Online Safety and Digital Citizenship

At Durham District School Board (DDSB) we understand that learning is increasingly taking place online. We want to teach our students how to interact with online materials while staying safe. Below are a variety of resources to guide guardians and students.

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month

Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) is an internationally recognized campaign held each year to inform people around the world about the importance of cyber security. 

Below you will find cyber safety resources organized as a four-week campaign by DDSB staff to help students, families and staff stay cyber safe while they learn and connect with each other online. We hope you find these resources helpful.


Cyber Security and Safeguarding your Data, Devices and Accounts 

Using secure passwords and applying good user account practices 
Keeping your devices secure 
  • Summary of tips for safeguarding your devices (Word / PDF
  • Clear your browser cache and browsing history (Word / PDF
Securing your home network and the risks of using Wi-Fi from other remote locations
Safely using videoconferencing tools for synchronous learning
  • Tips for safe Videoconferencing for Staff and Teachers (Word / PDF)

Cyber Safety: Understanding Cyber Threats

Understanding Cyber Threats will explore what types of threats are online and how you can protect yourself from ransomware, malware and identity theft.

Safe Remote Learning Tips

Cyber Safety: Think Before You Click, Post or Share?

Here are a few things to consider before you look at content that is sent to you or if you should share it with others. Check first, share after (video), stop the spread of misinformation.

Be Smart and Safe Online 

Be Smart and Safe Online focuses on being aware of risks to different online activities, spotting threats and understanding how to stay safe while online. The Internet and the many different communication technologies such as laptops, smartphones, tablets and other smart devices, offer individuals of all age great opportunities for learning, exploration, fun and especially keeping in touch with friends and family during this pandemic. Unfortunately, these technologies can also present a host of concerns and worries ranging from accessing inappropriate content to being a victim of harassment or cybercrime.

This week will look at the following areas of risk: 

Online gaming 
Social media 
Sexual exploitation, sextortion and sexting


Five Key Tips for Digital Parenting 

From Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents

 Don't be scared!
You hear a lot of scary stuff about kids and the internet, but the fact is that most kids do just fine. Think of the internet as being like a swimming pool: the best way to keep your kids safe there is to teach them how to stay safe.
 Talk to your kids.
Don’t wait until things have already gone wrong to talk to your kids about online issues, and don’t just have one “big talk.” What your kids need from you is guidance, so they’re prepared to deal with problems before they happen, support from you when things do go wrong, and

for you to reinforce these messages by continuing to talk to them as they get older and are more able to make decisions for themselves. The three main sections of this guide have lots of tips on how to talk about all of the major online issues. If you have older kids and haven’t talked to them about the internet yet, don’t worry: it’s never too late to start!

 Be a part of your kids' media lives.
What your kids are watching, playing, reading and listening to is a big part of the person they’re turning into, and their online lives can be just as important to them as the “real world.” Younger kids are usually glad when their parents show an interest in the things they like, so get them to show you how their new favourite game works or why they’re so excited about joining a new social network. You can also use media to talk about sensitive issues: kids may be more comfortable talking about sexting or bullying when you’re discussing a character in a TV show than someone they know.
 Be the person your kids come to when they have problems online. 
A lot of the time, kids don’t want to go to their parents when things go wrong because they’re afraid they’ll get in trouble. When your kids start going online make sure they know clear procedures on what to do if things go wrong, like if they can’t figure out a game or they accidentally access something unpleasant. (Check out the “How do I talk about...” and “How do I ...” sections below for some of these procedures.) If they’re in the habit of coming to you about the little things, they’ll be a lot more likely to talk to you about the big ones.
 Set rules and communicate values. 
The internet may seem like the Wild West sometimes, but the rules you set still affect how kids behave online. What’s most important is that your rules are a way of getting across the values you want your kids to live by, that way they’ll keep living by them even when they’re grown up and out on their own.

Digital tools in the DDSB

Students in the DDSB leverage digital through a number of online tools. Through the student registration process, parents/guardians agree to the student use of the following online platforms: 

  • Microsoft O365
  • G Suite for Education
  • Moodle
  • D2L Brightspace

Acceptable and Safe Use Policies

Students and staff use of digital tools is governed by the DDSB Safe and Acceptable Use Policy. 

Elementary Safe and Acceptable Use Policy

Secondary Safe and Acceptable Use Policy

Additional digital citizenship resources


Common Sense Media

Be Internet Awesome family resources