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Community

Skill Up on Digital Literacy

February 23, 2022

Knowing how to search for a recipe or posting on social media doesn't make you digitally literate, read more about how to navigate the intersection of technology and literacy

 

We have access to more information than ever before, and it's the easiest it's even been in human history to communicate with someone across the street and across the world. But among all the educational or entertaining content and spaces that allow us to share and create information are misinformation, scams and unkind digital behavior. Keep reading to learn more about facets of digital literacy and how you, your kids and even your grandparents can skill up.
 
Learning From Trustworthy Sources
Growing up we all used old school encyclopedias or online libraries when we needed to research information, but now it's a reflex to head to a search engine or ask our devices questions to learn more about any topic under the sun. We can find videos, blogs and all kinds of resources about obscure animals to makeup tricks, and anyone can contribute to the conversation. Unfortunately this means not everything you find on the internet is true. When you encounter a topic that's emotionally charged or coming from a source you don't recognize, always ask questions about where the information is coming from and if bias is present. Check the facts presented and take late-breaking news where the whole story may not be told with a grain of salt. You can test your skills and learn more from the News Literacy Project.
 
Being a Good Digital Citizen
It's amazing that we can share so much with our friends and family from photos of your family to what you had for dinner. It's important to practice good digital citizenship on social media and anywhere else we can post to be respectful of others and ourselves. This means not engaging in harmful or rude conversations and cyberbullying, being mindful of the types of things we share and who can see them and remembering to take breaks from technology ever so often to unplug. With Panoramic Wifi, you can schedule time to pause your home's Wifi to manage screen time for everyone. Sometimes it's easier to post words than it is to say them to someone face-to-face, but digital words can still hurt. You have a platform, so use it for positivity and sharing information from trusted sources.
 
Protecting Yourself from Phishing and Scams
We've all received suspicious emails promising an unexpected inheritance or demanding personal data, but scams are getting more sophisticated and therefore harder to spot. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into sharing information about your accounts or identity, and it can also be a ploy to install harmful software on your device called malware. Sometimes hackers use email addresses and websites whose links look similar to other companies' but may be missing a letter or swap a "0" for an "o." Remember that most companies don't ask for your personal data over email, and don't click links from suspicious emails and text messages. 
 
Skilling Up No Matter Your Age
Everyone can benefit from becoming more digitally literate, especially kids and seniors. Plenty of free online resources exist, targeted for all ages. Common Sense Media has so many tools for kids to learn more about digital literacy, all organized by age, so you can find information and activities most relevant for your child. The Goodwill Community Foundation is great for all ages, especially senior adults who want to become more proficient at using technology like email and applications.

 

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