Protecting Identity

In the information era, we rely on Internet access to connect to relevant information. Many of the modern Web 2.0 tools of choice also provide users with the ability to add content—which in many cases  is personal or tied back to our identity.  Once we have provided information or published content, we have contributed to a permanent record that we have no control over. This allows us to be an active participant in society, but it also opens up some pitfalls.
Digital footprint is a  term we use to describe the information we leave behind when we publish content or information. This can be a comment on a blog, an image in a photo sharing site, a posting in Facebook, or something as simple as an e-mail. This content can be stored, copied, and redistributed outside our control. If this content is inappropriate or  compromises our safety, it is nearly impossible to retract.
Our identity is also tied to a digital environment. Providing too much personal information or not understanding where our information can end up is a risk for our personal or financial safety.


The Door That's Not Locked - Safety Resources for Parents

myprivacy, mychoice - Resources to Teach kids About Protecting Your Privacy in Canada

Did You Know?

—"About 3 in 10 youth indicated that they would provide their real names and addresses to sign-up for free email or create a profile on a social networking site, while 16% indicated that they had intentionally visited a pornographic website and 9% had visited an adult chat room during their current school year"

Media Awareness Network - 2005




Create a Technology Contract

In the media, when we hear about the use of technology by students there seems to be a lot of attention on the negative issues that arise. The nature of digital information means that safety is more fluid and the risks are constantly evolving. However, we also recognize that being reactive to these issues is a losing battle. There has to be a more comprehensive, proactive approach to tackling digital issues in schools. To start we need to define the issues.

Parents interested in learning more about parenting in the digital era should check out the Media Awareness Network's E-Parenting tutorials. They have some useful tips, and an interactive tool that generates a contract between the parents and kids in terms of using technology and online tools.

Something to Watch