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Speaking Notes for Grades 4 to 6 Presentation

Understanding your online footprint: How to protect your personal information on the Internet

SLIDE (1) Title Slide

SLIDE (2) Key Points

The Internet and you

  • We all know it can be really fun to use the Internet and devices that connect to it, such as tablets and smart phones.
  • Today we want to talk about the importance of educating yourself on protecting your personal information while online.
  • In this presentation, you’ll see how giving away too much personal information could end up worrying or embarrassing you later and we’ll provide tips on how to protect yourself to have the best experience possible and are safe at all times.

SLIDE (3) Key Points

Your personal information is important, but what is it and how can people/companies find it online?

  • Personal information can be information about you, such as your name, age, address, e-mail address, phone number, birthday and the school you go to.
  • Personal information can also include pictures and videos of you, and what you write online.
  • You leave digital footprints everywhere you go on the Internet. Online, your footprints are the words you type, the websites you visit and the photos you post. If someone else posts something with your name or photo, that becomes part of your footprint too.

SLIDE (4) Key Points

Why would others want your personal information?

  • Your personal information tells people and companies things about you.
  • Some people, organizations and companies want your personal information to figure out who you are, where you are, what you like, and much more.
  • They might want your personal information for many different reasons, for example, to find out more about you or to try to sell you something.
  • This can be a good thing, such as when a company wants to make a product better. But it can also keep you from seeing certain content (for instance, some ads are only aimed at boys or at girls.)

SLIDE (5) Key Points

Be smart and control your personal information!

  • The good news is that you have control over the personal information that you share. You can limit what others see about you by thinking carefully and understanding the footprints that you leave online.
  • There are lots of ways to do this. We’ll talk about this throughout this presentation.


In this part of the presentation, we’re going to talk about the types of footprints that might have, and tips on what you can do to protect your personal information.

SLIDE (7) Key Points

FOOTPRINT #1: Surveys and contests

  • How many of you have ever filled out a survey or quiz, entered a contest or tried for a giveaway on a website? (Note to speaker: ask for a show of hands)
  • A quiz, for example, can look like it’s just for fun because you’re answering silly questions – for example, what is your favourite food or colour – but those kinds of facts can give companies information about the types of things you would like to buy and in turn target you to be a customer for their product or services.

SLIDE (8) Key Points

Ask people you trust

  • If someone asks you for your personal information online, even if it’s in a fun way, you should ask an adult you trust, such as a family member or teacher, before you do anything.
  • When you are online, you can’t be 100% sure of who you’re talking to, so you should never accept friend requests from people you don’t know in real life.

SLIDE (9) Key Points

FOOTPRINT #2: Photos and videos

  • What are your favourite kinds of photos and videos to share or watch online? Sports? Animals? Or photos and videos of the activities you’re participating in?
  • We need to remember that people can tell a lot from a photo or a video. Sometimes they can tell how old you are, what you look like, where you’ve been, even where you live.
  • Sometimes people can copy photos and videos that you post online, and share them. This means that people you don’t expect may be able to see them.

SLIDE (10) Key Points

Tips for protecting yourself

  • Before you post photos and videos online, ask yourself ‘is it ok if everyone sees them’?
  • It’s a good idea to ask an adult that you trust before you post a photo or a video.
  • And before you post something with another person in it, you should ask them first. We will talk more about this later in the presentation.

Optional Extras for Discussion: Choosing photos to post online

If you want to post an image online, what could you use that won’t tell people too much about you? Could you use a cartoon or a drawing of yourself? If you post a photo, what kind of things could someone find out about you? Would they know how old you are? Is there a way a photo could reveal where you live? (For example, is your house in the photo?)

SLIDE (11) Key Points

What is photo tagging?

  • A tag is like a label that says what something is. Photo tags are used to say who is in a photograph.
  • Sometimes your friends, your friends’ friends and even strangers can see photos that are tagged with your name on them – whether you want them to or not.

Optional Extras for Discussion: Tagging photos with names of your friends

If you want to post a photo of a friend, or tag a photo with your friend’s name, should you ask your friend whether it’s okay first? Why?

SLIDE (12) Key Points

Webcams and Video Chat

  • How many of you have ever used video chat with a friends or family?
  • As you may know, webcams connect to the Internet and make it possible to see the people you are talking to, and for them to see you
  • When you use a webcam, make sure that an adult you trust knows you are using it.
  • Nowadays most computers and phones come with tiny webcams, so it is important to know when they are on or off, and which programs or apps are set up to use them. This is something you could look at with your parents so you can make sure you’re using devices safely.

SLIDE (13) Key Points

FOOTPRINT #3: Comments that you post online

  • The comments that you post online are digital footprints, too.
  • It can be fun and nice to communicate online.
  • But sometimes, some people make rude, hurtful or disrespectful comments on purpose when they are online. For some people, they feel like they can make these comments because they can’t “see” the person they’re talking to.
  • It’s important to remember, that people who can see your posts online can share them with others, and once your posts are shared, you may not be able to fully delete them.
  • Being mean to someone online can hurt feelings, and it can also get you into a lot of trouble.

SLIDE (14) Key Points

Think before you post a comment

  • If you’re upset or angry with someone, it is better to talk to them in person.
  • Remember that the comments you post may be shared with other people.
  • Always treat people nicely online. Never post rude, hurtful or disrespectful messages.
  • If somebody is being mean to you online, tell an adult that you trust.

SLIDE (15) Key Points

Your online footprints are not always private

  • Everything is shareable. For example, sometimes, people can copy comments, messages, photos and videos that you post online and send them to other people.
  • If you send an e-mail to someone, that person can forward that e-mail to other people.

Optional extras for discussion: A real-life example

A girl at a Canadian school e-mailed a private photo of herself to her best friend. It was a photo that she wanted to keep private between them. Later, the two girls got into a fight. The second girl printed a bunch of copies of the photo and showed them to all the kids at school the next day. Could you think of why showing someone a photo in person is very different than posting it online or e-mailing it to them?

SLIDE (16) Key Points

Take control of your online behaviour

  • Really think about the photos, comments, messages and videos you want to post online, before you put them there.
  • One way to keep something private is to never post it online. If you don’t want something sent to other people, don’t put it on the Internet.
  • Consider restricting your privacy settings on the websites you visit. Ask your parents or another adult you trust to walk through the privacy settings offered by the websites you visit.

Optional extras for discussion: Privacy settings

It’s important to know that privacy settings can’t always prevent somebody from copying your posts and photos and sending them to other people. Discuss why you should still be careful about what you post, even if you are using your privacy settings.

SLIDE (17) Key Points

The power of a strong password

  • Passwords are a way to keep personal information safer on the Internet. Setting passwords for each of your personal accounts is a way to make sure that you have more control over who sees your stuff.
  • Don’t share passwords with friends. A password is a secret, and it’s something only your parents should know.
  • If someone finds out your password, they could access your account and write anything. They could post something that they think is funny – but you don’t. Or, they could pretend to be you and say mean things about other people.

SLIDE (18) Key Points

Protect your mobile devices with strong passwords

  • A mobile device may be a cell phone, an iPod, a portable gaming system, a tablet, or any other electronic device that you walk around with.
  • If you have one, chances are you might have valuable personal information on it; photos, texts, your contact information, and the contact information of friends and family.
  • Always remember to put a password on any mobile device that contains personal information on it. That way if you lose it, or forget it somewhere, your personal information will be better protected.

Optional extras for discussion: Choosing the perfect password

If someone gets your password, they may be able to get into your accounts, see your activities and even pretend to be you. Think about what would be a good password. If everyone knows your favourite colour, should you use your favourite colour? Try to think of a password that can’t be easily guessed by someone who can see your digital footprint. If you pick a bunch of numbers and letters that you won’t remember, does it make sense to make those your password? It’s important to pick a password combination that is hard to guess, and to use more than one password—you should have different passwords for different accounts. Once you pick a password, don’t tell anyone what it is, except your parents or an adult that you trust.


  • Your online friends are people you chat and share information with online and those you allow to see the things you post online. For example, if you post a photo on a social media website, those you’re connected with will likely be able to see your post.
  • It’s important to remember that your online friends may be able to copy the information you post online and send it to other people, without asking you first. This can be done using a screenshot or copying and pasting your post.

SLIDE (20) Key Points

Be smart online!

  • When you’re online, it is a good idea to only talk and share information with people you know in real life.
  • Your personal information is valuable and you need to protect it. Only share it with people who you know and trust.

Optional extras for discussion: Communicating with people online

What can you do if someone you don’t know tries to be your friend online, or asks you to chat with them or share personal information with them? Your online friends should be people you know in real life. Sometimes, if you’re on an online gaming site, you might play games with strangers. If you’re doing this, make sure that an adult you trust knows you’re doing this.

SLIDE (21) Key Points

Respect your friends’ online footprints too

  • You may be able to post pictures and videos of your friends online, but what if your friends don’t want you to post them?
  • Photos and videos with your friends in them are their footprints. They can become public and permanent if you share them online.
  • You should always respect the privacy and personal information of others online. Before you post a photo with someone else in it, ask them if it’s okay.
  • You should ask your friends to get your permission before they post pictures with you in them.


SLIDE (23) Key Points

Tip #1: Be aware of personal info required for online gaming

  • If you play online games, you may know that some games allow you to play with friends, people nearby or people around the world. This can be a really fun thing to do.
  • However, it’s important to know that some of these online gaming companies may try to collect a lot of personal information about you, like your name, address, even your parents’ credit card information.
  • Always ask an adult you trust before you enter any personal information into a game. Have them walk through the privacy settings with you.
  • When you are playing online games, be careful with your personal information so that other players don’t learn too much information about you.

Optional extras for discussion: Different pieces of a puzzle

How do different pieces of information fit together? For example, if you tell someone what school you go to, could they figure out what city you live in? If you tell someone the month and day you were born, they may not know how old you are. But if you tell them what month and day you were born and then tell them what grade you are in, could they figure out how old you are? Sometimes people give bits and pieces of information about themselves, but when you put them together, it says a lot.

SLIDE (24) Key Points

Tip #2: Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet

  • If you don’t know someone in person, then you can’t be sure who that person is online. Online, you can use any photo you want: someone else’s photo, a cartoon, a drawing, even a pet or toy. So, no matter what you see, you don’t really know who they are.
  • Anyone can post anything online, and say it’s true—even if it isn’t.
  • If you don’t know someone in person, you shouldn’t communicate with them online without asking your parents, or an adult you trust, first.
  • If you read something that seems unbelievable, trust your instincts. Ask an adult that you trust, and compare that information with another web site or source.

SLIDE (25) Key Points

Tip #3: Remember that people “snoop” online

  • Some people use online sites, like social networking sites, to “snoop” or to check out other people.
  • For example, on sites and apps where you post photos, comments and videos. If your privacy settings aren’t secure, someone who is interested in finding out about you may look there to see if they can look at what you’ve posted.
  • Always remember that what you post online may be seen by people you don’t expect. Even if you post things on a site and you have set the privacy settings, others may still be able to see your stuff.
  • Think before you post things online, and only post things that you are okay with anybody seeing.

SLIDE (27) Key Points

  • Think before you click!
  • Remember that everything you post can be permanent.
  • Remember that things you post may not be private.
  • Know who your friends are.
  • Set your privacy settings.

SLIDE (28) Key Points

  • Don’t tell people where you are when you’re online.
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Tell an adult if someone is being mean to you online.
  • Tell an adult if you are worried about something you see online.
  • Protect your privacy and the privacy of others.

SLIDE (29) Key Points

  • This presentation was produced by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC). The OPC’s mission is to protect and promote privacy rights.
  • For more information, see our website
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