Digital Intelligence To Raise Smarter Digital Citizens

Annapurna Saripella

Jan 09 2023

<div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Digital use: The ability to master various digital devices like cell phones, iPad, laptop, games, or any other digital media. ‘Delete’ from devices does not really delete information from the cyber world. Know how your personal data is stored and used by each of those devices and apps, and be cognizant of the information going out into the digital world, for anyone to use.<br><br>Digital security: Teach your children early on how to detect cyber threats by showing them examples of hacking, scams scenarios. Install the tools and software to protect information from malware. Show them how to clear stored data, cache and other techniques to keep their devices as safe as possible. Review privacy settings on all platforms and devices and educate your children about credible websites. <br><br><br>Digital protection: Talk to children about cyber-bullying, cyber-violence, obscenity, and racial/gender discriminatory behavior and comments. Damage of this nature can be devastating on children’s psyche. Build trust early on with your children and involve them in working out strategies when problems arise. Be proactive and establish at the outset safe practices regarding the virtual world. <br><br>Digital emotional intelligence: Allow your children to build empathy with others online. With more and more relationships and social interactions happening online, saying ‘No’ may not work all the time. Educate them on how to build healthy online relationships founded on principles of respect, setting boundaries, understanding, and trust.<br><br>This intelligence varies between situations, communities, social and professional setups. Parents are the best guide in counseling their children about interpreting these interactions, especially when it involves family members, local communities, and teachers.<br><br><br>Digital communication: Children and teens should have a grasp on online communication and collaboration, using the appropriate language needed for the occasion. For example, do not be casual and use emojis when formal language is expected. Know how words can be interpreted by various online groups. To understand these nuances, encourage your children to learn the cultural and educational differences in languages.<br><br></p><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Digital rights: Understand your digital rights and those of others, which includes, data privacy, copyright infringement, plagiarism, and intellectual property rights. It also covers freedom of speech and protection from hate speech.<br><span></div><div style=' background:#FFFFFF;color:#000000;font-size:15px;font-family:Verdana;width:auto;padding:5px;max-height:100%;'><span><p>Children should be well-informed about the public nature of the internet - with benefits, come risks. Any data shared on the internet like emails, photos or videos can easily be copied, pasted and it is almost impossible to take them back. <br>Protecting others’ reputation is as important as protecting one’s own. Damage to anyone’s image and position, done intentionally or unintentionally, can cost dearly a friendship, a crucial relationship, jeopardize a career, cause public humiliation, often leading to severe consequences.<br>When they face a threat or encounter inappropriate material, they should know that they can always seek support from an adult family member. <br>As parents, coordinate with other parents and request schools to include digital intelligence as part of the curriculum. <br>We need to remind ourselves and our children is that there is a human person(s) or organization(s) at the end of the chain receiving, managing, and mining all the data, for legitimate purposes OR spurious activities. Do not do anything online that you would not do in real life. <br>Every one of us is susceptible to digital and cyber-attack. Peoples of all ages, genders, economic levels and academic standing are vulnerable to cyber threats and cyber-crimes. Digital intelligence is non-linear - more educated does not necessarily mean more digitally intelligent. <br>Differences in age, gender, social status, or economic levels is not a measure of digital intelligence. Children are more adept at handling technological changes and newer devices than older persons, but older folks have more foresight and wisdom about the real world.<br>Online connections are a poor substitute for human dynamics of the real world. Encourage children to balance their online and offline time. Inspire and motive children to spend time with real people has its merits of building social and emotional intelligence, and those experiences go a long way in shaping their digital intelligence.<br>We hope this article has been effective in bringing out the critical issue of digital intelligence and why it is important to foster this in ourselves and in our children. Let us work towards building positive and safer online communities.<br><br></p><span></div>

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