School Environment and Student Behavior
Digital Security
Grade Level: 6 -12


Part I - Introduction

Malware is short for "malicious software" and is designed to steal information, inflict damage upon your computer, commit fraud, and spread spam. Types of malware include: viruses, Trojan horses, and worms. Malware symptoms range from annoying popups to erasing your hard drive or even ruining your computer's processor. Learn how to spot Malware, how to eradicate it, as well as prevent it from getting into your computer. A word of caution : A program like Antivirus 2009 “looks” like a real warning that you have a virus and to click on the link or install button to fix the problem. In reality, you have just “invited” a virus into your computer by doing so. One should only use programs that are legitimate antivirus or Internet security programs.

Part II - Class/Advisory Activities

•  Videos



Brainpop - Computer Viruses
Extortion Spyware - (2:23 minutes)

•  Discussion Questions



  1. Name several types of malware and explain what each can do to your computer?
  2. What are the main ways malware can get into your computer?
  3. How can malware be prevented?

•  Activities


On Guard Online Quizzes -Beware of Spyware

Part III - Reflection

•  Writing Prompt(s)  

How does malware affect the following: a) your home computer, b) a school computer, c) a small or large business using multiple computers

•  Journal Writing


Do you know of someone whose computer was infected with malware? What were the symptoms? How long was it infected? How was the problem was finally resolved?

Part IV - Extension Activities

•  Class/Advisory – School Activities


See CyberSmart and On Guard Online resources below for lesson plans and activities. Choose ones that you and your students can relate to or that have been in the news lately.

•  Home Interaction Links  

Talk to your parents about Internet security on your home computers. Is your security software up to date? What basic rules should be followed to prevent malware from infecting your computer?

Safeguarding Your Stuff, My Stuff, Our Stuff – a checklist for planning a discussion with your family. See page three of the lesson plan. Click here for a lesson plan for this section.

Part V - Resources

On Guard Online