How Can a Digital Citizen Be Safe and Responsible Online?

Digital citizenship is a topic that’s becoming increasingly important, especially with the rising use of technology. As a result, schools and educators should be aware of the importance of teaching students about how to use technology responsibly and respectfully.

Good digital citizenship involves using the Internet and other online tools responsibly, protecting personal information, exercising appropriate discretion and treating others with respect. This helps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of individuals online, making our world a more welcoming place for everyone.

Learning to be a responsible digital citizen is crucial for both children and adults, as they need to understand their role and responsibility within the digital society. It’s also important to know what to do if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe online.

A good digital citizen is a person who has a positive impact on the Internet, as well as other communities. This includes the promotion of critical thinking and empathy, as well as helping others to understand the importance of their online actions.

It’s also important to teach students how the Internet works and how they can protect themselves from online scams, fraudulent content, cyberbullying and radicalization. These can be a real threat to their health and wellbeing, so it’s essential to make sure students have an understanding of how the Internet works and what they can do to keep themselves safe online.

1. Empathy

When a student understands how the Internet works, they can make better decisions about how to be safe and responsible online. For example, they will be able to identify when news is fake or misleading and know how to report the problem in an honest and respectful way.

2. Understanding of free speech

Students should understand their rights to freedom of speech and the importance of ensuring their content is factual, not inflammatory or derogatory. This will help them to avoid spreading rumours, creating fake accounts and promoting extremist viewpoints on social media.

3. Teaching the importance of empathy

One of the most important things that teachers can do to promote safe and responsible digital citizenship is to help students develop empathy for people they encounter online. This can be done through discussing topics such as cyberbullying, free speech and digital wellbeing.

4. Understanding how the Internet works

There are many processes that happen behind the scenes to make the Internet run smoothly, so it’s important for teachers to show their students what these are and explain how they work. For instance, there are algorithms that work to determine what articles will be displayed on a website, so it’s vital for students to understand this.

5. Fake news

A very recent phenomenon, fake news is anything that sounds incredibly biased or false about something in the news. This can be a serious issue for young people who are learning to read and use the news.

This can include rumors or tabloid articles, gossip websites and social media posts. It’s best to let students know that these articles are usually not based on accurate or valid sources and they’re likely to be skewed to one political ideology over another.