Authentication 101 – tip sheet

Did you know that almost a quarter of adults have shared a false news story, and that we’re least likely to fact-check news and other things that come to us through people we know and trust on social networks (even though for many people these are their most common sources of news)?  

Authentication and citizenship

Being well-informed – and being careful to only share good information – are essential parts of being an active citizen in a democracy. It’s important to think before you share political information with family and friends – especially during an election.

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Break the Fake Tip #1: Use fact-checking tools

Sometimes a single search can Break the Fake if a professional fact-checker has already done the work for you.

 

Break the Fake Tip #2: Find the source

Because it’s so easy to copy and share things online, it’s important to find out where something originally came from before you decide whether or not to trust it. Someone might have shared it with you on social media, or a news story might be based on someone else’s story.

Break the Fake Tip #3: Verify the source

Whether you’re looking at a website, photo, video or news story, what really matters is whether or not the people who originally created it are trustworthy. Even when it has been shared with you by someone you trust, like a friend or family member, you can’t know if they checked the facts. So it’s up to you!

 

Break the Fake Tip #4: Check other sources

This step may sometimes be the last one you do, but it could also be the first. The News tab is better than the main Google search for this step because it only shows real news sources. While not every source that’s included is perfectly reliable, they are all news outlets that really exist.

CyberSense and Nonsense: The Second Adventure of The Three CyberPigs

The three CyberPigs learn some important lessons about authenticating online information and observing rules of netiquette. They also learn how to distinguish between fact and opinion and how to recognize bias and harmful stereotyping in online content. 

DigitalSmarts

Digital literacy is a vital tool for education, employment and economic participation, civic engagement, and even health and wellness. It reinforces existing inequalities based on socioeconomic status, ethnicity, education, immigration status and gender. Given the importance of digital literacy skills to under-represented populations, MediaSmarts and YWCA Canada have partnered to develop and deliver DigitalSmarts, a digital literacy skills program.

e-Parenting Tutorial: Keeping up with your kids' online activities

In e-Parenting Tutorial: Keeping up with your kids’ online activities, Alice, a witty and cyber-savvy mom, takes parents on a tour of the many different Web environments and activities that are popular with children and youth. 

Getting the goods ethically

One of the most common ethical decisions kids face online relates to how they access and use content like music, games and videos. We can help kids make better choices by teaching them about the issue: in one study, one-quarter of young people said that they would stop accessing content illegally if it was more clear what was legal and what wasn’t.

Getting the Goods on Science and Health – Tip Sheet

Here are three tips to help you find good information about health and science topics.

  1. Check credentials

If the source is a person, start by checking that they really exist and that they are a genuine expert on that topic. Both doctors and scientists are usually specialists, so make sure that the source has credentials in the right field. A surgeon won’t necessarily be an expert in physics, for instance, and vice versa.

Getting the Goods: Finding and Evaluating Science and Health Information

Two of the most important kinds of information we look for online are about health and science. Because most of us aren’t experts on these topics, we rely on people and organizations who are experts for good information. MediaSmarts has developed new resources to help youth and adults find and recognize good information on science and health online.

Helping kids authenticate information online

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

How to tell fact from fake online: A Reality Check Guide

It’s more important than ever to double-check info that you see online—for your own sake and for other people’s. The How to tell fact from fake online guide offers fact-checking tips that will take you a minute or less to do. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can fact-check things once you get the hang of it!

News you can use

Online news is one of the hardest things to verify. Sometimes early reports that turn out not to be true still circulate on the Internet, and people may spread false reports for commercial or malicious reasons, or even just for “fun.”

On The Loose: A Guide to Life Online For Post-Secondary Students

On the Loose: A Guide to Online Life for Post-Secondary Students supports young adults who are experiencing both new freedoms and challenges in their post- secondary life.

Parenting the Digital Generation

The Parenting the Digital Generation workshop looks at the various activities kids love to do online and offers tips and strategies for everything from Facebook privacy settings, online shopping, cyberbullying, to protecting your computer from viruses.

Promoting Ethical Online Behaviours with Your Kids

Most kids live as much of their lives online as they do offline. But on the Internet there are lots of moral and ethical choices that don’t have to be made offline. These tips lay out ways you can help your children develop a moral compass to guide them through those choices.

Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World

The Raising Ethical Kids For a Networked World tutorial examines some of the moral dilemmas that kids face in their online activities and shares some strategies to help them build the social and emotional intelligence that’s needed to support ethical decision making – and build resiliency if things go wrong.

Reality Check: The Game

On the internet, it can be hard to tell what’s true and what’s false—but we have to make a lot of decisions based on how reliable we think things are. In Reality Check, you’ll learn how to find clues like finding where a story originally came from and comparing it to other sources, as well as how to use tools like fact-checking sites and reverse image searches.

Teaching Your children safe surfing habits

Kids love going online for learning, socializing and having fun, but there are many things in cyberspace that they may not be ready for. The following tips will help keep your kids from running into trouble online.

We are all broadcasters

Here are three tips to make sure you share good information and stop the spread of hoaxes, rumours and scams.

1. Watch for your own bias

One of the hardest things about being a responsible sharer is to be aware of the reasons why you might be more likely to believe something without evidence. Before you share a story, take a few minutes to see whether you’ve fallen into one of these common biases: