Resource Center

Resource Center

🪟 Do you want to make yourself pretty invisible on the internet?

Then check this out:

Normally, you leave behind a lot of data traces when you go online. But there is a trick, a “cloak of invisibility” for the internet. It’s called a VPN which stands for “Virtual Private Network”. With a VPN, you send all your data through a tunnel where nobody else can get in.

To do this, you install a VPN software on your device. This is recommended, for example, when you are using a free, unsecured or public WiFi network. Installing and using a VPN can be complicated and difficult. In some countries it might even be illegal. So, you may want to do some research and compare possible options or ask an adult (parents, teachers or other) to help you and tell you about the legal situation in your country.

Be aware that VPNs do not only have advantages (depending on the type of VPN). For example, some VPN providers may still collect some of your data, or their encryption may not offer a strong protection.

Therefore, it is important to check the privacy and security policy of a VPN provider before you start using it. When you are browsing the internet, you will never be totally invisible or anonymous to others. Make sure to keep this in mind.

Lastly, the internet speed slows down when you use VPNs. This is because the internet connection first goes through the VPN server.

What is the difference between “good” and “bad” bots?

Bots are computer programs that seem to act like real people. They have been programmed by computer specialists to do specific tasks.

Bots can do these tasks much faster than humans. Some “good” bots do tasks that are useful to us as users, such as

  • 🤖 Customer service bots that chat with us to solve a problem quickly and save us long waiting times in a service hotline.

Other bots are problematic because they have been programmed to do harmful or even illegal tasks.

Here are some examples:

  • 🤖 Spam bots that gather email addresses, personal data or other user information to send a lot of spam (unwanted emails and advertisements)
  • 🤖 Social bots are programmed social media profiles that automatically upload images, send messages, or spread a certain opinion in social media – for example, through likes, comments, or shares.
  • 🤖 Social bots can become very problematic if they massively spread false information, harass other social media users, and fuel hate. It can help to block a bot‘s social media profile and report it.

Did you ever have to solve a mathematical problem or select all pictures showing a car when creating a new social media account or when signing up for an online event?

These are common ways to prevent for instance spam bots from gathering your personal data and email address.

Online Cookies? 🍪🍪🍪 Can we eat them? They have nothing to do with real biscuits (unfortunately).

Let´s see what´s the difference between helpful and bad cookies:

You’ve probably heard of cookies… They are little “crumbs” that you leave behind when you surf the internet, so that the websites you have visited can recognize you again. This can be good, for example, if you play a game and can still call up your score the next time.

But it can also be bad, because the websites might want to send you advertising or pass on your data for other purposes.

You can avoid cookies by browsing in private mode 🕵️‍♂️. To find the private mode just right-click on the symbol of your browser (e.g. Google Chrome or Internet explorer) to open the menu, and choose a new in-private window.

Did you know that you can secure your smartphone 📱with a screen lock? Here’s how:

1) Android
⚙️Settings ➡️ Security ➡️ Screen lock and then select the lock method like a PIN

2) iPhone
⚙️Settings ➡️Display and Brightness➡️ Auto Lock and then choose the time (e.g. after 30 seconds)

If you don’t use your laptop 💻 all by yourself, you can set up a guest account for others.

Just follow these simple steps:

If you use a PC that runs Windows, click on the Start symbol in the bottom left-hand corner. Go to ⚙️Settings ➡️ Accounts and then select “Family & other users” or “e-mail and accounts”.

Next, select the option “Add account”, and then select “Add a user without a Microsoft account”. After that, you can enter a username and password for the guest account.

To create a guest account on your MacBook, click on the Apple symbol in the top left-hand corner and select the menu item “Users and groups” in the system settings.

Checklist: How to recognize false information 🤨

Have you ever found something unbelievable on the internet, something that made you think: “That can´t be true? That seems strange to me!”
What do you think – can you always trust information on the internet? If you are not sure, have a look at the following list. If any of the items in the list apply, it might be false information.

✅ Is it a website that looks weird or is not meant seriously?
✅ Have you ever heard of the author of the information?
✅ Do the picture and text match, or does the photo seem strange to you?
✅ Is there a noticeable number of errors in the text, for example in an e-mail?
✅ Is this an old story that is not current at all?
✅ Is the link meant to be clicked on or does it encourage sensations?
✅ Does anything else seem questionable to you?

🛍️ You’ve probably noticed that too: Advertising on the internet can be quite annoying. But you can do something about it …

Good ad blockers help to ensure that certain advertisements are no longer displayed. However, they do not offer 100 per cent security because they cannot filter everything. Some examples for good ad blockers are uBlock Origin or the Google Chrome Ad Blocker.

Additional Resources:

Here you can find further information about bots:

In German (no Cookies):

In English (with Cookies):