Living in a digital world can certainly make life super convenient– like the ability to easily keep up with distant friends and relatives– but it also makes it super easy for other people to know your stuff. Even stuff you don’t want them to know about. So can we protect our privacy online?

With recent reports of high profile data breaches, ransomware attacks and the prevalence of online trackers– it’s hard to know how best to protect your privacy online. In this video we met up with the cybersecurity experts at Electronic Frontier Foundation to learn more about who’s snooping on us online and what we can do to protect ourselves. To help you decide how to protect the things you really want to keep private from people you are most concerned about, they recommend something called “Threat Modelling” which consists of 5 questions you should ask yourself:

  1. What do I want to protect?
  2. Who do I want to protect it from?
  3. How likely is it that you will need to protect it?
  4. How bad are the consequences if you fail?
  5. How much trouble are you willing to go through in order to avoid those consequences?

From online data trackers to surveillance at school to open wifi networks, this video dives into a some threats you could potentially face online and how you could protect yourself against those threats.

For an in-depth backgrounder on technology and privacy (with lesson plan), check out this article from KQED’s The Lowdown:

Profiled: A Brief History of Identification (Interactive Timeline and Lesson Plan)

Smile! ‘Cause we can all see you. Once the stuff of science fiction, facial recognition technology is increasingly creeping into our everyday lives. Facebook and Google use it for auto-tagging photos. Snapchat uses it to create silly filters. And Apple’s new iPhone X lets users actually unlock their phones with their faces.


Why Online Privacy Matters and How to Protect Yours (TED)
Surveillance Self Defense (EFF)
Privacy Badger (EFF)

Privacy Tools: How to Block Online Trackers 

Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability (FTC) 

Spying on Students: School Issued Devices and Student Privacy (EFF)

Essential Student Privacy and Safety Questions (Common Sense Media)

Best VPN Service of 2017 (PC Mag)
Harvard Rescinds Admission of 10 Students over Obscene Facebook Messages (NPR)
70% of Employers are Snooping Candidates’ Social Media Profiles (CareerBuilder)
Amazon is Making it Easier for Companies to Track You (The Atlantic)
You Probably Don’t Know all the Ways Facebook Tracks You (Gizmodo)
Legal Loopholes Could Allow Wider NSA Surveillance, Researchers Say (CBS News)

How Can You Protect Your Privacy Online? 28 February,2018Lauren Farrar


Lauren Farrar

Lauren has a background in biology, education, and filmmaking. She has had the privilege to work on a diverse array of educational endeavors and is currently a producer for KQED Learning's YouTube series Above the Noise. Lauren's career has taken her to the deepest parts of the ocean to film deep sea hydrothermal vents for classroom webcasts, into the pool to film synchronized swimmers to teach about the pH scale, and on roller coasters to create a video about activation energy. And, she’s done it all for the sake of education. Lauren loves communicating science! Follow her on twitter @LFarrarAtWork

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