A digital citizen is a person utilizing information technology (IT) in order to engage in society, politics, and government.

As defined by Karen Mossberger, author of the novel on “Digital Citizenship: The Internet, Society, and Participation,” digital citizens represent “those who use the Internet regularly and effectively.”

Principles of Digital Citizenship:

  • Respect: the elements of etiquette, access, and law are used to respect other digital users.
  • Educate: the elements of literacy, communication, and commerce are used to learn about the appropriate use of the digital world.
  • Protect: the elements of rights and responsibilities, security, and health and wellness are used to remain safe in the digital and non-digital world.

The gap between digital citizens and non-digital citizens is often referred as the digital divide. Non-digital citizens will not be able to retrieve this information, and this may lead to social isolation or economic stagnation.

Being a good digital citizen involves a set of vital skills that everyone, from parents to teachers to children, needs to have in order to use technology appropriately. It’s important to equip technology users of all ages with knowledge about digital citizenship, including information about topics such as how to keep yourself safe online and how to avoid being scammed or otherwise taken in by bad information.

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