Digital Safety and Citizenship Resources

Map of the world superimposed by an image of a laptop with a lock on the screen.

Learn more about digital safety and citizenship and how these issues impact you as a member of the university community. These resources, curated by Digital Safety Support Officer Vicki Madden, will help to keep you safe and secure while engaging online.   The Digital Safety and Citizenship Resources cover:

Digital Safety

Digital safety is everyone’s business here at the university.  Students engage with multiple digital technologies on a day-to-day basis, but with increased connectivity comes increased risk and it’s important to recognise the myriad threats that you might encounter while engaging online, including online harassment and cyberbullying, false information and “fake news”, phishing schemes, social engineering, online fraud, malware, e.g. ransomware, adware, and viruses.

Such digital threats can compromise your privacy, reputation and even physical safety, so it’s important to be critical and cautious in order to safeguard yourself and those around you.

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship refers to the responsible use of technology to learn, create and participate online. As a member of the university community it’s your social responsibility to be a good digital citizen, which means treating others with dignity and respect. The following principles are a good place to start:

1. Use the Golden Rule

How we behave in virtual spaces shouldn’t differ from how we behave in physical spaces. It’s important to act with empathy, compassion and kindness in both your online and offline interactions.

2. Respect differences

The University prides itself on fostering a truly international community, which means respecting cultural differences and honouring diverse perspectives. If you disagree with someone online, engage thoughtfully and avoid personal attacks.

3. Pause before posting

The Internet is a place of knowledge exchange, but conversations can get heated. It’s worth pausing for a moment before responding to anything in anger. Avoid posting or sending anything that could hurt someone else, damage someone’s reputation, or threaten either your own safety or the safety of others.

4. Stand up for yourself and others

If you ever feel unsafe online, tell someone. You can also support others who are targets of online abuse or cruelty by reporting activity that threatens a person’s safety and preserving evidence of inappropriate or unsafe behaviour.

Visit Digital Safety and Citizenship for further information and resources.

© Victoria Madden, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0

Header image: Royalty free image from PickPik.