My Security on the Internet: What Will I do to Change?

I got a laptop computer when I was a child, and I started using the internet when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It’s all been downhill from there! The internet is an unbelievable place where you can access new information, connect with friends and family, and buy things you need, or things you just really want! While it is a great place overall, there are hidden dangers lurking around, and these dangers probably want your personal information.

From the second I got my first debit card at 15, I started online shopping- there were so many things I wanted that I couldn’t find in real life, it was so easy! After telling my dad that I bought a few things off the internet, he told me something that always stuck with me in one way or another. I’m not phrasing this verbatim, but he said something along the lines of “That’s great honey, but make sure you’re being safe. You never know who’s sitting behind the screen on the other side.”

Now, I’ve never actually thought that there was an actual person sitting on the other side of the computer screen waiting for steal my information, I’m not that paranoid of a person. However, since he’s said that to me, I’ve always taken measures to make sure the sites I’ve been using have been safe. I glance at the URL to make sure there’s a lock there, meaning the website is secure. If the website looks sketchy or undone, I google the website and try to find reviews on it to make sure that other people have had good experiences. This article has some ways to make sure the website’s you’re using is safe, but those are just really the bare minimum.

After finishing the reading for this last module, I realized that there is more I could be doing to make safer choices on the internet. This article by the New York Times was one that stuck out to me, and while it had some things on there that I could not see myself doing (such as stop using google, for example), there were tips on there that were just simple changes, that would boost my security on the Internet.

I went and changed a lot of my passwords, as I had been using virtually the same few passwords for a lot of websites, and I have started writing them down in a book I have at home to keep track of them. I have also went to google and started to “jam” it as was suggested in the article, by putting a bunch of random search terms that I normally never search up, and I have already started to see weird ads on my social media feeds as compared to before. It’s scary how quickly that happens!

I am not one of those people who is scared of being tracked on the internet. If I’m using the internet, I’m expecting it to watch me and my movements- it’s just a fact that I’ve grown up knowing, and I don’t find the idea invasive or weird. The good part is, even if I do end up being weary of the whole idea, there are a few different ways that I can protect myself, and that idea comforts me!

Week Seven

Law and Media

Ever since I started using social media, I’ve been told warnings on what I can and can’t do on the internet, whether it was about what websites I should avoid, or what I shouldn’t post about. Those were usually just social warnings, and I never really knew anything about the actual laws of the internet, or what rights media users actually had. This module gave me a more in-depth look on the laws that regulate the internet, and overall it gave me a different perspective. It also gave me the knowledge I need in order to post things on the internet safely!

I think if anything worries me, it would be the censorship laws. As weird as it is saying this, I generally don’t like being told what to do, and that applies to the internet as well. I don’t feel comfortable with the idea that the law can come in between me and the things I want to do online. It’s not that I’m going to be visiting sites that are bad or posting inappropriate content, It’s just the concept that bothers me.

Another thing that I find weird is that I feel like it’s super easy to accidentally violate this country’s copyright laws, and whenever I post anything I’m overly weary of my citations and where I get my sources from. While this makes me hyperaware of the source I am using and what I’m writing, living in that constant fear of retaliation is annoying, and I feel like I could make one wrong move and then I’d be breaking the law.

I don’t plan to modify the things I post anytime soon, but that may change in the future. I really don’t post that often online- I have gotten this far without breaking any laws, so I don’t see myself running into problems while I’m still in college (but at this point, who knows what could happen?).

students Week Seven

My Wikipedia Editing Experience

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I need to start off by saying this- I rarely use wikipedia. My 9th grade english teacher, who was quite intimidating I might add, burned it into my head that wikipedia is not a valid source and therefore cannot be trusted. The most time I spend on that website is skimming through summaries of random things when I’m in a hurry and that’s usually it. However, this editing experience changed my views on that. After going through the Wiki Education modules and learning what it takes to edit an article on the site, I realized how much work, dedication, and collaboration goes into editing  just one article on Wikipedia, and I have a new found respect for it.

At first, I was having a really hard time finding a topic that I knew enough about where I could edit an article about it. After exploring a few different ideas, I noticed that the article on Kevin Jonas, a band member of the well known group The Jonas Brothers, was only 46% complete. I had just gone to see the band in concert, and I knew that I had to do Kevin justice and give him the wikipedia article he deserved! (Well, I could try at least.)

With my main idea in place, I was finally ready to start editing! However, I had no idea where to begin. I started off by checking the talk page on the article, but it appeared that people hadn’t been active on it for quite some time- the last post was from 2014! I still posted on it, even though I knew I probably wouldn’t get a response, and I stated that I wanted to change the picture , as well as wanted to add a separate section altogether for the music he is involved with, since the music section was grouped in with his acting and other work sections.

Suggestions I made on the Kevin Jonas talk page

After scouring the internet, I ended up not being able to find a recent picture that was legal for me to use on the page. I looked on CC search, googled it, and I even messaged my professors for help, but in the end it all fell short. I accepted my defeat and moved on to editing the article itself. The first thing I did was add that separate “music” header and section that I suggested on the talk page, and organized his career section by “acting” and “other work.” The article was missing a majority of the citations it needed, and the wording was weird in more than a few places, so I cleaned that up a bit and added in the correct citations. I also added information about their new album and documentary that came out a few months ago, since no one had added that in yet either.

What the page looks like with the new “Music” header!

Overall, this turned out to be pretty fun, but a little scary! Since so many people are going to see this, I don’t wanna be that person who messes it up- I’m just a beginner and I could be making mistakes without even realizing it. I think that even after this class is over, I will continue to make edits to different wikipedia pages so that I can gain more experience and skill. This could be the start of something new!


The Grandmother Problem

As I scroll through Facebook, I see friends and family posting about their lives, views, and families and all is fine and dandy- at least that’s originally the case, up until I see uncle Tim posting about how vaccines and tide pods have the same ingredients and how we’re all going to die.

The truth is, the majority of the younger generation have a much better chance of being able to differentiate fact and fiction on the internet in comparison to our older generation. The internet came later in the older generation’s lives, and a lot of them had less of a chance to learn the ins and outs of internet. As a result of this, it’s not uncommon to see our older loved ones posting things that are obviously false to the rest of us.

Now, I’m not saying that the younger generation are experts at sharing news on the internet either- everyone has a slip up every once in a while, and I believe there are certain ways to go about approaching people who are sharing false information on your news feed.

1. Approach them about the mistake privately.

If possible, don’t attack them on their post where everyone else can see it- it would just embarrass them and most likely cause them to get defensive. Message them privately and gently tell them that the information they are sharing isn’t correct.

2. Send them links to correct information and their sources.

Do a quick google search and find some reliable sources that are posting correct information on the topic, and send them the links to those articles. Add in that all you did was a quick search on google news to find these sources, and send them the link to that page as well.

3. Be non-confrontational.

These people are probably not even aware that they are sharing false information, so give them a break. Don’t attack them for getting it wrong, remind them that fake information is everywhere, and it’s easy to share it if you don’t know that you’re looking for. Remind them that you are trying to help them, not hurt them. Help them understand- you’re on their side!


Overall, just be nice! Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes you. Think about how you would want to be approached if you shared an incorrect article, and go from there. We can stop the spread of false information one step at a time!




Women in Music: Analyze

Hugh McIntyre from Forbes magazine posted the article, “9 Ways Taylor Swift Made Hot 100 History with Her New Album ‘Lover’,” and if I had to rate this article I would give it a B; it has a lack of outside sources, as well as contains phrasing that can seem persuasive or leading.

One thing I noticed right away was that while he uses links consistently throughout the article, McIntyre chose to use links that only lead to other Forbes Magazine articles. Forbes covers a lot of well-known entertainers out there, but that doesn’t mean that Forbes should be the only website cited in his articles. I believe that in order to gain full credibility the author should have used sources other than the magazine they’re writing for. Something that McIntyre could have done to increase his credibility was use information that came from Billboard itself, since the majority of the article was spent being talked about her current standings on the billboard chart.

McIntyre also somewhat strayed from his main topic, which was “9 ways Taylor Swift made History with her new album. Towards the end, McIntyre was listing how she has “the Eighth Most Hot 100 Hits,” and “seventh-most Hot 100 Hits Among Soloists,” which are both impressive feats by themselves- however, since she’s not one of the top three in these categories, I believe he could have left standings like these out, since they are not the best representation of her making history, as the title claims. In order to gain more accurate information on his topic, he could have gone to other websites to get information on Taylor Swift, and he could have found a larger array of information that he could have used in his article. Incorporating outside sources strengthens articles in a very clear way, and I believe this article was lacking that one important piece.

The author uses phrasing that can make the reader lean more towards one way of thinking rather than staying neutral throughout the article. For example, McIntyre uses the sentence, “…this may be the best week of Swifts massive career on the Hot 100,” which is more of an opinion than a fact. She is doing very successfully right now, that’s evident base on how she is rising in the charts, but there is no sure way to say that this is going to be her best week she’s had yet.

McIntyre also uses suggestive phrasing in which he says something is going to happen, and is making more of an inference than a statement. For example, he mentions how, “Swift is now tied with Elvis Presley for the tenth-most smash hits, and she will likely beat him at some point in the next year or two,” and also mentions virtually the same thing when he compared Taylor Swift with Nicki Minaj. This could very well be the case, but in order to keep articles non-biased, it would be better if he left any guesses on what could potentially happen in the future out of writing that is reporting on certain topics.


Women in Music: News or Opinion?

While searching things on the internet, it can be tough to decipher whether an article is an opinion, or an actual piece of news being reported on.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg, an editor from Forbes Magazine, wrote an article on The World’s Highest-Paid Women in Music 2019, and I would say that this is a news article, not an opinion piece. Taylor Swift was the top earner, and he went on to mention her nominations at the VMA’s, her new record deal, and her “Reputation” tour, and how they had all contributed to her success over this past year. This article also had a full list of the top ten earning women in music, with their earnings listed with them; the author stated only facts, and statistics about their earnings were present all throughout the article. The author also explained how they gathered their information and how they measured top earners, stating, “Our list of the world’s highest-paid women in music measures pretax income from June 2018 to June 2019. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.”

Amy McCarthy of Yardbarker wrote the article 50 of the Most Groundbreaking Women in Entertainment, and while she states facts in the article, this is an opinion piece. She writes about 50 different women in entertainment, all with sections of facts about them and things they have accomplished over the years, ranging from career beginnings to activism moments. While all of these women are admittedly very influential and talented people, the author chose these women herself, and there’s no way to tell if these people are actually the most “groundbreaking” as she’s claiming. While describing Aretha Franklin, she writes, “Arguably the most powerful voice of all time and the undisputed queen of soul…”, which shows that this is more of an opinion than a piece of news.

Danielle Bacher of Elle Magazine wrote the article Camilla Cabello Loves Like Nobody’s Watching, and while it sounds like an opinion piece just by going off of the title, it’s more of a news piece. Bacher interviews singer Camilla Cabello about her personal and professional life towards the end of the article, but in the first half she goes over the singer’s life and career. She mentions that Cabello is now the second most streamed singer on Spotify, how she was nominated for two Grammy’s, and how she opened for Taylor Swift on her tour this past year. She states only facts about the singers life, and doesn’t mention anything personal about herself during any part of the article, or the interview itself.

Shannon Barbour of Cosmopolitan wrote the article Fans are Freaking Out About Miley Cyrus’ “Slide Away” Music Video and the Liam Hemsworth References”, and I would say this is an analysis/opinion piece. Barbour describes the music video, and all of the hidden easter eggs in the video that are supposedly about Cyrus’ ex-boyfriend Liam Hemsworth. She mentions everything that fans of Cyrus, as well as herself, think may be clues that point to Hemsworth, such as how she looks really sad and how the music video gives really big break-up vibes, how the lyrics are obviously about Hemsworth, and even a 10 of hearts playing card that “100 percent represented her ten year relationship with Liam coming to an end.” She also uses the phrase “That’s probably what that was about,” which points to this article being an analysis, as this is not an actual fact.

students Week Two

Women in Music

Music is a huge part of my day to day life! I listen to it every time I’m in the car, in the shower, and hanging out with friends. I listen to a lot of female artists from an array of different genres, and they make up a large portion of what I listen too overall.

While using social media, I see music being reported on quite often, and I frequently follow links to articles on the topic. I also follow the “music” subject on my news app on my phone, and the news articles I see there are of all types, whether they report on who the next big thing is, or who’s dating who. With the amount of news I take in on the subject, I have noticed that  female artists are often not portrayed in the media in the same way as male artists.

By doing a quick google search on “music,” you can see what I’m talking about right away. For male artists, you can see it being reported that there are men getting awards for writing songs, or articles calling their music “iconic.” For female artists, however, the topics being reported on are Camila Cabello talking about being in love and the risqué picture Bebe Rexha posted for her 30th birthday- both with a short mention tacked onto the end on how they both may have new music coming out soon. You can already see that the media is focused more about reporting on women’s personal lives rather than their accomplishments and careers, unlike they do with men.

Women in the music industry are moving mountains, and I believe that media coverage needs to be shifted more towards their careers and their voices, rather than focusing on their personal lives as the bigger news stories.


One Entire Day of my Media Use


August 23, 2019

I woke up around 7:15 on this particular morning, and the first thing I did was check my phone. I went to twitter first and scrolled through my feed, catching glimpse of the recent news that after some disagreement between Sony and Disney, Spiderman was no longer going to be part of the Marvel universe. This story sparked my interest, so I read through a few posts from sources such as Entertainment Weekly and Deadline Hollywood.

After about 15 minutes of this, I needed to get ready for work- but after I realized my husband was in the bathroom, I went to Reddit to kill some more time. I scrolled through some more posts about the Spiderman news, as well as some different types of stories and memes from subreddits I am subscribed too. After about another 20 minutes of this, I got a news notification from my news app that delivered the top news of the day, but I didn’t open the app to go more in depth since my husband came out of the bathroom around this time.

On the way to work, I listened to my “release radar” playlist on my Spotify, since I get a new version of the playlist every Friday. When I got to work, I checked my twitter one last time before I clocked in. Since Starbucks is a fast paced job, I never really have time to check my phone at work except on my breaks, when is when I check my usual social media apps: Twitter, e-mail, reddit, and instagram. I get off at 5 PM, and I listen to more music on the drive home.

Once at home, I start doing some laundry I had been putting off. When I fold laundry I like watching youtube, so I turned on my TV, opened the youtube app, and settled in on my bed. I went to catch up with my go-to youtubers, most recent videos, with my favorites being Jenna Marbles, Kurtis Conner, and Joana Ceddia. Around 6 PM I was done with my laundry, and I checked my phone, once again going to twitter and reddit, then going on to play a few rounds of candy crush.

After eating dinner with my husband, we settled in at about 8 PM and turned on Hulu, watching a show we’ve recently gotten into called Letterkenny. We watched a few episodes, then turned on The Office on Netflix as background noise as we went to bed.

After tracking my media use for a day, I realized just how much I rely on my phone and TV for entertainment. I use my phone almost constantly, whether I am actively checking it for my social media, or using it for music while I’m driving.  I also realized that I get a lot of information through my twitter and reddit apps. While these apps often have news articles on them, it’s often difficult to figure out whether or not these sources are reliable, since there are often a lot of different people relaying the information, and it’s hard to trace it back to the source. So if I were to give my definitive ranking on how credible my media sources are, I would rank both twitter and reddit a 4, since I would most likely have to do some more research on whether or not what I was reading was true. I am ranking my news app a 10, since I trust this app to give me accurate information every time I open it.


Kelly’s First Post

Hi, this is my first post!