Students learn how to protect their online image

Lesson: cyberworld activity can follow real world
Posted at 5:22 PM, May 23, 2017

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) - When you're online, cyberspace knows.   


Using services? Buying products? Tracking your identity begins with the obvious: your name.


“You should make it a regular habit to Google your own name,” says Keegan Korf, a media expert. “Your first and last name to see what information pops up about you on the internet.”


Normally, your social media profiles pop up on any search browser.


“I'm very honest about my social media use when I was their age and how it evolved and there was so much we had to learn along the way,” Korf says.


But students with the Transition Program at Omaha Public Schools don't have to learn the hard way, if Korf can help it.


She’s the Lead Teacher of Digital Citizenship at the district, which is in partnership with Common Sense Media.


The Transition Program offers a Digital Citizenship Certificate covering topics like online safety and target advertising.


The program aims to prepare students from high school into adulthood, ages 18-21. 


For the moment, the lesson is focused on digital footprints – a breadcrumbs trail of everything you do online.


Only young adults, these students already understand whatever they do on social leaves prints: good and bad.


“One mistake, it's all over so I believe it's powerful,” says Travonte Johnson, a student.


If you do something that's harmless and not so threatening, [then] I believe you can use social media in a safe way, he says.


To safeguard their footprints, students learn how to curate the kind of things they want others to see and determines who gets to view them.


A couple of things to think about, Korf says, is what’s acceptable for posting and privacy settings.


What’s in a name in the cyber world matters, she says, when it trickles into the real world.