Unit 4: Week 3: Using a Web Browser Safely and Accessing Shared Storage

Unit 4: Week 3: Using a Web Browser Safely and Accessing Shared Storage

Essential Questions

  • How do I stay safe when I’m using the Internet?
  • What information are other people trying to collect from me when I’m online?
  • What can I do to ensure the digital information I create, whether photos, email, documents, or other, stays safe? How do I make sure I don’t loose my information?

Big Ideas

Just about everyone uses the Internet. The Internet is a great resource for connecting with friends and family, learning new things, and sharing information. Even young children who connect with grandma and grandpa on a tablet or a phone over a video conference are often using the Internet, and they’re too young to even know what it is!

Whenever anyone uses the Internet, they leave digital traces of their use, whether they intend to or not. Internet use can be and often is tracked, even if you don’t realize it’s going on. Just consider what happens when you go online to look at some new shoes that you want to buy. All of a sudden, you start seeing ads for shoes on other websites, often the exact same shoes you looked at! Tracking your use can be a benefit, because it can help you learn about things you’re interested in, like when those shoes go on sale. But it can also be a threat to you, your devices, and your personal information.

Network providers, like your school district, use technology to try to keep their users and their hardware and network safe from inappropriate and illegal use. These technology solutions, like firewalls, help, but everyone who uses the Internet should also take actions to stay safe and keep their information secure. This includes when you are using the Internet for school work and using online storage for school documents that you might share with teachers or other students. This unit will help you understand some technology resources, like firewalls and safe online storage, as well as some strategies you can take to surf the web more safely.

Connection to Student Lives

You can find just about anything and any one on the Internet, right? But not only can you look for and find people and things of interest, some people may be out looking for you! Or at least there are people looking for ways to access the personal information and property of others, whether they’re looking for you specifically or not.

If you have ever been the victim of phishing (someone pretending to be someone else), spam (unwanted messages), or just get tired of all those pop-up ads and messages, you understand why everyone should use some caution when using the Internet. We should all be especially careful when sharing personal information, even storing documents we create. In this unit you’ll explore some methods for being safe when using the web, whether for school, work, or your personal life.

Framing Problem

What can you do to keep your computing devices safe when you are accessing web-based information and resources? Understanding firewalls and configuring your own personal firewall can make your online experiences safer.

Cornerstone Assessment

Students configure a firewall and conduct data back-up. They generate Help Desk documentation for the knowledge base if there are firewalls, proxy servers, cloud-computing, or back-up policies necessary to use the school or district network.

DPI Standards

  • 6.02 Understand computer user account settings to secure computing devices

CompTIA Standards

  • 2.5 Compare and contrast storage types.
  • 2.7 Explain basic networking concepts
  • 3.5 Given a scenario
  • 6.2 Explain methods to secure devices and best practices
  • 6.3 Summarize behavioral security concepts
  • 6.7 Explain business continuity concepts
  • configure and use web browsers


  • Types of malware and some common malware symptoms
  • How to choose a compatible browser and configure security
  • How to manage browser add-ons
  • How cookies can share personally identifiable information
  • How to manage cookies and pop-up windows
  • Private browsing mode
  • How to determine if a certificate is valid or invalid
  • How to identify suspicious links and URLs
  • How to configure a firewall
  • How proxy settings/server protect users
  • Options for network or an attached storage drive
  • File and printer sharing
  • How to browse network shares and drives
  • How to upload and download files using FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • What cloud computing is and some benefits
  • Establishing a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network.
  • Backup considerations and storage types, including how to restore data and verify backups


  • Explain risks of using open Internet access methods.
  • Describe safe browsing practices and configure browser security/privacy features.
  • Identify the use and basic configuration parameters of a firewall.
  • List ways to share files and storage on a local network.
  • Describe means of sharing files and services on the Internet.
  • Explain the importance of backups and configure simple backup options.


  • Backup considerations: data [File backups, Critical data, Database, OS backups] -
  • Backup considerations: location [Stored locally, Cloud storage, On-site vs. off-site] -
  • Browser addons/extensions (Add, Remove,Enable/disable) -
  • Caching/clearing cache -
  • Certificates (Valid, Invalid) -
  • Cloud storage service -
  • Compatible browser for application(s) -
  • Deactivate client-side scripting -
  • Devices (Firewall) -
  • Local network storage types (Direct attached storage, NAS, File server) -
  • Popup blockers -
  • Private browsing -
  • Proxy settings -
  • Script blockers -
  • Securing devices (Host firewall, Safe browsing practices) -

Supporting Vocabulary

  • Backup verification and testing issues (error detection, configuration, test restore
  • Bare metal backup (image)
  • Certificate Authority (CA), Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), and root certificates
  • Cookies
  • Creating active media content: Scripting, Add-ons, Flash/Silverlight, Java
  • Firewall (packet filtering, port number)
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
  • Hardware firewall and Software firewall
  • Host or Personal firewall
  • Malware (viruses and worms, trojan horse, adware, spyware)
  • Measured device
  • On-demand and pay-per-use
  • Open or free network
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network
  • Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
  • Pop-up
  • Resource pooling
  • Safe browsing practices
  • Script blocker add-on
  • Server-side scripting
  • Virtualization

Weekly Map


Introduction to problem: Configuring a firewall

Online Pre-assessment  (available for student practice, as well)

Team meetings to develop project plan and goals


Review content resources with whole group

Small group and independent exploration of resources

Contribute to team project


Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Configuring a firewall


Team progress check with supervisor (using project plan)


Hands-on exploration with IT professionals: Configuring a firewall


Small group and independent exploration of resources


Contribute to team project


Team progress check with supervisor or sharing of progress with whole group

Online post-assessment

Monitor progress and adjust project plan as necessary

Lesson Ideas

Students work in teams to review Units 4.3 and 4.4 in their textbook. The students collaborate on adding to their Frayer-type digital presentation or other documentation that records and illustrates key vocabulary and concepts in the Units. Students contribute to these files throughout the semester to prepare for the CompTIA certification exam and to contribute to the Help Desk knowledge base.

Students set up a firewall, either on a single device or on a network. If necessary, students can configure a firewall on the SOHO network they set up in the previous week.

Students learn about methods for safe web browsing and generate tips that can be shared with students, faculty, and others in the district. The tips can be in any media format that might be helpful supporting the work of the Help Desk, including short online videos or simulations.

Students practice data back-up methods and determine an appropriate schedule for backing up Help Desk files and information. They may also determine a schedule for backing up their own information.

Potential Resources

The Official CompTIA ITF+ Instructor’s Manual and Student Guide: Units 4.3 and 4.4

Frayer Diagram Template (slide deck, document, or other)


Khan Academy

  • Computer malware (article)
  • Unit: Online data security comprehensive unit with lessons and self-checks (tests) on PII, user data tracking, cyber attacks, data encryption, secure Internet protocols, and user authentication methods

Technology Gee