Employee eNews

April/May 2019

Privacy & Internet Safety - Digital Citizenship Focus for May

“To help kids maximize the Internet's benefits -- while minimizing the risks -- we offer the latest research, tips, and tools on what really keeps kids safe. Which privacy settings should you use? What are the ins and outs of parental controls? Get tips on everything from the basics, such as smart usernames, to the big stuff, such as appropriate sharing.”


Here is one of the many informative videos on this topic from Common Sense Media:

6 Ways Your Kids Can Protect Their Online Identities


Additional Resource from notMYkid.org on topics of signs of negative online behavior, child identity threat, sexting, cyberbullying, and family technology agreements. Effective Identification of Negative Online Behavior and Strategies for Creating a Family Prevention Plan https://www.notmykid.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Internet-Safety-Packet2015-16.pdf

Privacy & Internet Safety - Digital Citizenship Focus for May

“Identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number or other personal information to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund.” According to the Federal Trade Commission, there was a 20 percent increase in 2017 in the number of consumers who reported that their stolen data was used for credit card fraud on their existing accounts and is a great resource for protecting our identities online. They recommend making these tips part of your daily routine.

  • Read your credit card and bank statements carefully and often.
  • Know your payment due dates. If a bill doesn't show up when you expect it, look into it.
  • Read the statements from your health insurance plan. Make sure the claims paid match the care you got.
  • Shred any documents with personal and financial information.
  • Review each of your three credit reports at least once a year. Visit annualcreditreport.com to get your free reports.

“Identity Theft.” Consumer Information, 19 Feb. 2019,


March/April 2019

Digital Footprint and Reputation - Digital Citizenship Focus for April

Help Kids Post, Comment, and Upload Responsibly - from Common Sense Media

“As soon as you share the first photo of your kid, you're establishing their digital footprint. As kids get older and start creating their own content or engaging with others online, it's important for them to understand the tracks they're leaving behind and what those tracks might reveal. Parents can help guide kids toward creating the kind of footprint they can be proud of.”

“Family Tips for Grades K-5”

  1. Be a role model.
  2. Use privacy settings.
  3. Question everything.
  4. Use a celebrity as an example.

For explanations and examples of these tips, visit: https://www.commonsense.org/education/family-tips/k-5-digital-footprint-and-identity

“As tweens and teens start sharing content and engaging with others online, it's important for them to understand the tracks they're leaving behind and what those tracks might reveal. Parents can help guide kids toward creating the kind of footprint they can be proud of.”

“Family Tips for Grades 6-12”

  1. Be a role model.
  2. Use privacy settings.
  3. Look to the stars.
  4. Search yourself.

For explanations and examples of these tips, visit:


Digital Footprint and Reputation - Digital Citizenship Focus for April

Your digital footprint is your online identity and tells alot about you when someone searches your name. “Your online identity can influence different aspects of your life. For example, employers, schools, colleges, and law enforcement officials could use your digital footprint as a basis for character assessment.” says Symantec Corporation. Symantec describes what an active or passive digital footprint is and how to improve them. One suggestion for your active digital footprint is to make deliberate choices on the internet e.g. social media posts.

Here are three examples of passive digital footprints.

  1. Websites that install cookies in your device without disclosing it to you
  2. Apps and websites that use geolocation to pinpoint your location
  3. Social media news channels and advertisers that use your likes, shares, and comments to profile you and to serve up advertisements based on your interests

You may find further information on how to protect your digital footprint from Symantec here.

February/March 2019

Digital Citizenship Focus - Information and Media Literacy

Information is available all the time and in many formats. How can we create and consume information effectively and truthfully? How can we improve media literacy skills for our children and students?

“Think of it this way: Students learn print literacy -- how to read and write. But they should also learn multimedia literacy -- how to "read and write" media messages in different forms, whether it's a photo, video, website, app, videogame, or anything else. The most powerful way for students to put these skills into practice is through both critiquing media they consume and analyzing media they create.”

Here are 5 questions to help students acquire this crucial skill:

  1. Who created this message?
  2. Which techniques are used to attract my attention?
  3. How might different people interpret this message?
  4. Which lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented -- or missing?
  5. Why is this message being sent?

Read the entire blog post:

“5 Questions Students Should Ask About Media” by Kelly Mendoza https://www.commonsense.org/education/blog/5-questions-students-should-ask-about-media

Digital Citizenship Focus - Information and Media Literacy

What is Media Literacy and why does it matter?

In this ever-changing digital age, we need to be media literate in order to understand and communicate effectively. Although this sounds like a practical skill that should be understood by everyone on the internet it may not be.

“According to the National Association for Media Literacy Education, media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication. Media literacy means anything from interpreting emojis to understanding underlying messages in online advertisements to producing viral video content and recognizing native advertising. Media literacy is all about finding the untold story beneath film clips, radio spots, and newspaper articles. Even corporate sponsored content has hidden messages that challenge us to think beyond what we hear and see.”

For this article in its entirety please visit this site.

10, et al. “What Is Media Literacy and Why Does It Matter?” The Edvocate, 23 Sept. 2018, www.theedadvocate.org/media-literacy-matter/.

January/February 2019

How To Avoid Scams When Shopping Online This Holiday Season

“Cyberattacks are on pace to jump by nearly 60% this holiday season, compared to other months throughout the year,” according to a new report published by Carbon Black, a cybersecurity provider based in Waltham, Mass.

When analyzing last year’s data, the firm concluded that there was a spike in cybersecurity alerts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and these levels remained elevated throughout the remainder of the year. Interestingly, the highest spike during last year’s holiday season occurred in the days following Christmas Day, when shoppers were looking to take advantage of post-holiday shopping deals.

While the majority of these cyberattacks were the result of commodity malware, which is often delivered through spear-phishing campaigns, there’s also the lingering risk of attacks that target major retailers, often through supply chain partners.”

Below are a few tips to help guide you this holiday season and beyond:

  • Evaluate your email’s basic hygiene
  • Think twice before opening any attachments
  • Shop with websites that are well known and trusted
  • Avoid using Public WiFi
  • Use credit cards instead of your debit card
  • Keep your electronic devices up to date
  • Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC

Morad, Renee. “How To Avoid Scams When Shopping Online This Holiday Season.” How To Avoid Scams When Shopping Online This Holiday Season, 26 Nov. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2018/11/26/how-to-avoid-scams-when-shopping-online-this-holiday-season/#3a7b4fc011a3.

November 2018

Own Your Online Presence

“As our digital lives become more connected, it is increasingly important that we all protect our personal information and manage our privacy and our Self-Identities. STOP. THINK. CONNECT.™’s Own Your Online Presence campaign encourages digital citizens to better understand how to manage their digital lives with simple, actionable steps.”

  1. Protect your personal information e.g. Social Security Number or identifying information.
  2. Be aware e.g. Make sure you know who is getting your personal information.
  3. Share with care e.g. Share only what you don’t mind can be reshared, so stop and think before you click.
  4. Apply the Golden Rule e.g. Apply the principle of treating others as one’s self would like to be treated.
  5. Keep a clean machine e.g. Avoid Phishing scams, Lock down your login, be wise about public WiFi, use security software.


October 2018

Cybersecurity should not be limited to the home, office, or classroom. No one is exempt from the threat of cyber crime whether at home or on the go.

Ultimately, our goal is to build a culture of cybersecurity in PVSchools that includes employees knowing how to protect themselves and the District. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month from Stay Safe Online. PVSchools is a champion organization for this campaign. Each week focuses on a different theme addressing specific challenges and identifying opportunities for behavioral change. For tips and resources on how to keep yourself, your family, and devices safe and secure, visit Online Safety Basics from Stay Safe Online.

To help in these efforts, PVSchools will be hosting a group of top Women Cybersecurity Executives, from Executive Women’s Forum. They will be presenting cybersecurity trends, MDM (Mobile Device Management) of devices, passwords, social engineering, and malware on Friday, October 26th in various locations throughout the District. More details will be coming soon.

September 2018

“Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research.

To borrow an expression from the technology industry, harassment is now a “feature” of life online for many Americans. In its milder forms, it creates a layer of negativity that people must sift through as they navigate their daily routines online. At its most severe, it can compromise users’ privacy, force them to choose when and where to participate online, or even pose a threat to their physical safety.” To read this article in it’s entirety click this link Online Harrassment 2017

Pew Research Center, July, 2017, “Online Harassment 2017