What is netiquette?

etiquette: (ET-i-kit) the rules and manners of proper social behavior. In biology, psychology and sociology social behavior is behavior directed towards, or taking place between, members of the same species.

the Net: a network of computers connected through phone lines and satellites.

netiquette (NETwork etIQUETTE): is a term derived from the words "Internet Etiquette” or “Network Etiquette" which describes the use of proper manners and behavior online. Internet Etiquette should be used in all areas of electronic means including email, chatting, blogging, forums, message boards, and so on.

Top 10 Netiquette Guidelines for a Safe Online Experienceby: Jace Shoemaker-Galloway

It is important to treat others with dignity and respect both on and offline. Although the rules may vary depending on the specific forum used, the following Top 10 Netiquette guidelines will offer some basic Internet tips and suggestions to provide a pleasant and safe online experience.
  1. Use Computer Courtesy - Whether a person is sending an email, chatting in a chat room or speaking in a forum, it is important to be courteous and respectful of others online. Always remember the Golden Rule!
  2. Use Emoticons - When communicating online, it can be difficult to gauge a writer's emotion. Unless a web camera or microphone is used, the writer's expression or emotion is difficult to determine. By using emoticons, the writer's proper emotion will be conveyed to the reader.
  3. Be Brief Online - It is important to keep messages short, especially when writing an email or typing in a chat room. By using common chat abbreviations or acronyms, not only will the reader appreciate the brevity of the message, it will save the author valuable time typing the message. Remember, keep it short and be brief!
  4. DON’T SHOUT -No matter what forum, writing in all capital letters is considered SHOUTING and is considered very rude. A word or two in caps is fine, but shouting is not recommended.
  5. Pay Attention to Language Issues -Improper, inappropriate or bad language may get a participant kicked out or permanently banned from a forum or group. It is also important to remember people from other countries may be participating in the conversation and language barriers may be an issue.
  6. Think Before Posting -It is important to note, what is posted online today, may come back and haunt the writer tomorrow. That silly or fun photograph posted on a social networking site, may keep that person from getting a job later on. Many colleges and employers are now searching social networking sites prior to hiring.
  7. Keep Personal Information Private -Posting private and personal information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Identity theft is a rapidly growing concern. Divulging too much information could give predators and those with bad intentions valuable information. Be careful where personal information is posted. If private information is posted in a group setting, read the guidelines prior to posting. Children should not post private information online
  8. Obey Copyright Laws -Obey copyright laws. Don’t steal!
  9. Help Internet Newbies -Be patient and helpful with others. Remember, everyone was a newbie once.
  10. Be Aware of Cyberbullying - Cyberbullying or electronic bullying continues to be an increasing problem. Parents should talk honestly and openly to children about the issues of electronic bullying. Studies suggest most children do NOT tell a trusted adult if they are a victim of electronic bullying. If targeted by a cyberbully, do not respond. Keep all ORIGINAL correspondence, with dates and times if possible. If the messages are of a threatening nature or safety is a concern, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.

By following these simple and straightforward guidelines, the online experience will be enjoyable and safe for all!