I am a responsible digital citizen when I:

  • take steps to protect my Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and never reveal the identities of people I know in real life.

  • know how to create secure passwords for all of my online accounts

  • always think before I post anything online.


It seems like data breaches are a daily occurrence on the news these days.  From bank accounts being compromised due to lax security measures or infected computers, to inappropriate pictures of celebrities being taken right off their mobile devices and posted online, it is clear that staying safe and protected online is serious business.  Much of that business starts with being alert, vigilant, and proactive at home.  

Moreover, much of what might get a person in trouble online is publicly accessible, often-times contributed by that person him or herself.  For whatever reason, an alarming number of people feel perfectly comfortable divulging the private details of their lives online, only to rage against the same social media sites they post to when their decision comes back to haunt them.  We should aim as educators to help our students develop more balanced and more intelligent notions of safety, security, and privacy when it comes to using technology.


  • American School Counselor Association - National Standards for Students

    • Personal/Social Development

      • Standard B:  “Students will make decisions, set goals and take necessary action to achieve goals.”

        • PS:B1:  Self-knowledge application

          • PS:B1.2:  “Understand consequences of decisions and choices”

      • Standard C:  “Students will understand safety and survival skills”

        • PS:C1:  Acquire Personal Safety Skills

          • PS:C1.4:  “Demonstrate the ability to set boundaries, rights and personal privacy

          • PS:C1.7:  “Apply effective problem-solving and decision-making skills to make safe and healthy choices”

  • ISTE Standards - Students

    • 5. Digital citizenship - “Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.”

      • a. “Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology”

Students can demonstrate this trait when they:

  • Create a secure password for one or more school-based online accounts.

  • Create different secure passwords for different accounts

  • Refrain from giving out their passwords to others

  • Show evidence of consideration for what they are posting online for others to see

Tools that students can use to demonstrate these traits:

Lessons from Common Sense Media