Celebrate #Canada150 by teaching diversity and inclusiveness online

March 1, 2017

2017 is a great year to celebrate all the things that make us be proud to be Canadian: Our beautiful, vast landscapes, our heroes of sports and culture, and our diverse and inclusive society.

As we celebrate multiculturalism and goodwill in our communities, we can also put those values into action online, by teaching our children about good digital citizenship.

Digital citizenship is about who we are, and how we act, online. If we want to have an open and welcoming society, we also need to be “Canadian” online.

When you think about what it means to you to be Canadian, consider the importance of respecting people's feelings, privacy, and property online. For example, cyberbullying can cause real harm to someone, sharing personal information can lead to identity theft, and downloading music illegally is actually stealing.

New sites, apps, and social media platforms appear every day, and with these, come new ways to interact with content and people — in Canada and around the world. The ability to be anonymous online can make it easy to be less empathetic towards others than we are in person. That does not make us less responsible for our actions.

Who we are online is no different than who we are in “real life.” We're Canadians, wherever we are. Our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and our laws guarantee that nobody should face harassment or exclusion based on their cultural background. This includes showing equal respect for all ethnicities, religious beliefs, original languages, and countries of heritage or origin.

Our children may be digital natives, but they often look to their parents for guidance. Teach them to think about who they are  and who they want to be before they act. Provide a good example with your own behaviour, showing tolerance and understanding of others.

There are many resources online to help teach your child how to promote Canadian respect, diversity and inclusivity online.

Learn more about practicing good digital citizenship in 2017 — and beyond — at getcybersafe.ca

Follow Get Cyber Safe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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