Digital Security

Prior to this weeks module, I had been considering my own personal browsing habits and digital security.  It’s not a secret to anyone that your browsing history is being monitored and tracked, then fed back to you via ads on social media, whether it be Facebook or Instagram.  I see this time and time again on my personal feeds.  It seems like you can say the name of a company, I’ll use Hello Fresh as an example, and then see Hello Fresh or other meal delivery services pop up into your feeds.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve previously clicked on the ad or not.

I, through my job, have recently discovered that they will provide me with a VPN at little to no cost to me.  I wasn’t quite sure what that entailed or why I should use one, so I started doing a little research on the matter.  I, like TJ McCue in this article from Forbes, thought that my internet searches in private mode were safe from prying eyes.  How foolish I’ve been.  If you use your mobile device to do any online banking off of your own private wifi network, then you need a VPN.  It’s too easy for our personal information to get into the wrong hands nowadays with out us just handing it out unknowingly.

With the exception of the VPN, I do not plan on doing anything differently.  I’m sure my passwords could be more elaborate, but I still have to remember them.  I do not keep them saved in my browser, I use a password keeper to assist in remembering them all.  I do not use any plugins or weird apps on my phone, although I probably use more apps than I should.  It seems like there is an app for everything!

When doing reading on what you can do to protect yourself digitally, most articles end up with most of the same items.  This article from Forbes seems to be a generality of most of them.  When I looked at it, I noticed that I do most of the things anyway.  I keep my software updated on my laptops and mobile devices and I have two factor authentication set up as well.  I think most of us are aware of scams, or at least that they happen daily.  I don’t over share on social media either.  Something else that is suggested is to have more than one email address, one for sensitive information and one for everything else.

Now that we’ve gotten the easiest items out of the way, onto the harder ones.  It’s also recommended to take inventory of your accounts.  That’s easier said than done often times.  Another one is to read all fine print.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I am horrible at reading the fine print on terms and conditions at times.  I should be better, but face it, who wants to sit and read through all the legalese of iTunes terms and conditions just to do a simple update.

One of the major things that was mentioned, perhaps the most major, is don’t share your social security number.  Everyone needs it nowadays.  Granted, it’s not on our driver’s licenses anymore thank goodness, but when was the last time that you went to a new doctor and filled out paperwork and you weren’t asked.  Anytime a new account of any sort is opened in our names, that is the first number that the company wants.  And that is the primary number that we need to keep safe above all else.

It’s not easy out there and that’s not likely to change anytime soon.  You have to be able to protect yourself.  You have to equip yourself with the tools and the knowledge to protect yourself because no one else is going to.






It’s The Law!

The only thing that concerns me is net neutrality.  Just this week, a federal appeals court upheld the the FCC’s decision to remove net neutrality rules, but it cannot stop states from making their own laws regarding new neutrality.  Basically this means that the court put it back into individual states hands how to regulate the internet.  Some will regulate like phone service, and some will fight to regulate it like the wanted it to be, extremely narrowly.  Do you want your provider to be able to throttle your internet access at any given moment, regardless of network traffic?  I don’t either, and that is why net neutrality is important.

I am not going to be doing anything differently when I use social media, or access the internet.  I already am very careful about what I post online, especially since once it’s out there it never truly goes away.  Nowadays, there are too many celebrities who would do good to remember that fact, between the old tweets that resurface years later and the sex tapes that are ‘leaked’, there are so many things that people post online that come back to haunt them years later.

I recently read a post on Buzzfeed ( I can’t find it now, or I would link it) where a woman didn’t get a job due to photos on her personal Instagram account.  Now, that may cross into another line as well, but her account was not private, so anyone could search for it, and the prospective employer did, then didn’t hire her.   She, of course, put them on blast on social media for then posting the photos on their Instagram stories calling her out as unprofessional.  This, to me covers two things.  One, my point that things never go away.  Once those photos are out there, they’re there.  And two, I would think that this would be defamation on the part of the company.  They were in essence bad mouthing her on their Instagram stories.

Just be careful and don’t do stupid things.




The Wikipedia assignment, what can I say about this.  When I am looking up information on my own, for class or personal use, I never use Wikipedia.  It can be manipulated way too easily.  This assignment just proves it to me.  I’m going to be completely honest here, I briefly considered not even completing the assignment.  Not because I didn’t want to put in the work, that I don’t mind at all, just because I will never use this information again.

This was an interesting experience and it was difficult.  It was hard, first of all, to find an article to edit. And the editing wasn’t a picnic, though what I did was small, so it wasn’t too bad. I just added a link.  The last I checked, the link I added was still there so I’m counting this as a win!   The entire process does give me a newfound appreciation for all of the work that goes into these articles.  Even when they’re edited as a joke, it takes time and effort.  Not only on the part of the prankster making the initial edit, but then someone comes along behind them to clean up their mess.  All of the training modules that we completed really helped in the process, otherwise I would have been completely lost.  I found the sandbox to be a bit confusing, but the talk page and the actual edit wasn’t too bad.

It wasn’t as bad as I first feared that it would be, but I will not do it again unless forced.  This isn’t my cup of tea to be quite honest and I will most likely never do it again.  I may start using Wikipedia more as a starting point, to get ideas articles.  Even as a way to fact check, but only on well developed articles that I can cross reference.




The Grandmother Problem – extra credit

This is not an easy conversation to have with anyone, but especially someone that you’re close to and that you really don’t want to offend.  For the most part, I am A-okay speaking my mind to strangers on the internet about my beliefs.  I may not delve too deep into why I believe a certain way, but I will make my beliefs known.  When the person on the other end of the disagreement is your sister, for example, it’s a lot more difficult to stay impartial.  Emotions tend to get in the way of reason.

That is the person that I chose to speak to about the ‘grandmother problem’.  She is a frequent over share-er on my Facebook page, and I generally just roll my eyes and continue on my scroll so see who is doing what.  This week, when I noticed that she was blindly sharing random crap again, so I called her.

To say it did not go well is an understatement.  I explained to her how important is it to make sure that everything she shares is correct before she actually shares it.  That for some people Facebook can be the only news they actively seek out.  Somehow, this became turned around to my political views and to be honest, I’m still not sure how she managed to do that.

To say that I was unsuccessful would be a massive understatement.  She just took what I was saying to her and twisted it to mean that I didn’t agree with what she was sharing.  I didn’t, but that is just because it was flat out wrong, which I proved to her (in a nice and educational way). I guess what I’m saying is that some people are going to believe what they want to believe, even when provided evidence to the contrary.  I stated before that you have to pick your battles and I still believe that.  It’s incredibly important for correct information to be shared on social media, but at the same time I’m not sure if your interpersonal relationships were to suffer due to constantly correcting friends and family it would be worth it.


The Grandmother Problem

The ‘grandmother problem’ is an issue that is plagues social media accounts everywhere.   Nearly everyone has that one person, whether old or young, on their Facebook account that will just share whatever comes across their news feed with wild abandon, not looking at the dates from when the article was originally posted, much less checking the sources!

My personal Facebook page is just for me to keep track of my family and friends in southern IL, but I am closer than ever before to deleting it.  Everyday I am seeing shared articles from made-up news outlets that just mention the words “Trump” and “correct”, then it’s shared no less than 5 times by different people.  It’s an epidemic that needs to be stopped.

The problem lies in how to tell these over share-ers that they sharing things that are less than credible or just flat out inaccurate.  Most people would not take too kindly to being told that they’re wrong, even if you are able to provide factual evidence to back yourself up.  The fact is, quite a few people only believe what they want to believe when it comes to politics and religion, or what they were taught to believe by elder family members.  (Think ‘we’ve been Republican since your great great great Granddaddy was alive, and we’re not gonna stop now!’) I can’t speak for all areas, but the incredibly small area where I’m from is very close minded.  An article that I read stated political beliefs began at home, then as children left the nest and their world views grew, so did their belief system.  They fostered their own thinking and adapted that to fit what they were learning of the world.

I’ve found that in the area where I grew up, and where my family still resides, nearly all the people are conservative leaning.  I’m not saying that they are all Republican, but those that are Democrat are on the less liberal side.  And that is their choice.    Judging strictly by the posts that I’ve seen shared on my wall from the folks back in that area, if I were to share a post about Colin Kaepernick and why I feel that he was well within his right to take a knee at a football game, I would be cursed and possible disowned.   Same thing if I were to share anything about my abortion stance or LGBTQ rights.  Mockery and hatefulness would ensue, but I could guarantee that the posts that I shared would be from well written and well known sources.

It’s not an easy problem to solve unfortunately, and I don’t feel that I’ve done so here.  I don’t feel that I’ve even given a hint at a solution.  I feel that I’ve told you why I can’t.   If a person seems receptive to constructive criticism, then have at it, but you have to choose your battles.


NWHL list and quotes

The first item on my list is an interview that was done with the commissioner of the NWHL, Dani Rylan,  in which no questions were completely answered about the return of the 200 boycotting players.  She said about the PWHPA, “They know we are willing and eager to have  a conversation with them, but unfortunately they have refused to communicate with us at all.  We will keep trying.”  Rylan, D. (2019, Sep 9) Q&A With NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan from

Item number two come from  It discusses the creation of the PWHPL (Professional Women’s Hockey Players League) and what they women who are part of it wish to accomplish from.  Also discussed are the rising tensions between the NWHL and the PWHPL. Alyssa Gagliardi, who is part of the the PWHPL, was quoted as saying, “The resources we got in college are what you wish you had when you graduated.  Those are the resources no league to date has been able to provide consistently.  We’re not asking for millions by any means, just something to live off of. Plus those resources.” Gagliardi, A (2019, Sep 20) Sorting Out The Current Landscape of Professional Women’s Hockey from

This tweet by Hilary Knight is my next item.  Hilary and others like Canadian goaltender Shannon Szabados have both tweeted the same image, message and hashtag (#forthegame) at the start of the sit-out at the beginning of May.  Per a tweet by Katie Strang on May 2, the avoidance of the word boycott is purposeful, as the ladies “don’t want this to be seen as a year of waiting around or simply sitting out but rather a year driven by purpose” (Strang, Katie. 2019, May 02. 8:15 am)

Popsugar certainly wasn’t the place I thought that I’d find my fourth item.  The article goes into great detail about the 2018 Olympics and the general feeling of elation that all hockey lovers felt with team USA’s gold medal win.  It also taps into the struggles between the NWHL and the PWHPL.  It tells what the players who are currently not playing are doing with their time.  Maggie Ryan wrote “setbacks have culminated in the drive, pushed by the players themselves, for a viable, sustainable league on their own terms and the opportunity to show the world what they’re capable of at the same time.” Ryan, M (2019, Sept 13.  Popsugar, from the article After an Electrifying Olympics, Why Women’s Hockey Stars Are Still Fighting For a Place to Play.

Lastly, I will link an interview will Amanda Kessel. In the interview she discusses the challenges that the women face by playing professionally in a league that is not financially viable for them.  Her salary, one of the top in the league, was 8,000 per year.  “I think a minimum was $2,500 in our league this year and that’s where people are losing money. It’s because they’re working so they can’t take off work, and then they have to buy their own flight to a game.” Amanda Kessel was talking about the lowest paid in the league, in the 2018 season.  Kessel, A (2019, May 3.





As you know, my blogging assignments have followed the National Women’s  Hockey League.  I stand by that decision, though right now, it’s a little rough to find material.  The article I’m using for this post comes from the Women in Sport Week issue of Sports Pro Magazine that I, of course, found online.  It was posted August 14, 2019.   The journalist, Sam Carp, covered Hilary Knight’s fight for getting the ladies of the NWHL better pay, and thus better futures.  Although Knight was initially interviewed in May, I can assure you, #ForTheGame is still going strong with the season quickly approaching in October.

When I was reading through the article, I noticed that though Sam Carp only had quotes from Hilary Knight, there were links to other stories sprinkled throughout.  When I clicked on them, I was taken to other articles that corroborated what was being said.  For example, one link spoke about 200 of the leagues best refusing to play in the upcoming season, holding out for a viable league.  It was written by the same journalist for the same publication, but earlier in the year (May 2019) right after the CWHL had folded.  He also had a photo of a tweet that Knight had tweeted right after the boycott began, calling her fellow players to arms it seems, along with the hashtag ForTheGame, that has since become the mantra of the 200.

Carp, it seems to me, did a good job on the article.  He didn’t interject his own bias at all.  He just got Knight’s point of view, her side of the story, and proceeded to tell it.  I feel that he did a good job asking the correct questions to get Hilary to explain why she felt that she needed to do what she did.  There didn’t seem to be any pressure.  He gave facts, like how after the inaugural season of the NWHL the salary cap was cut from 250,000 to 100,000 per team, then compared that to one single player in the NHL who made 15 MILLION for the 2018/2019 season (again, thanks to for me to be able to double check that).

The only think that I wasn’t sold on, what that he only spoke to one person.  Hilary Knight.  And while she is a force to be reckoned with, I don’t believe that there wasn’t another woman out of the 200 that are currently upset with, and boycotting, the NWHL that would not speak to him.  Amanda Kessel has been fairly vocal as well.  It’s my opinion that if he would have gotten at least one other player to weigh in on what she thought, or even an NHL player (which, let’s be honest, would have been really interesting) it would have given the article another level of credibility.

Seeing as how I’ve been tasked with grading the article, I would give it a steady ‘B’.   It was well written and seemed to be factual based on other things that I have read about the issue and the other articles that this one linked to.  He seemed to have done his research.  Other than only speaking to Hilary Knight, I really enjoyed reading and analyzing it.





News or Opinion?

Depending on the topic, it can be rather difficult to tell the difference between actual news and opinion at times.  I’ve especially noticed this when the subject matter is particularly political.  Luckily for me, I have not chosen a political topic in the slightest.  I’m going to continue my coverage on the NWHL, which of course is the National Women’s Hockey League.

The first article that I’ve found comes at us from Sports Illustrated  and is written by the Associated Press.  It is most assuredly under the news category.   From May 2019, it comes directly after around 200 NWHL players declared they wouldn’t play professionally for the league until the were paid a living wage.  The Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) also just shut down because of “financial issues”.  There is no opinion in the article, just facts.  They do a great job of giving irrefutable facts.

Despite all of this, the NWHL is saying that they will increase play salaries and benefits.  And that brings me to my second article.  It’s from ESPN  and it also is news.  The Associate Press talks about the gains made salary-wise after they were “cut in half a little over a month into their second season.”  At 10,000 to 26,000 per year, I’m not sure how anyone could have survived on that salary when it was whole, much less when it was cut in half!  It’s not like these women were playing in a small town in Nebraska either, the Boston Pride are in Boston, MA and their home rink is where the Boston Bruins practice rink.   As far as benefits, they’re increasing “travel and meal costs” so perhaps the women won’t have to foot that bill either.  Again, no opinions here, facts only!

I’ve saved the hardest for last, the opinion pieces.  The first opinion that I found came from the Ice Garden.  That’s a website that is associated with, a blog site that I frequent to stay current on all the hockey teams that I actually follow.  In this particular post, the author is voicing her opinion on what the five NWHL teams need to complete their roster for the upcoming season.  While some of what she says is fact, one of the teams is still missing a goalie (and they definitely need one of those!), for the most part it is sheer speculation as to what they actually do need, and which striking player they need to replace.

My last article, my last opinion piece, is another blog.  To be quite honest, I had never been on this on before.  I had found it while on Reddit, looking up some information on the NWHL.  In the article the author discusses why they feel it would be a good idea for the owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins to own a NWHL team.  While I understand where they’re coming from with their way of thinking with it, I don’t believe that it would be fruitful.  At least not with the state of affairs the NWHL is in at the moment anyway. This particular article has both facts and opinion.  The beginning of the article, where the author paints the picture for us the dire state of emergency the NWHL is actually in, is all fact.  When they get down to the meat and potatoes of what they really wanted to say, the Penguins owners should bring the NWHL to Pittsburg, is purely their opinion.

I did not write a letter to the editor for any of these stories, nor did I tweet about any of them.  I’ll be quite honest and just say that’s not really my thing. That said, if I were going to tweet something at someone, I truly think that it would be over the unjust payment here.  Knowing the difference between the salaries of NHL players (thank you and knowing the salaries of NWHL players upsets me.  The women play just as hard as the men, but they are paid pennies on the dollar to do so, and most don’t even get the health benefits to do so.  Ridiculous!







The ladies of the NWHL

I’ve chosen to do my blog post on the extreme salary discrepancy between women’s and men’s hockey.  While I do not follow women’s hockey closely I became aware of the the wage gap during the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018.   In this day and age, it’s absolutely ridiculous for a woman to be playing a sport making a salary of approximately 26,000 a year, while her brother, Phil Kessel, playing that very same sport, is making an average of 8 million.

These women have to pay for their own travel to and from the game, while their male counterparts are catered to.  Many of them have outside jobs, they have to, and that limits the time they have to train and perfect their craft.

The fact is, it is extremely difficult to find a lot of information on women’s hockey and their struggles.  (It seems like the entire sports community is trying to sweep them under the rug!)  The NWHL is always a good place to start searching for women’s hockey.   Another place to start searching would be  I’m going to give a bit of warning here though, ESPN doesn’t cover men’s hockey very well.  When you get to the website, you have to do a fair bit of searching.  That in and of it’s self is beyond ridiculous to me.  Lastly, the CBC had a great radio clip with Amanda Kessel regarding players in Canada and the United States refusing to play until the league is bettered.

I don’t think that the media sufficiently covers this matter.  As I stated before, it’s difficult to find information on the NWHL, even more-so now that players are refusing to play.  One would think that a move of that nature would bring them to the front of the hockey community…apparently not.



A day in the life…

Disclaimer:  I am so sorry that this will be extremely boring for everyone reading it.

I first read a couple articles on The Athletic app about the upcoming hockey season, and since I had my phone in my hand that immediately turned into an aimless scroll through Instagram. (The aimless Instagram scroll is nearly every morning.)  Facebook followed closely behind, though I did click on several articles on the KFVS-12 (a news channel broadcasting from the Southeast Missouri/Southern Illinois area where I’m from) about a car accident.  I generally also check my email around this time as well, and delete what isn’t important.

After getting ready for work, I turned on Netflix to watch an episode (maybe two) of Better Call Saul.  When that ended, I switched over to Hulu to play a few episodes of Letterkenny, a Canadian comedy,  while I straightened up my apartment and took the syllabus quiz for this class.  By that time, it was time for me to leave for work.

As I was driving into work, I put my phone in it’s cradle and streamed an episode of the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast on Spotify.  While at work, I still had Spotify on, though not on the podcast, just a playlist of my favorite artists.  Occasionally, I would pick my phone up and scroll through Instagram or Twitter.  I read an article (via Twitter) on about the people living near the Amazon devastation.

Reddit is also a time killer.  While I’m not busy I will scroll through the site, reading different threads.  Generally my favorite are the different hockey subs I subscribe to and AskReddit.  I saw a YouTube link to the trailer for the  Netflix original movie El Camino: A Breaking Bad, which I got super excited about.

I also looked at, a SB Nation site that is focused on the Arizona Coyotes that has different writers writing about the team and various happenings within.  When it gets closer to hockey season, the articles ‘grading’ the trades over the summer increase.  There is more speculation about how teams will do the upcoming season.

That leads me to my drive home.  I used Apple music this time and listened to the new Taylor Swift album, Lover.  It’s ok.

As far as news outlets go, I don’t read very much news.  Occasionally I will read stories from my hometown, or if a national headline catches my eye I’ll look at it.   I’m not completely unaware as to what is happening in the world though, I do have awareness.   As little as I read news, I watch it even less.  When I do look at new sites, I try to make sure that they’re trusted sites.  If I’m not sure of the source, I certainly don’t share it.