You’d be surprised how many people blurt out their whereabouts on Facebook.  That’s what Bob Zinga, my husband, and our guest speaker at our homeschool co-op’s Web 2.0 class spoke about today during his Safe and Secure Online presentation (an ISC-Squared curriculum).

Our class comprised of a small group of high schoolers- all homeschooled- and I admit, pret-ty tech savvy.

What I loved about this presentation was his candidness about the stark realities of online predators,  identity theft, and cyberbullying.  It’s real.  

I think the ISC2 video presentation was relevant to youth- so it was both entertaining and informative.

In fact, I was so into the presentation, I totally forgot to snap photos of the whole thing…but here are some key resources from the handouts the kids received.  Be sure to check these out:

One thing Bob spent a great deal of time discussing  with our teens was malware and viruses.  Downloading illegal music and shareware – these are two of the biggest misconceptions, and even I learned a thing or two.

I didn’t realize that while you are downloading (he used the word “torrent” which he described as a download of bits and pieces of one huge file from several locations, resulting in one final file download for you), malware could also be installed on your computer simultaneously.  So as you’re downloading free music, you could also be downloading a virus.  So he stressed the importance of being aware of our dealings online, and especially taking advantage of free internet safety tools– at the very least, Microsoft Essentials.

Another key point he made was that we should guard our personal information online and be VERY protective of the kinds of information we publish.  Not only should our teens be aware that the posting of  inappropriate pictures online could come back to haunt them later on when it’s time to apply for a job, or result in cyberbullying,  but there have been instances where people have been robbed because they announced their vacation dates and where they were located on Facebook.  Publishing this information on Facebook was an invitation to a neighborhood theft to come on in and rob their home while they were out.

Additionally, Bob talked about the importance of making sure we keep our computers current with security updates. And just so we don’t have to keep reminding ourselves to click that “update” button each time our PC asks us, we can set up our computers to automatically install service packs and other updates for Windows, etc.  This applies to any updates for Macs as well — as he so distinctly pointed out that Macs are not completely off limits to virus threats as they once used to be.

Bob also talked about passwords (how to make them super secure).

From surfing smart to protecting our PC’s from viruses and protecting our teens from online predators, Bob covered a gamut of online safety topics today.

And given he only had 45 minutes to squeeze in all of this content, I’ll have to hand it to him (even with my spousal bias), that he did a great job!  Good presentation, power packed, informative, and hip and upbeat.

The students dug it, we teachers loved it- and we all learned a lot.

Good job, Bob! Come back again?

About Demetria Zinga

Demetria is a homeschooling mom and mompreneur who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband, two daughters, and a dog. She currently runs two podcasts for homeschool moms and moms in business, writes songs, and spends lots of time at coffee shops. Her goal is to be an encourager and motivator of women, helping them to find success and joy in homeschooling, business, and motherhood.

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