Respectful online communication

Respectful online communication

connected teens

For most of us online connections have transformed our daily lives, opening up a world of amazing opportunities. However, no matter who we are or where we are, we are all digital citizens, and how we act can have a big influence on everyone else.


What is Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is about how you think, what you experience, and how you behave online. It includes developing the knowledge to think critically, to be safe with your information and who you connect with, and to act responsibly in how you communicate and behave.

Simple tips to be a good digital citizen.

  • Be kind online.
    Just as we would in a face-to-face situation ,always treat others as you would like to be treated. Remember, online it can seem like you are you are speaking to real people, and it’s important to consider their feelings and concerns. Even a simple like on a post can have an impact on others. Before you post, take a moment to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand the impact it may have on them.
  • Don’t feed the trolls.
    Trolls are people who like arguing or aggravating others, and are usually found in comments sections, message boards, or anywhere else they can can cause disruption. If you encounter a troll, resist the temptation to interact with them. Any response is likely to just encourage them to continue their behaviour.
  • Respect copyright, and fair use.
    It’s easier than ever to copy, paste, download and publish content. Writing, music, artwork, and movies can be easy to take without thinking twice. For anyone who creates material, copyright gives that person the right to control how this content is used.This means that you must check who owns the content, get permission to use it, give credit to the creator, buy it if necessary, and use it responsibly.
  • #NoRegrets.
    Our digital world is permanent, and with every post we are building a digital footprint. This is basically the trail of data you create when using the internet, for example everything that is said, posted, shared, or website you visit. When you post or share content online think about who could potentially see it. It creates an impression of who were are – are you comfortable with friends, family, teachers, or employers seeing it now or in the future? Taking steps such as checking your privacy, deleting old accounts, and thinking before you post can help to ensure that you manage your online reputation. Ensure your online experience is a positive one with these tips for managing your online reputation.
  • Protect your privacy.
    Be careful with your personal information, as it can make it easier for people to discover where you are or find out more about you. Avoid posting sensitive information such as your address or phone number, use strong passwords and regularly review your privacy settings to make sure you are not sharing anything you don’t want others to see, including personal information that could be used by strangers to identify you.
  • Take a stand.
    Stand up for yourself and others if problems arise. Just like you would report an issue in real life, you should report problems, inappropriate content, and abusive behaviour. Speak to someone you trust, or get advice from organisations that can provide support.
  • Unplug.
    Knowing when to stay connected, and when to turn off your device is part of being a good digital citizen. Though technology can be an amazing tool for learning, growing, and creating social change, sometimes you need to unplug.

Talk to someone

Worried about something you have seen online or concerned about your child? Childline and the National Parents Council Primary offer free advice and support service.

Childline is a support service for young people up to the age of 18.There is a 24hr telephone, online and mobile phone texting service.

Get started

The National Parents Council Primary enables and empowers parents to be effective partners in their children’s education.

01 887 4477

Report Illegal Content

Sometimes you might unwittingly stumble across illegal online content like child abuse imagery. Always remember: you can report it and get it removed using

More on illegal content

Make a report exists to combat the distribution and proliferation of illegal content, like child sexual
abuse content, in conjunction with police and Internet Industry