WHAT IS INTERNET LITERACY?
Internet Literacy is being able to discern between what is creditable and what is sensational on the internet. Critical Linking was created to help you think more critically about the content you consume while online.
This website is meant to challenge you to be a good citizen of the internet. Being responsible for what we share online isn’t always easy, but if everyone makes a small effort, our online communities become a nicer place to live.
I STILL DON'T CARE
The main danger lies with internet hoaxes, propaganda, and misinformation. Fake news spreads like wildfire on social media–if preventing these kinds of stories should be motivation enough.
On the other hand, giving in and clicking on these clickbait-type websites isn't always dangerous. Sometime you just can't help looking at that listicle from Buzzfeed, or accusatory article about a politician. However, some of these websites could leave a more lasting effect than just earning ad revenue from your click.
MALWARE AND TROJANS. Just like going to an unfamiliar place in real life, going to an unfamiliar website can be dangerous for you and your computer. A wrong click could infect your computer with software that was specifically written with the intent to harm.
PHISHING. Often advertised as Free IQ tests or credit score checks, anything that asks you to fill out personal information online in order to get your "results" should be avoided at all costs. Phishing scams will also often pose as or look deceptively similar to a trusted website.
QUIZZES AND CONTESTS. Often times, quizzes and contests want you to answer questions about yourself in order to gather information to better target ads at you or gain access to your social media. This also can be a way an app gains access to your friends list, through Hidden opt-in conditions. Check your privacy settings to see what apps have access to your account. You've probably seen a profile that has been hacked–a Facebook friend that always gets tagged with 100 other people in an ad for fake Ray-Bans, or getting an e-mail from a friend that contains nothing but a link. This is one way that this happens.
CONTENT FLIPPING. When something goes viral, you can often see other links in the comments advertising what looks like similar content, but these links are often put there solely to harm whoever clicks on them.
CLICKJACKING. This is a very common clickbait trick used by scammers. The link you read grabs your attention, and looks harmless enough, but after you click on it, the link takes you somewhere else completely, and it can be hard to back out of the website (either the back button just brings you to the same place, or there is no visible "X" button).
COUNTERFEIT GOODS. Cheaply made items being advertised on Facebook and other websites that look like the real deal but for a bargain. Often, the item you receive in the mail (if you receive anything at all) looks nothing like the picture, and getting your money back is nearly impossible.
I DON'T DO THAT.
Even by just reading the trending headlines on Facebook, you brain starts to make assumptions and connections. As more and more people get online (the number of internet users has increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 BILLION in 2015, according to time.com) the more and more people there are sharing opinions. All you have to do is think before you share, and verify that the source is trusted and true.