Q3 Safe

8. Troubleshooting


In this Quest you will be doing some work at home on your family computer by checking on the type of virus protection you have installed.

Key Vocabulary

Malware: Malware is software that is intended to damage or disable computers and computer systems.

Spyware: Spyware is software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge.

I Can Statement

  • run anti-virus software
  • understand what malware is and have some techniques to avoid it


1. Watch the movie at the top of this page.

Individuals or companies can monitor what you are doing on your computer by installing spyware. Some ways that you can tell your computer might be infected  include sudden changes in the behavior of the computer. Be sure your operating system is up to date.

2. Tonight: If you have a computer at home, check to make sure it has an up-to-date active antivirus software installed. If you don't have a computer at home, check with a relative or friend.

Popular antivirus software includes a wide variety of products:

PC Magazine 2018 Best virus protection both for a PC Windows computer

MacWorld 2018 Best Antivirus Programs for the Mac. 

There are many very good programs, the important thing is to make sure one is being used, and it has been kept up-to-date. When you open the antivirus program you should receive a report that tells if it is up to date. Is the computer protected? If not, you can help them out and make a recommendation to the owner based on research you can do about the best anti-virus programs and prices. 

Windows Defender


3. What is a hacker and what do they do?

Check out the answer at "How Stuff Works"

  • Hacking has been in the news for the number of big data breaches, from Facebook to Credit agencies and even the U.S. Government database. Large social media companies such as Facebook have become popular targets.
  • Ransomeware: In the last year there have been a number of attacks where attackers use malware that locks down computer files in companies and hospitals, and then they demand a ransome to provide the password to get access again.
  • AI (Artificial intelligence) technologies are being used to spot unusual hacking activities, but the hackers are using it back.
  • Spear phishing uses a digital message such as an add asking you to 'Click to WIN' or for 'FREE access to movies and music.' that tricks you into installing a virus.
  • Cyber attacks on utilities, electrical grids, transportation systems (such as happened to Uber) are a continuing threat to every day life.
  • Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are being stolen through online mining schemes.

*Make a list of some things you and your family can do to be safe in this electronic age (remember the suggestions in the video). 

4. When your list is done, share it with the rest of your class and create one big list that your class can post and share with your friends and family.

Cybersecurity Game (PBS Learning Media Game)

*Check with your teacher about when to play this, as homework or in class.

TIME: This game takes about 75 minutes to complete.

GAME: The Cybersecurity Lab by PBS Learning Media

ABOUT: The Cybersecurity Lab is a game designed to teach people how to...

  1. keep their digital lives safe.
  2. spot cyber scams.
  3. learn the basics of coding.
  4. defend against cyber attacks.

ROLES: Players assume the role of the chief technology officer of a start-up social network company that is the target of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks.

PLAY: In the game, players must complete challenges to strengthen their cyber defenses and thwart their attackers.

REAL-WORLD SECURITY: The Lab features stories of real-world cyber attacks, a glossary of cyber terms, and short animated videos that explain the need for cybersecurity, privacy versus security, cryptography (cyber codes), and what exactly hackers are.

COMPONENTS: There are four major gameplay components of the Lab:

  1. Coding Challenge: An introduction to very basic coding skills. Players program a robot to navigate a maze, using drag-and-drop commands. 
  2. Password-Cracking Challenge: A series of “password duels” teach players the basics of how attackers might try to crack their passwords and how they can make better, more secure passwords.
  3. Social Engineering Challenge: Players are presented with two apparently similar emails or websites. They must first identify the differences between them and then decide which one is a scam attempting to steal their information or money. This challenge also includes a number of audio recordings and transcripts of phone calls; players have to decide if they should trust the caller or not. 
  4. Network Attacks: As their companies grow, players must buy defenses to defend themselves against a series of cyber attacks. The better that players do in the three challenges, the more resources they’ll have to buy defenses.

LOGIN REQUIREMENTS: You will need to have or create a login. You will need an account from Facebook, Google, PBS (free), or use the Guest Pass (no progress is saved).


Watch the Introduction Video

BEGIN: Cybersecurity Lab Game


BONUS Game Activity - Learn more about hackers, phishing, viruses and a Trojan horse by playing this game from NSTeens called Website Warrior.

Completing this Quest

When you are done with your class list, share it with others and save a copy for your digital portfolio.

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap 

I am ready for the final Quest, Trouble!

Websites and Applications

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

1. Empowered Learner
a. articulate and set personal learning goals, developing strategies leveraging technology to achieve them, and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes
c. use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways
d. understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies, are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies

Common Core Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.