A major priority for educators the world over is to ensure that our kids are good digital citizens. This is basically concerned with the security of kids once they get on the internet. The rapid rate at which connectivity and internet adoption continues to grow globally elicits concern for internet privacy and safety, especially regarding our kids.
As digital natives who are exposed very early to the use of digital devices, we do our best to protect them from the cunning ways of the worldwide web.
With introduction to schooling, their world begins to open, and learning implies more extensive access to information which is essential for meaningful work. This invariably means we have more responsibilities – for them and as far as we might be concerned, as parents. This is the world we live in today.
If your child has access to any internet-enabled device or devices, now is the time to start thinking about ensuring they are good digital citizens.
What is Digital Citizenship?
Digital Citizenship refers to the ability to engage positively, critically and competently in the digital environment, drawing on the skills of effective communication and creation, to practice forms of social participation that are respectful of human rights and dignity through the responsible use of technology.
The idea of digital citizenship now encompasses a range of attributes, behaviors, and competences that make use of the benefits and opportunities the internet world offers while building resilience to potential harm.
Who is a Digital Citizen?
A digital citizen is a person using information technology in order to engage in society, politics, and government. As defined by Karen Mossberger, one of the authors of Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation, digital citizens are “those who use the internet regularly and effectively.”
Supporting children and young people to participate safely, effectively, critically and responsibly in a world filled with social media and digital technologies is a must. Young people should be adequately prepared as good citizens, exercising their rights and participating effectively in the affairs of the community.
A digital footprint is a trail of data you create while using the Internet. It includes the websites you visit, emails you send, and information you submit to online services. A “passive digital footprint” is a data trail you unintentionally leave online. The more email you send, the more your digital footprint grows.
The truth of the matter is that every one of us has – and abandons – a digital footprint. Our smart devices are part of such footprints. Notable examples of types of smart devices are smartphones, phablets and tablets, smartwatches, smart bands, etc. Moving around with such gadgets is part of the digital footprint.
As grown-ups, we can highlight encounters where something we did in the past impacts something that happens today. We “get” that something we do online can follow us for the remainder of our lives. ” Without that case brimming with sad occasions, it is a lot harder for our kids to get a handle on.
It is still a significant undertaking that falls on us, as parents. Start early. These aren’t large, technological lessons; they supplement what we are, as of now, teaching our children concerning how to act in the “real world.” Let’s look at these five simple ways – for your kid’s everyday existence, immense benefits will be derived as well as guarantee a more secure, better digital footprint.
Five Ways of Becoming a Good Digital Citizen
1: Respect others.
When we respect others, we admire or look up to them because that person has exhibited extraordinary or impressive abilities. It also has to do with giving attention or showing care. Bullying at school which we hear about isn’t respect. We should ensure that our kids never bully or harass other users online. Such behavior must be reported.
2: Hate stealing.
Stealing online is far from physically taking what isn’t ours. Rather, it has more to do with traditional activities like plagiarism and copyright. We know the internet gives us unfettered access to information, but we must always give credit where it is due once our idea is not new. Nevertheless, stealing someone’s identity is not permitted as well as creating a fake one.
3: Online shopping should be on secured sites.
It’s more than likely that your older children will start exploring the web. Let them know how to read a website, logos to look for while shopping and payment conditions.
4: Protect personal information.
The word “personal” remains what it means. Never share your personal information, including phone numbers, addresses, and “check-ins” on social media.
We teach our kids about “stranger danger” early in life and this makes it familiar to decipher when they “see” someone. Being separated by a computer screen, though, most kids have a harder time seeing danger ahead or on the other end. Always think twice if you have to post personal information online.
5. Be responsible social media users.
Social media is not a drama hall or theatre. One should be courteous. It is better to say nothing if you can’t be nice. Some love to rant on social media. This shouldn’t be. You can journalize all such conduct, keeping them safe with you.
Technology is experiencing rapid growth. As quick as it has moved in the course of our lives, we realize technology will keep on advancing a long ways past what it can do as of now. Setting aside the time to teach digital responsibility at an early age is critical for our children.
This we must do before they graduate from friendships in the playgroup to Facebook friends. These five simple ways will help us in our endeavors as parents to give kids a reasonable comprehension of what can happen on the web and to offer approaches to keep their digital footprints positive.