Betty teaches you the importance of keeping your OFFLINE identity separate from your ONLINE identity


Cyber Defender & Clubhouse Supervisor

Betty learned the hard way about sharing too much information online when rumors she had spread through her online blog upset some of her friends. Since then she has made it her goal to educate everyone about what information is inappropriate or unsafe to share online to prevent others from getting hurt.

As a Cyber Defender, Betty focuses on the most important information you should never share online, your offline identity.

Favorite Quote:

A stumble may prevent a fall
- English Proverb

Favorite Food:

Tea and crumpets


Chatting, macrame, collecting teacups

December 14, 2010

Personal Information: No More Anonymous Gaming?

Back in July, a hugely popular massive multiplayer online role playing game announced that their players would all have their real names featured on their forums instead of their character names. The game makers said that this would make the community stronger because, without anonymity, there would be better conversations and fewer forum trolls. Others said that this would lead to out-of-game harassment, particularly for female and minority gamers.

To try to alleviate these concerns, one of the game designers published his name on the forums first. Within hours, the game community found the person’s phone number, address, and social networking account. Talk about dangerous information!

While I can appreciate trying to make a better gaming community, it shouldn’t be at the cost of online privacy!

posted by Betty
topics: Personal Information

November 15, 2010

Personal Information: The Upside of Record Leaks

We know that losing control of your personal information is a terrible thing…but can there be a positive side to it? Well, many record companies and recording artists believe so. Although we know that illegally downloading music is wrong, there are those that believe it actually helps boost music sales.

For example, several of the top selling albums were leaked online a week early. The theory is that letting the fans hear the music before the record comes out actually makes them more likely to buy the CD or pay for the downloaded album. Of course, that entirely depends on whether or not the listener enjoys what they’ve downloaded.

My dear cadets, in no way do I suggest stealing music from the Internet. Stealing is wrong. Still, I wouldn’t feel right providing you with only one side of the argument. Doing the right thing is, as it always has been, entirely up to you!

posted by Betty
topics: Personal Information

October 15, 2010

Netiquette - The Basics

Hello, cadets! Online communication can be tricky. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what the other person means without being able to see them or hear them. With that in mind, here are some basic netiquette tips to help make your online experience safe and fun!

  • Be Nice – it seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re nice to someone, they have no reason not to be nice right back!
  • Be Clear – since it’s so easy to misunderstand someone without seeing or hearing them, be sure to keep your meaning clear. A lot of fights could be avoided if people tried hard not to be vague.
  • Be the Better Person – if someone is being mean to you, don’t be mean right back or you could find yourself in a Flame War. It takes the better person to just walk away from an argument.
  • Be Careful – if someone is really bothering you online, tell a trusted adult about your experience. This way, you can enjoy the Internet without worrying about being bothered in the future.

And there you have it! Follow those rules and your online communications will be fun and, more importantly, safe!

posted by Betty
topics: Netiquette

September 16, 2010

Personal Information: Genealogy Scams

All this time travel has got me thinking about my ancestors. Who were they? What were their lives like? Did they collect teacups, too?

I went online to see what information I could find about my genealogy and do you know what I found? SCAMS! My dear cadets, if you’re curious about your ancestors, be careful where you look. Make sure the service you’re using online is legitimate because many sites just want your personal information. Many good ancestry sites will allow you to do free searches before you register. This way you can see if the website is worth your time and the risk!

As with all websites, be sure to ask a trusted adult before entering any information on the Internet. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a good site.

  • Contact info – Make sure the company running the website has a physical address, not just an email address.
  • Check the results – Enter an obviously fake name into the search bar and see if results come up. Chances are, if the site claims to have records for someone named Captain Reginald B. or some other fake name, it’s not a legitimate.
  • Free sites – If a website claims to be free but makes you sign up for silly “rewards” before getting your result, it’s almost always a scam.

posted by Betty
topics: Personal Information

August 17, 2010

Netiquette - Phone Etiquette

My dear cadets, being back in 1986 has got me thinking – we spend so much time communicating online that maybe, just maybe, we have been neglecting our phone etiquette. Technology may be a great unifier, but I’m starting to think overusing it might let us forget that what it’s like to deal one-on-one with real people! Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when you’re talking to someone over the phone.

  • If the person you’re speaking to is at work, keep the conversation short and courteous.
  • If you dial the wrong number, apologize before hanging up.
  • Try not to call a business or person at a time that’s inconvenient, such as near closing time or during hours when the person might be eating.
  • Answer your phone with a simple “Hello” and certainly not “What” or “Talk to me.”
  • When creating the message people hear before leaving you a voicemail, just leave it simple. No one wants to listen through three minutes of a terrible-sounding song just to leave you a message!
  • Above all else, just be nice! Speak clearly and calmly and do your best not to lose your temper

If you follow these simple tips you will have much more pleasant experiences on the phone. Remember, cadets, it always pays to be courteous!

posted by Betty
topics: Netiquette

July 15, 2010

Safe Online Communication: Bulletin Board Systems

Before blogging and before forums, computer users talked to each other through something called a “Bulletin Board System” or “BBS”. This system let users log in to a central hub of information to share programs or post messages to each other. In many ways, it was a lot like an early version of the Web. It was very popular from the 1970’s to the mid 1990’s, though once the Internet went public it lost most of its popularity.

Though BBS malware was rare, it did happen! Just like in 2010, cyber criminals would try their best to destroy Bulletin Board Systems and ruin everyone’s good times. Unfortunately, some things never change. If it weren’t for cyber villains like the BBS hackers of the past, the Carnegie Cyber Academy might not have ever been founded!

posted by Betty
topics: Safe Online Communication

June 16, 2010

Personal Information: Public Tweets

Hey cadets! Do you use Twitter? Well, if your “tweets” are public, the U.S. Government is logging them all in a database! That’s right, the Library of Congress now has a record of every time you wrote “I’m having a really awesome meatball sandwich” or “My socks are bunched between my toes and it’s driving me nuts!” or anything else you’ve ever tweeted about.

The Library of Congress says that they’re keeping track of the tweets because they are a great research tool. They hope that future researchers can use this Twitter database. I know that it really will be a terrific research tool for future generations but…I don’t know. I don’t think I’m comfortable with my tweets being kept in some database forever! Though I suppose if I really wanted to keep something private, I wouldn’t tweet about it publically in the first place. What do you think about all this?

posted by Betty
topics: Personal Information