Be a smart digital citizen

All web sites are created for a purpose:

  • Some are set up to cater to various interest groups (e.g. music fans, mothers, newly weds, etc.).
  • Some are devoted to causes (e.g. to stop human trafficking or raise awareness about drunk driving).
  • Many websites are set up to facilitate commercial purposes like shopping and transactions.
  • There are also countless company websites, government websites and news websites which you can go to for specific information.
  • Then there are social networking sites which allow users to create profiles, blog, upload stuff, and connect with other individuals.
  • And there are also what can be termed as harmful web sites; hate sites and similar others that seek to promote extremist views or propagate disinformation about almost any topic.

When you first visit a website, do browse through to understand who or what the website has been set up for, and take some time to read the website's Terms of Service.

This will give you a good idea of the people behind the website and its purpose, and whether the website is suitable for you. If you are using the site for research and reference, always verify and try to authenticate the information.

On social networking sites especially, knowing the site allows you to determine what content would be considered inappropriate on the site. Responsible websites will typically provide a mechanism to allow users to report abuse or flag inappropriate content. By notifying the website when you come across content that should not be there, you are helping other users and the website.