|Beware big, green |
A lot of the services and tools we use as educators are of the free variety. And the majority are excellent and respectful of privacy - yours and your students. But not all. Remember, free does not mean without cost. People and companies don't build web sites and services just to dispense excess altruism. The profit motive is always near the surface.
Advertising makes up a sizable portion of income for providers of 'free' services. Getting a click through (getting someone to click on something) on an advertisement adds even greater value to the advertiser and the owners of the service on which the advertisement is displayed. That is one reason why social engineers work so diligently - and craftily - to get you to click on something.
Here's the kicker. Not all advertisements are from companies that offer a service in which you might be interested. Some simply want to mine you for personal information because your information is worth money. So look carefully at what you are about to click. Be skeptical. Question everything, and watch out for big green download buttons.
The video below shows two examples of the big green download button.