At Jam Coding, we inspire young people to get creative with code and we educate them on how to do it safely. Our aim is to create the digital citizens of tomorrow. But what makes a good digital citizen? Keep reading to find out…
Protect personal data
A good digital citizen protects both their personal data and the personal data of others.
There are many ways in which a child and/or responsible adult can protect private information online:
Firstly, create strong passwords using a mix of characters (usually a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols) and make sure they don’t contain names, birthdays or any other personal clues.
Secondly, turn off the location identifier on any apps or websites used by a child. This will protect their location from strangers when using apps like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
Thirdly, manage privacy settings on all apps and websites. On Facebook, for example, you can control what information non-friends can see and who can send you messages.
And finally, set up two-factor authentication to add an extra layer of protection from hackers who may want to access your child’s account for fraudulent reasons.
Be respectful of other internet users
A good digital citizen is always respectful online. This means:
- No trolling or cyberbullying
- Respecting the opinions and views of others, even if you disagree
- Using polite language, imagery and emojis
- Only sharing information you believe to be true. If in doubt, fact check!
- Only using real names and profiles to connect with others
Understand and respect copyright laws
A good digital citizen understands and respects copyright laws.
Nowadays, young people in education have access to a wide range of information, but not all that information can be used, shared or edited.
As daily participants, it’s important for children to understand the basic ethical and legal boundaries surrounding the internet and the creative work of others.
Manage digital footprint
A good digital citizen understands that anything they post online creates a digital footprint.
There are many ways in which a child and/or parent can manage their digital footprint:
- Delete any content you wouldn’t want a parent, teacher or potential employer to see
- Research yourself online to find and delete any negative information
- Don’t share too much about yourself and, if you do, make sure it’s professional and respectful
Limit (and make good use of) screen time
A good digital citizen is careful about how much time they spend in front of the screen, and how they use that time. The internet is a great resource for learning but children need to find a healthy balance between time spent online and offline.
The way they use screen time is equally important. Scrolling through Instagram and watching endless videos may be fun, but using a creative app or typing is a better use of time.