21 Things - Basics

Q6 Safe & Secure

1. Basics


This Quest is about being wise about the username and passwords you select. There are a lot of tips on selecting smart ones. Start with Part 1, learning about the AUP, then Part 2 to see how good your judgment is, and finally Part 3 for tips about passwords and usernames.

I Can Statements

  • list three key points from my school's AUP
  • create a strong username and password
  • know tips on how to keep a mobile device safe and secure
  • collaborate constructively with others

Key Vocabulary

Username: The username is a name that uniquely identifies someone on a computer system.

AUP: Acceptable Use Policy is a document that outlines a set of rules to be followed by users on a network or website.

Part 1: AUP

AUP stands for Acceptable Use Policy and is frequently part of a district's student handbook. It may be part of an Internet Use Agreement that your district will expect all students or parents/guardians to sign.

It is a contract that explains the rules for using digital technologies - such as cell phones, computers, and the Internet - in the school or educational environment. The AUP can set expectations and consequences for equipment and Internet use behaviors, such as cyber-bullying. This is one way educators try to help keep students safe in the digital world at school.

What does your AUP tell you? Read through the AUP for your school district and then be prepared to summarize at least three key points that should be important for all students to remember.

Part 1: AUP


a. Locate your district's AUP and discover what it is and the consequences for not following it. 

b. Summarize your district's AUP by identifying at least three key points that are important for all students to remember when accessing the district's computer network and equipment. 

c. Go on to Part 2

Part 2: Judgment call

Part 2: Judgment call

This is a judgment challenge. Check with your teacher and discuss the following with your class and/or group of friends:

a. Your best friend asks for your password to log into your social network site for just a minute so they can check something they heard about. What would you say?

b. Would you create (or have you already created ) a username that is or sounds inappropriate or one that tries to get attention from others?

c. Have you seen someone do something that seems stupid to you and you immediately send a text message to others about it?

Part 3: Passwords and Usernames


1. Begin this section by watching the animated video above and then one from NetSmartz.org called Broken Friendship. It is about a teen who gave her best friend's password to some friends and what happened afterwards.

2. Keep your passwords and usernames private and safe! It is very important that you keep your passwords safe and protected as you learned in the video, "Broken Friendships". We know that you will be creating many accounts when you are participating in the 21 Things 4 Students projects.

3. Check out this Password Rap from NetSmartz.

4. CAUTION: It is a good practice not to use your birthdate, Social Security number, address, phone number, pet names, or names of friends or family in your password. A good password has eight or more characters with a combination of UPPER and lower case letters, numbers, and punctuation symbols.

5. Best Passwords: Visit the 5 Steps to a Good Password on the About.com Guide to the Internet for Beginners site. Paul Gil shares tips to deter hacking. Compare those steps with these 10 Tips for Teens for a strong password.

For now, think about this:

6. Creating Passwords: Are the passwords you're using now as strong and secure as they could be? Create examples of four simple passwords you feel are good choices and then change them by using upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Have your teacher check your four choices, OR you can check them at this website. You can keep your final choice a secret.

7. Finding a username: With over 2.7 billion people using the Internet, you will find that the username you want to use to create an account may already be taken. You will need to be creative and create a username that you will remember and be unique to you. You can check to see if your username is still available on certain sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Photobucket, Hulu, Bebo, and others, by using the website namechk. Type your desired username in the space provided and click the search tool. Wait a few moments, and it will highlight all the different sites where it is available to use. This site searches a number of popular social networking and Web 2.0 sites.

8. Check with your teacher on how he/she wants you to share and use your chosen username. Does this username have any personal significance? If so, tell why you chose it to make sure it won't give away your real identity.

Part 4: Mobile Safety and Security

Watch this video about safety with a mobile device (tablet, iPad...) or phone and then discuss with a partner or in class.

  • Is it safe to put your device on a Free wifi site?
  • Has anything strange shown up on your mobile or cell phone device? Did you suspect a virus?
  • What type of personal information (names, addresses, photos, videos, etc.) is stored on your mobile or cell phone device? If someone got it what might be a result?
  • With a partner or class, make a list of 8-10 tips to keep your mobile device safe.


Completing this Quest

By completing this assignment you are certifying that you:
a. have read the pages of the Acceptable Use Policy, student handbook, or Internet Use Policy that outlines the Acceptable Use Code for accessing school equipment, the Internet, and networks and that you agree to abide by the rules

b. understand the dangers of sharing your password and have created a safe and secure password and username

c. understand dangers for safety and security with mobile devices and have some great safety tips

Suggested rubric for parts 1-3 (.doc file or Google Docs)

Additional Resources 

Check with your Media Center, Librarian, Technology Coordinator, Principal, and/or school web site for the AUP.

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

Proceed to Quest 7 Email

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

3. Knowledge Constructor
a. Plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits
c. Curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.

7. Global Collaborators
c. Contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.