This week I explored the topic of Digital Security and decided to focus on Identity theft. I firstly looked for recent examples of identity theft as reported by the mainstream media and I came across this recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald written by Belinda Merhab, August 25, 2014, which stated that nearly $1.9 billion in credit card applications in the last financial year were as a result of fraud. Veda a credit rating agency has red-flagged 52% more applications in the last two years as fraudsters move away from creating factious identities to stealing documents of real people. This information is being stolen by fraudsters by breaking into people’s homes, taking their mail, handbags or wallets.
Veda’s general manager of fraud and identity solutions Imelda Newton has stated that people looking to protect themselves against such attacks, should ask for a warning to be placed on their credit file so that all applications need to be thoroughly addressed.
According to scamwatch.gov.au there are numerous ways to protect yourself which include;
- Never share personal or bank details to somebody you don’t know
- Be aware of scam emails from banks and other financial institutions
- Secure mail box and ensure mail is emptied regularly
- Cover keypad when entering PIN and be alert of your surroundings
- Shred any personal and financial paperwork before disposing of them
- Don’t use public computers for anything financially related
- Regularly view bank statements
- Always use the most secure settings on social media
- Report to SCAMwatch
Although this particular topic may be a little too intense for a primary classroom, it should be something that we do introduce to children as they will spend their lives completely immersed within the digital world and they need to know that there are certain consequences to leading a digital life. As Chappell (2013) states, children are targeted for identity theft at a rate that is 51 times greater than for adults. This is as a result of the fact that children have a ‘clean’ credit history and are therefore much better targets for criminals. The reality is most of us would never consider children to be even a remote risk for identity thieves because the media, as seen in the article about identity theft by Merhab, always focus on the risk to adults. It is therefore imperative that during classroom activities involving online digital activities, I should state prior to commencement that children must be careful about what personal details they are actually uploading into the digital environment.
However, if we were to look at Wordle as a tool for within the classroom, it is an easy to use, easy to comprehend and extremely visual tool that helps to reveal what exactly a student believes to be important. As I have done with my example above, students can be asked to look at a text, read through it, analyse what they believe to be important and by inputting words into Wordle, they are able to reveal in with one quick glance exactly what they took out of the text.
I can see myself using Wordle throughout my lesson plans for all the reasons stated above and I can see it as being a great addition to any project.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. (2014). Identity theft. Retrieved from
Australian Federal Police. (2014). Identity Crime – Australian Federal Police. Retrieved from
Chappell, R. (2013). CHILD IDENTITY THEFT. Law & Order, 61(5), 38-38,40. Retrieved from
Merhab, B. (2014, August 25). Identity theft, credit fraud, on the rise. Sydney Morning Herald.
Wordle.net. (n.d.). Wordle – Beautiful Word Clouds. Retrieved September 21, 2014, from
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