For people who are either unfamiliar with the do’s and don'ts of the Internet, or who just want a glimpse of what being online is all about, including its potential thrills and pitfalls, the Australian government has introduced an online guide.
Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy, with support from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has launched an industry-backed resource, Digital Citizens Guide, to assist people in making “good decisions online by encouraging Internet users to communicate and engage positively, learn about new technologies and choose consciously.”
The guide suggests three core principles, which the government claims reflect the values, skills and knowledge required for “confident online participation”: “engaging positively, knowing the online world, partly by learning new skills and digital technologies, and choosing consciously.”
Rife in pedantic overtones, the guide instructs citizens of appropriate online behaviour like respecting the rights of others to participate and have an opinion to standing up and speaking out about cyberbullying. For instance, it reminds people of one common sense-but-often-ignored-Internet-etiquette: to “ask before tagging other people or posting photos.”
It also warns of several online dangers:
“The Digital Citizens Guide contains clear, consistent and useful advice and engaging resources to help Australians be confident when banking, shopping, communicating and socialising online,” Lundy said.
The Digital Citizens Guide, was developed by ACMA, is also backed by industry and online leaders such as Google, Facebook, Telstra, Microsoft, the Commonwealth Bank, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Yahoo!7, the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, the Internet Industry Association, the Family Online Safety Institute, Bravehearts and the Centre for Internet Safety.
The guide can be accessed here.