have realized this perception and harm it is increasingly causing. Although these are not enforced rules, the SPJ Code of Ethics by the Society of Professional Journalists is a useful guideline that provides more detail and reinforces the ultimate purpose of journalism.

When I look for information on current events in the White House, I get flooded with misinformation, opinions pieces, clickbait links of fake news. These frustrations and difficulty to find political news updates without any of the obstacles mentioned above, are what drive me to bring more light to this situation and prioritize the influence it has on the media environment.




Week One

Evelyn Ramirez’s 24 Hour Media Use

Starting my day:

Unfortunately I have created a habit of checking social media platforms as soon as I wake up which includes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Specifically pertaining to news I seem to find the most relevant news articles from Twitter.

Most mornings I will also wake up to at least two news articles via text message from my mom. For example, this morning she sent me a video from the most recent democratic debate where Elizabeth Warren confronts Bernie Sanders. 

While I make myself breakfast and get ready for my day, I usually will turn on Fox News or CNN in order to keep up with current events and get a daily dose of News that I more than likely know will be accurate.

Once I am full and showered I check my email which leads me to my daily New York Times briefing that I quickly skim through.

Throughout most of the day I consume news via twitter but that is only to waste time or I just simply have free time as I did this day. I usually will look at Presidents Trump’s tweets to see recent events in pertaining to the Whitehouse.

During the remainder of the day, most of what I consume via social media is just funny jokes my friends send me or instagram photos they post. However, I did come across this adorable post via Barack Obama wishing Michelle a happy birthday. 

When my day starts to come to a close and I begin making dinner for myself, specifically on this night I taught myself how to make Spanish rice via Pinterest using this recipe.

While I ate my rice(which actually turned out pretty good, for the record), my roommates and I take a couple hours talking about how each of our days went and just hanging out in our living room. After I begin to get tired, I’ll usually head back up tp my room and get ready for bed.

Ending my Day:

Once again I turn the news back on my TV which happened to be on Fox News but I mainly use it as background noise while I get ready to go to sleep.

I conclude my night the same way I start my morning, which means another long scroll between the same social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. However, at this point I am so tired that I never tend to look at any news content but more very random content and videos that I have been click-baited in to watching.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to spend less time on social media platforms during the day which I’ve noticed has led to my issue of binge-scrolling while I try and fall asleep.

As far as credibility for the content I consumed I rank New York Times, CNN and Fox News both around 8.5 out of 10 because I believe these sources to a fair job at keeping their facts correct, but have also both had their mistakes. Twitter I would rate lower at more of a 5 out of 10 because it does contain a lot of misinformation that I have to mentally filter through when i’m on the platform.