The 10-Minute Digital Librarian #7: Help users protect themselves online

This is the second post in a sub-series of our 10-Minute Digital Librarian series focusing on online safety. With the first looking at how to protect yourself, today’s challenge is to think about how you can help users protect themselves.

Arguably, the ability to manage risks when using the internet is a key component of digital literacy. To be a skilled and savvy internet user doesn’t just mean being able to find information or apply tools effectively. It also involves being able to spot risks and avoid falling victim to a loss of privacy or cybercrime.

As such, promoting digital hygiene among users is arguably a core part of libraries’ work to build digital skills among all members of the community.

What to do about it?

A first step of course is to ensure that you understand what is needed to protect yourself, as set out in the previous 10-Minute Digital Librarian exercise.

In doing this, you may well find tools that you think you can share with users, for example the Data Detox Kit, or materials prepared by the Library Freedom Project.

Looking beyond, however, there are growing numbers of resources out there, increasing the chances that you will find the one that is best suited to your own situation. There may be tools produced by actors in the digital space, including governments and civil society organisations.

For inspiration, you could look at the sort of activities organised as part of Safer Internet Day, held in February each year, in different parts of the world. Check out in particular the stories IFLA published on how libraries in Latvia and Lithuania.

We are also looking forward to the results of survey work carried out by IFLA’s Children and Young Adults Section into relevant work, with over 400 responses received.

Of course, in promoting internet safety, make sure not to scare users, but rather to empower them, giving them the confidence to go online.

Share the materials or methods you have found most effective in promoting internet safety in the box below.

Good luck!


If you are interested in issues around digital safety and privacy more broadly, you should take a look at the work of IFLA’s Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section, as well as our Advisory Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression.

Discover our series of 10-Minute Digital Librarian posts as it grows.