Finding and Using Safe Internet Content

Finding and Using Safe Internet Content

In this day and era it is really easy to write some information- whether true or false. If writing is easy, sharing is far much easier than learning the English alphabet all over again. Sharing information with a mass audience is a matter of just clicking a button and the content will travel across the world and back in a few seconds. How would life be without the internet? In as much as the internet has brought with it numerous blessings, there is at least one problem that many people have to face- is the information you are getting online credible? The advent of internet technology has brought with it the need to sharpen our ability to identify credible online content and differentiate it from the outright questionable information.

False Content Supply

False content is definitely in no short supply on the worldwide web- that is a guaranteed. People are always looking for ways to boost their popularity and benefit from the internet and selling out false or biased information is one of the easier ways. For instance, how many companies have purported to have discovered the perfect weight loss product? The answer is countless’, but how many of these products actually work, very few to none of them. The companies make their money while the customers are left nursing wounds of betrayal and in some cases severe side effects. This is just one of the mild forms of internet sabotage.

However, there are other processes that are rather obvious for instance a hacker fooling you to click on something that will infect your computer with viruses and other malicious software. This is a really frequent occurrence nowadays.

Luckily, amongst the heaps of information that is available on the internet you will find lots of credible and safe content. Having the skill to figure out which content is safe and the unsafe content is very good. This skill is built from two basic foundations:

  • Information literacy
  • information security

Information literacy

Information literacy has been defined as a set of skills that is required when searching for information. It involves the whole process of finding, retrieving, analyzing and putting the information you get into proper use. It is an integral part of a broader group of digital literacy skills. Since many students turn to the internet when researching their schoolwork, this skill is very important.

Here is a scenario: you have a chemistry assignment on calculation of say something like moles, you have ran a Google search and have found millions of results. How will you know that the particular website or blog that you have selected is reliable? According to the Center on Media and Child Health, here are some of the questions that you should ask:

  • Who created the content on the site? Does the person have any qualifications to be addressing that particular topic?
  • Why was the website created in the first place? Who owns and funds or advertises on the site? An academic website will have academic adverts, not about fashion and latest music.
  • Is the content delivered on the site fair- is it justifiable and balanced with no taint of bias?
  • The information delivered on the website, does it apply to current matters or has become outdated?
  • How accurate is the content? Has it been reviewed by experts and is it based on evidence or personal opinions? To know the extent of accuracy of content, you are encouraged to cross check with several other websites.
  • Is the information verifiable? Again, if you go to another credible website or a textbook, can you verify this information to be true?
  • Is the content relevant to the question at hand?

These are just some of the things you should ask to find out whether the site reliable. Continually guiding your child on how to determine valuable information will help him/her to find the appropriate content for their research reports and other matters. For more on this, make a point of checking out

Information security

All internet users, not only students, should beware of the likes of scams, spam and malicious links. These are usually packed with misleading information and can be completely dangerous. Cybercriminals know no boundaries and will use everything from search engines to social networks and ads to trick you into downloading or simply click on some link. Once you have done this, a piece of spy software is installed on your computer. This will be used to steal personal information and files plus also hijack your computer in such a way that it is used to commit grievous crimes. This might sound like something off a movie script but it does happen in real life. Here are some of the ways you can teach your kids to stay safe while online:

  • Always download content from well known websites- be it movies, music or games. If you are not sure whether a site is safe just do not visit it.
  • Avoid sharing personal information on the internet such as home address and phone contacts. Employ privacy setting if they are available.
  • Trust your instincts and do not fall for the innumerable scams that are online. If you see an advert that is ridiculously good, simply ignore it. Email and messages from people that you do not know, do not reply, report as spam and delete it.
  • Do not be too open with personal information. Your name and birth date are enough information- leave the phone numbers and contact addresses when they are not asked for and especially so if you are dealing with a website you do not know much about. A secure website will have logos at the bottom showing that it has been verified by some outside party.
  • Ensure that you have updated security software on whichever device you are using to access the internet. Such software will prevent you from accessing certain websites which are fraudulent in nature.

Visit this link to get more information on internet safety (

About the credible content

Just because content is credible and safe, you should not simply take advantage of it. Dodging questionable web content is one thing, using credible web content inappropriately is another issue. This is how students are fond of using information inappropriately- you simply copy the content and claim it to be yours. When writing a research paper, ensure that you are always giving credit to the source of the information your write. When you copy other people content and claim it to be yours then that is termed as plagiarism which is a grave offense. In academic circles, plagiarism is not tolerated at all and you can fail several classes for presenting plagiarized work.