How to be a responsible digital citizen: 9 steps

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How to be a responsible digital citizen: 9 steps
How to be a responsible digital citizen: 9 steps

Being a responsible digital citizen means using technology appropriately and operating online safely and with knowledge

The concept of digital citizenship is becoming increasingly recognized as people communicate, buy and share information online. So there is more need than ever to practice responsible habits. Understanding and operating in accordance with the concept of responsible digital citizenship helps you respect, educate, and protect yourself and others online.


Part 1 of 3: Respecting Yourself and Others Online

Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 1
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 1

Step 1. Conduct yourself by using etiquette while online

Practice digital etiquette by following the rules of conduct and proper procedures. Model appropriate behavior online and offer to teach and discuss digital etiquette with others, both online and in person. Most important: Be courteous! Try to present a positive image of yourself. Proper digital tag also requires you to do the following:

  • Minimize sarcasm. Since facial expressions and body language cannot be conveyed through text, sarcastic comments can easily be perceived negatively.
  • Don't aggravate disagreements. Don't use hostile, rude, or aggressive language.
  • Do not participate in cyberbullying. Speak up when you witness cyberbullying. Support whoever receives the harassment and mention that the users who are committing it are behaving inappropriately.
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 2
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 2

Step 2. Exchange the information correctly

Digital communication, or the electronic exchange of information and correspondence, is fast becoming the primary way to communicate with each other. However, be careful what you post online. Don't share personal information electronically with people you don't know or on websites you don't trust. Understand that some forms of communication are more appropriate to share in person. Specifically:

  • Don't post about your vacation plans, your income, or anything that could endanger you or someone else in any way.
  • Don't post your personal feelings regarding your job or relationship. Keep important or emotional conversations in private with the other people who are involved.
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 3
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 3

Step 3. Follow the law

There are specific legal rights and restrictions that govern the use of electronic technologies. Know that you are legally responsible for your behavior online. Find out about copyright and fair use policies if you are unsure of the legality with which you want to purchase any type of multimedia available online. Be especially careful when using peer-to-peer (P2P) services. More specifically:

  • Don't steal someone else's money, intellectual property, or identity.
  • Do not damage the work, identity or virtual property of other people.
  • Don't download music or movies that are available illegally.
  • Don't create destructive malware, programs, or websites.
  • Don't send spam.

Part 2 of 3: Do Activism for Digital Citizenship Awareness

Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 4
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 4

Step 1. Make activism for the use of new technologies

He works to improve digital literacy by learning and teaching others about the availability and uses of new technologies. It recognizes that new technologies are emerging with increasing frequency. Being a responsible digital citizen requires that we know how to use these technologies appropriately. In addition, it recognizes that teachers must now receive ongoing training on the correct use of technology in the classroom. Make sure your children and the children in the school closest to where you live are digitally literate by calling and asking if they have a plan to increase students' digital literacy. There are several educational programs and lesson plans online to help guide educators.

The New York City Department of Education has produced a comprehensive guide called “Citizenship in the Digital Age” that includes lesson plans for kindergarten through high school seniors

Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 5
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 5

Step 2. Secure digital access

Digital access refers to the degree to which people can participate in society electronically. Be nice when you interact with other people online. There are also more proactive ways to advocate for increased digital access for all, regardless of socioeconomic status, abilities, and physical location. An important policy issue today is providing equitable access to technology for all students, and there are many organizations working toward this goal. Here are other ways you can help increase digital access:

  • Lobby local politicians to prioritize public access to the internet and the availability of computer equipment for public use. Support politicians and community organizers working to achieve these causes.
  • Donate unused tech equipment to your local library or a school that can take advantage of it.
  • Volunteer with an organization that works to increase digital access.
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 6
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 6

Step 3. Recognize your own rights and responsibilities and those of others

Digital rights and responsibilities help shape and ensure the freedoms that everyone should be able to enjoy online. Keep in mind that rights come with responsibilities. Be aware of your own rights and responsibilities in the location and network you use, and share this information with others if they do not behave accordingly. This knowledge includes the degree of freedom of expression and the freedom to visit most public websites. Respect everyone you interact with online and make sure your rights are not violated.

Contribute to positive and respectful conversations about the rights and responsibilities you have as a digital citizen to help define the appropriate use of new technologies as society advances

Part 3 of 3: Protect Yourself Online

Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 7
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 7

Step 1. Maintain digital security

Take precautions with the technology equipment and the behavior you adopt when you are online to protect yourself and the material you share. Especially be careful with the information associated with your identity. These are all important steps to operating with digital security:

  • Install an antivirus on the computer you use to connect to the internet.
  • Be careful when opening email attachments and clicking links.
  • Make a backup copy of the files, preferably in several safe locations.
  • Use a surge protector to protect equipment from more tangible hazards, such as electrical surges during severe weather, etc.
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 8
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 8

Step 2. Pay attention to health

Although you do not imagine that sitting in front of a computer is dangerous or harmful, health and well-being are affected by the digital lifestyle. Be aware of the physical and psychological effects of operating in a digital world. Protect yourself from these dangers and encourage others to be aware as well. Some risks related to the excessive use of computers and other online devices include:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • visual fatigue
  • bad posture
  • Internet addiction
  • repetitive stress syndrome
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 9
Be a Responsible Digital Citizen Step 9

Step 3. Participate in digital commerce responsibly

Digital commerce includes the buying and selling of goods and services online. Be aware of the risks associated with this practice. Only make well-informed and safe decisions before transacting online. Many goods and services available online cannot be legally purchased in certain countries. Make sure any transaction you participate in is legal and legitimate.

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