Digital ethics, are a set of moral principles that govern the use of technology and the Internet.
In today's world, digital technologies, especially the Internet have become an integral part of our daily lives. They have have brought about many new opportunities and threats. With technology impacting every aspect of our lives, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the ethical implications of our digital behaviours.
Let's take a quick overview in this article of the reasons why digital ethics (or cyber ethics) are important, and how DCIM education can inculcate digital ethics in a student.
While knowledge of cyber safety is required to stay safe from criminal or unethical acts of other users on the Internet, digital ethics protect you from committing a cyber crime or an unethical online act. The 10 Commandments of Computer Ethics clearly articulate how you should act ethically online. If you do not follow digital ethics, you may end up doing the following things:
- Violating personal privacy or data security of someone.
- Cyberbullying or harassing someone online.
- Hurt feelings of or disrespect or defame someone online.
- Commit an intellectual property theft or plagiarism.
- Commit a cyber scam.
- Propagate fake news or socially harmful information.
How DCIM education can foster digital ethics in students?
An Internet user can only develop digital ethics when he or she has high level of empathy with other Internet users. To develop high level of empathy in the digital world, one must understand the nuances of human behaviour across various online platforms. Let's see how the knowledge of DCIM skills affect the standards of digital ethics of an individual.
- Understanding the nature of Web 2.0 reveals to a person that today's Internet is *user driven*. All the content is generated by users and majority of the online activities are user-to-user. Hence by using this Web 2.0 they are basically dealing with other people, with technology just being a medium. That's why the issue of digital ethics becomes important.
- Learning about sharing digital content publicly on the Internet, tells a person to be mindful of how the content can affect other users and how it can impact on one's online reputation and the reputation of others.
- Learning about mature way of social networking helps a person develop emotional intelligence required for safe, purposeful and ethical conduct on social networking websites like Facebook and Instagram.
- Learning about the mature way of professional networking helps a person develop professional integrity & honesty by being honest with their Linkedin profile and being sensitive towards the professional networking netiquette.
- Learning about the skills of effective forum discussions allows a person to respect the code of conduct in an online community and become tolerant about divergent points of views of other people.
- Going through the lessons of cyber safety and digital ethics, a person understands in detail how easy it is to turn unethical in the digital world if one is not mindful of his or her online actions.
- Learning about managing one's online reputation makes a person sensitive towards other's online reputation and thus more ethical in behaving online.
- Finally, by understanding the threats to one's wellbeing due to overuse or misuse of the Internet, a person would restrain from forcing another person to indulge in any kind of digital excess.
The core objective of DCIM education is to make a person mindful and purposeful in using online tools. Therefore, it serves as the perfect foundation for the development of digital ethics.
It won't be an exaggeration to say that only an Internet mature person can act in a digitally ethical way.