Saturday, February 16, 2013

Week 5: Digital Citizenship

 We all take great care (most of us, anyway) to keep a "good" reputation (though "good" can be subjective, can't it?).  We want people to think of us with great regard, or at least deserving of their respect.  Often when we are on the internet we have a feeling of anonymity, and may believe that we can leave all of our good manners by the wayside.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We are not really anonymous. When using the internet, we must be diligent to follow the same rules that guide us "in real life".  Not only will this safeguard our "reputation", but it will protect our safety and our property, besides helping to preserve the integral part of a community- civility.

Keeping a good digital reputation involves that old adage: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything" (as opposed to quote attributed to Mae West- "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit next to me!").   Don't be rude or say unsavory things about anyone or any business, don't post or text pictures that you wouldn't show your grandmother, and don't write about any activities that should be kept private and personal.  Future employers (or future spouses, for that matter) may do some digging around and could find things that you'd wish were never put out there in Web Land.  Recently a mom who had given her son his first iPhone made the news because she gave him a list of rules along with the phone, and included items that are generally considered good digital citizenship.

Part of being a good digital citizen is to be aware of the certain fact that there are people who are looking to take advantage of your good reputation, your files and contacts, and your finances.  Always operate with this in your mind- giving out personal information willy-nilly to every site that asks is asking for trouble.  Pay attention to sites that have https when giving personal information, because the "s" on the end means that it is a secure site, which is what you want (as opposed to just "http".  Never click on an email in your inbox that leads to alink that asks you to give personal information, even if it seems like a legit email (like one from your bank).  It could easily be a fake one, and you could end up giving personal information to people who will access your bank accounts, your credit, or your good name.  

If you are prudent and judicious about your online habits, you will have a low risk for being robbed of your name and your fortune.


  1. The contract from the mom is great. Every family should create something that fits their family values that includes digital responsibility. My biggest mistake was not having my kids park their phones in another room at night. Luckily, they can be trusted and have not abused the phone. It's just hard to ask a kid to ignore a message coming in at midnight. Much easier if the phone is not there to temp.

    Great post. Thanks.

  2. I agree with this post especially where you mentioned that part of being a good digital citizen is being aware of whats out there and that others motives are not always pure.

  3. I also liked the part about not everyone has good intentions. It would be nice to trust everyone, but not everyone can be trusted.