Passport on computer

Cyber Citizenship Part 6: Code of Conduct

In There's a Stranger in My House by Dr James Wellborn

Cyber Citizens should abide by a strict code of conduct based on the rights, privileges and responsibilities of being a member of the cyber world.

Obey the law. 

□   Copyright Infringement:  using, selling or distributing products or creations without permission of the copyright owner

□   Plagiarism:  presenting the words, music, thoughts or ideas of others without giving them credit

□   Bullying and Harassment:  repeatedly threatening, pressuring, intimidating or intentionally lying about another person

□   Child Pornography:  taking, sending, forwarding or keeping naked pictures of someone under 18 years old

□   Stalking: continued unwanted monitoring and attention focused on another person

□   Identity Theft: using the personal data of another person without their permission

Protect personal information

□   Do not share

  • Passwords
  • Social Security number
  • Credit/Debit card numbers
  • PIN numbers

□   Cautiously share

  • Full Name
  • Social media access
  • GPS locations on cell phone, electronic devices, etc.

Be safe

□   Create secure passwords and change them on a regular basis

□   Install and maintain a highly rated anti-spyware and malware protection program on electronic devices

□   Do not conduct personal business on unsecured (public) internet network servers

□   Block and ignore malicious social networking posts

□   Don’t open emails from unknown people, companies or organizations

□   Provide personal information directly to reputable sites and not through email links

□   Download apps or programs only in consultation with parents

□   Be selective in adding online friends and sharing personal information

□   Keep parents informed of potential risks, malicious communications and worrisome things that occur

Limit your footprint

□   Post pictures you would be comfortable sharing with a potential employer

□   Make comments and use the language you would with a future employer

□   Be aware of information stored and the data collected by online sites

Respect other’s property

□   Give credit where credit is due for thoughts, ideas, words or music belonging to others

Respect other’s privacy

□   Keep confidential information confidential

□   Don’t forward others’ words or pictures without their permission

□   Intimate information (or behavior) should be kept private and personal

Be Civil

□   Be polite

□   Argue and disagree without name calling and making hurtful remarks

□   Speak with kindness

□   Demonstrate compassion and understanding for the misfortunes (or short comings) of others

□   Don’t engage in behavior that will harm others emotionally, psychologically, socially or physically

□   Maintain your own personal boundaries

Citizens are committed to these behavior regardless of whether they are online or in the physical world.  It is well worth holding your kids accountable for how you expect them to conduct themselves as citizens in their larger communities.  We will all benefit from that.


originally published on

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