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Netiquette: The Rules for Proper Online Behavior


Netiquette is the etiquette of digital technology and the Internet. Things like not typing in all capital letters, because that means you are shouting online may not be familiar to adults. But in the same way there are rules for not running in hallways and keeping your voice down in a library, there are rules for what you should and shouldn't do online.


You don’t use punctuation in IMs and text messages. You use smileys :-) to show emotion. And when you send something that could be misunderstood, you use a “JK” for just kidding. Right? Those are rules of netiquette – cyber etiquette.


What are some of the other rules, and why do we care? The less you break the rules, the less people will misunderstand what you mean. The less they misunderstand you, the less likely they will be upset with you or lash out at you. When someone thinks you launched the first attack, they are happy to launch the counter-attack. Lots of cyberbullying starts this way. You did something that hurt someone else’s feelings by accident. But it begins cyber world war 3 when they react.


Remember Take 5! in our cyberbullying materials? It’s designed to make sure you don’t do or say anything that others will react to.


Remember, too, that in addition to the rules of the online world, there are different rules for people all around the real-life world. On the Internet people from many countries will be sharing ideas, and what is normal and correct for them may be strange to you. So the rule of the game is RESPECT and thinking about the people on the other side of any communications or posts. Respect the opinions of others, don’t rush in and start bossing people around and thinkB4uClick!


WiredSafety will be offering frequent updates on Netiquette, teaching the rules of the cyber-highway. The more you know, the less likely it is that you will offend someone online or give the wrong impression. You'll also understand what is acceptable or not when others break the rules of Netiquette with you.

Netiquette - The Big No-No's


• Flaming—inciting or provoking an argument. 

• Posting false information about someone else.

• Using someone’s account without their okay.

• Using someone’s password (even if they gave it to you) without their okay.

• Sending a large attachment without asking first.

• Referring to someone by their real name online if they want to remain anonymous in public.

• Posting personal information about someone else without their okay.

• Talking off-topic in a special topic chatroom.

• Posting a pic of someone without asking first.

• Giving out someone’s screen name or e-mail without their okay.


Remember that just because you’re hiding out behind your computer monitor, you aren’t exempt from being thoughtful and respectful of others. You are what you do online and off. It’s your reputation, your future and your world. Let’s make it friendlier, kinder and filled with RESPECT!



Netiquette - Chain Emails

In the olden days you may have received a chain letter (in an envelope with a stamp!) warning you of your certain death or bad luck if you failed to make copies and send them to ten of your nearest and dearest friends for them to forward on and so on and so forth. You'd have to sit scribbling for hours just to be certain you would not be struck by lightening.


But what about in the digital age? No stamps, No envelopes. No scribbling. Just the click of a mouse and the selection of the ten friends from your Facebook account or your address book. Lucky them!


Chain emails are a no-no!


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