Can you spot fake information online?

Can you spot fake information online?


First appeared Cyber Tuesdays 02/02/2020. 

Things online can trick us into believing they are real but they are fake.

Some news and business websites look real but they are spreading false information. Some are even trying to steal your money and personal details. Apps might try to do this as well. If someone knows all your personal information they may try to pretend to be you and do things like take out loans or access your back accounts.

Here are some handy hints to get you started to be an online investigator! Think about using the 5 W’s – Who What Where Why and When.

1. Question what you see online. Not everything online is real. The old saying is true if it looks too good to be true it probably is. Just because it was on social media doesn’t mean its true. Often people use social media to advertise and try to get you to buy things.

2. Ask, talk and share it. Talk offline to a responsible and trusted adult like your parents, carers and teachers what do they know about it.

3. Check it. Do your own searches online see if the same information is being reported elsewhere. Pro Tip – some news sites just repost articles without fact checking.

You can conduct your own searches:

  • Look at the images. The images or video maybe altered. This may change your understanding completely of what has happened. Look online with your parents to see if the image or video has been altered i.e. cropping out an item or starting in different place. Sometimes an image or video may not be associated with the story at all.
  • Fact Check. What do the facts say? Have you looked them up? These are the What, Where and how! Look for reliable sources of information like from your school library. You can ask your librarian for good sites to check information against.
  • Check the Source. Look at who posted it and think about why they posted it. Check who they are associated with? Some people may be spreading fake news to gossip and send out wrong information someone. Some people’s qualifications are even made up and sites are made to look like they are the real authority or legitimate. It is also good to check when they posted it and see if it is old information or something new.

These simple tips will help you start your online journey to be a thoughtful and knowledgeable online citizen!

You can get more help from the eSafety Commissioner kid’s section just for you by clicking >>>>here<<<<!