Q3 Safe

8. Troubleshooting


In this Quest, you will be learning about Malware and Spyware, and then doing some investigating at home on your family computing device by checking on the type of virus protection installed and sharing your knowledge with your family or guardians.

I Can Statement

  • run anti-virus software
  • understand what malware is and have some techniques to avoid it

Key Vocabulary

Adware: Software that displays ads on your computer, collects marketing data about you (what you like, sites you use), and can redirect your search results.

Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is software used to detect and eliminate computer viruses and other types of malware.

Malware: Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.

Spyware: Spyware is software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge.

Play the Vocabulary Game below to practice Key Vocabulary

You can change the Quiz mode to Match, Test, Learn, Flash Cards, Spell using the selection list at the bottom right of the activity that says "Choose a Study Mode." Direct Link


1. Watch the movie at the top of this page.

Individuals or companies can monitor what you are doing on your computer by installing spyware. Some ways that you can tell your computer might be infected  include sudden changes in the behavior of the computer. Be sure your operating system is up to date.

2. Tonight: If you have a computer at home, check to see if it has an up-to-date active antivirus software installed. If you don't have a computer at home, check with a relative or friend. DO NOT attempt to install one.

Do some research and learn about some popular antivirus software products for purchase, then research some free ones:

PC Magazine 2020 Best Security Suites both for a PC Windows computer

MacWorld 2020 Best AntiVirus for the Mac. 

Free is Good: There are many very good programs, the important thing is to make sure one is being used, and it has been kept up-to-date. When you open the antivirus program you should receive a report that tells if it is up to date. Is the computer protected? If not, you can help them out and make a recommendation to the owner based on the research you are doing about the best anti-virus programs and prices. Remember please DO not accept or install or purchase one, this is a decision to be left up to the owner of the computer, you are doing research to help inform them.

Free Antivirus Protection for 2020 from PC Magazine

Kaspersky Security Cloud - Free

3. What is a hacker and what do they do?

Check out the answer at "How Stuff Works"

  • Hacking has been in the news for the number of big data breaches, from Facebook to Credit agencies and even the U.S. Government database. Large social media companies such as Facebook have become popular targets.
  • Ransomware: In the last year there have been a number of attacks where attackers use malware that locks down computer files in companies and hospitals, and then they demand a ransom to provide the password to get access again.
  • AI (Artificial intelligence) technologies are being used to spot unusual hacking activities, but the hackers are using it back.
  • Spear phishing uses a digital message such as an advertisement asking you to 'Click to WIN' or for 'FREE access to movies and music.' that tricks you into installing a virus.
  • Cyber attacks on utilities, electrical grids, transportation systems (such as happened to Uber) are a continuing threat to every day life.
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are being stolen through online mining schemes. Read up on kidsnews, What is Cryptocurrency and how does it work.

*Make a list of some things you and your family can do to be safe in this electronic age (remember the suggestions in the video).

4. When your list is done, share it with the rest of your class and create one big list that your class can post and share with your friends and family.

*Check with your teacher about when to play this, as homework or in class.

TIME: This game takes about 75 minutes to complete.

GAME: The Cybersecurity Lab by PBS Learning Media

ABOUT: The Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to...

  1. keep their digital lives safe.
  2. spot cyber scams.
  3. learn the basics of coding.
  4. defend against cyber attacks.

ROLES: Players assume the role of the chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

PLAY: In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers.

REAL-WORLD SECURITY: The Lab features stories of real-world cyber attacks, a glossary of cyber terms, and short animated videos that explain the need for cybersecurity, privacy versus security, cryptography (cyber codes), and what exactly hackers are.

COMPONENTS: There are four major gameplay components of the Lab:

  1. Coding Challenge: An introduction to very basic coding skills. Players program a robot to navigate a maze, using drag-and-drop commands. 
  2. Password-Cracking Challenge: A series of “password duels” teach players the basics of how attackers might try to crack their passwords and how they can make better, more secure passwords.
  3. Social Engineering Challenge: Players are presented with two apparently similar emails or websites. They must first identify the differences between them and then decide which one is a scam attempting to steal their information or money. This challenge also includes a number of audio recordings and transcripts of phone calls; players have to decide if they should trust the caller or not. 
  4. Network Attacks: As their companies grow, players must buy defenses to defend themselves against a series of cyber attacks. The better that players do in the three challenges, the more resources they’ll have to buy defenses.

LOGIN REQUIREMENTS: You will need to have or create a login. You will need an account from Facebook, Google, PBS (free), or use the Guest Pass (no progress is saved).


Watch the Introduction Video

BEGIN: Cybersecurity Lab Game


Completing this Quest

When you are done with your class list, share it with others, and save a copy for your digital portfolio.

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

I am ready for the final Quest 4, Trouble!

These instructions come from Apple about disinfecting an iPad, however these directions are helpful for other devices as well and a link is provided at the bottom for the Microsoft Surface Tablet.

How to Disinfect an iPad 

Please take the following steps to properly disinfect your iPad, or other device, to help avoid spreading/contracting COVID-19 or other contagions (remember to wash your hands before and after disinfecting your device): 

1.    Power down your device. 

2.    Unplug all external power cords and cables. 

3.    Use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your device, such as the display, hard protective case, or other exterior surfaces. If you have concerns about the cleaning product being used, please refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations and warning label.

4.    Avoid getting moisture into any opening/port. 

5.    Let the device dry and then power on your device for use. 

Do Not... 

  • get moisture into any openings. 
  • submerge your device in water or any cleaning agents. 
  • use bleach, aerosol sprays, or abrasives. 
  • spray cleaners directly onto the device. 
  • use fabric or leather surfaces on items, as this can scratch or damage to the items

For more information about cleaning your device, please visit Apple’s website 


Microsoft Surface Tablet directions

MITECS Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

1. Empowered Learner
a. Articulate and set personal learning goals, developing strategies leveraging technology to achieve them, and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes
c. Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways
d. Understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies, are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies

3. Knowledge Constructor
d. Build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions

5. Computational Thinker
c. Break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving
d. Understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions