Week 1 Activity: Set up an anonymous online accounts using an alias

The first activity is to establish a new, anonymous, web-based email account specifically for this course. Your Gmail account will give you access to a wide variety of other Google products and services including those that we will use throughout the course.

Confidentiality and online security are considerations when working in an online environment. While many of the risks and hazards tend to be sensationalized in the mainstream media, it is important to be aware of "web-proofing" strategies to avoid problems. The principles of "security through obscurity" inspires the use of anonymous accounts. An interesting aspect of the use of "nyms" or pseudonyms has emerged recently when the Google Plus social networking service attempted to introduce a policy that requires registrants to use real names in the interest of preserving civility. Responses from the Electronic Frontier Foundtioan and danah boyd have raised some important related issues.

When you set up your Gmail account for this course do not use your real name. Use an generic alias that does not give clues about your name, age or gender and one that will not attract the attention of web search engines. You could use a series of letters and numbers in combination, for example, "xxx222@gmail.com". We will be using a number of online applications that will require a user name, a password and an active email account. Please select an alias for your user name and a password that you will be able to use in multiple accounts. To create passwords you can use a service like http://passcreator.com/

Store passwords in a notebook kept separately from your computer (sock drawer, secret compartments, etc).

You can set up multiple Gmail accounts for other purposes and use your real name later if you like, but for the purpose of this course we will only use anonymous Gmail accounts set up with an alias.

To set up a Gmail account, go to this link and fill in the form and follow the instructions. On the form you will use your alias in the field that asks for your "Desired Logon Name. (You can also view a YouTube video that will guide you through the steps of setting up a Gmail account.)

Once you have set up a Gmail account, please send me a message at ggatin@ggatin.com from your new Gmail account and indicate your real name in the body of the message. If you have any questions, call me at 204 571 0836. Please leave me a message and I will return your call. You will find that I respond very quickly to requests and if I am going to be unavailable I will post that information on the main page of this wiki.

For more information about Protecting Your Security Online.

When you have set up your anonymous Google account use it to establish all other social media accounts for this course beginning with Skype.