Literacy and Phishing Scams

By March 13, 2016 BlogPost No Comments

I feel like most of my posts are making the argument that while many people have many different literacies, the sum of those literacies is what results in Literacy.

I have been thinking about this argument a lot lately. While there are many examples that can be used to support this claim, I think that phishing scams, specifically phishing email scams, is one of the best genres to support this claim.

There are multiple literacies that go into reading and responding to an email. The basic ability to read and write are at the center of these literacies. Beyond reading and writing are literacies involving computer use, computer mouse use, keyboard use, internet use, gmail/yahoo mail/ etc. use. Still beyond reading and writing come knowledge of finances and financial situations, banking, etc.

All of these literacies come together and, as I have referred to Literacy itself as a double-edged sword, can save or break a person. If a person who has received an email that is a phishing scam responds to and follows through with what was asked by the sender, it may be argued that one of his or her literacies (or lack thereof) failed him or her.

This is why it is important that public school systems refer to literacies as opposed to an overarching Literacy. It would be absolutely impossible for schools to teach everything that will provide graduates with a level of Literacy that ensures that they understand the world in which they live.

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