15 golden rules of online etiquette

With any culture there are certain rules and customs that you should follow so you don't offend anyone. This is no different for the culture that exists on the internet, whether you are emailing, chatting with other people, gaming or building your own Web site. There is a list of golden rules you should live by to help your online experience be as smooth as possible. This code is known as "Netiquette".

1. Be Polite

Some people thing that being on the net means you are anonymous and so they can get away with being rude and creating trouble in chat rooms and on message boards. This is not true, as most Web sites have tracking features so they can tell who has been on their site. If you cause trouble, you may end up being blocked from that site. The site mayb report you to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and you may even get a warning phone call or email from them. If it continues to happen, your ISP may disconnect your service.

2. Be Respectful

The internet is a global community, and other people's values and out-looks on life may be different to your own. Be tolerant and careful with slang or phrases that may not be understood in another country.

3. Don't shout

When you are chatting or emailing people, avoid using capital letters, unless you want to really emphasise what you are saying. If you type only in capital letters it means you are SHOUTING, and as you'd expect, some other internet users may not appreciate being shouted at.

4. Size does matter

Sending pictures and other attachments with emails is great, but you should be considerate with the files you send and make sure they are fairly small in size, so people on slower Internet connections won't get stuck downloading your images. The maximum size of a file you should send should be around 50kb to 100kb.

5. Clean up your emails

Sometimes you may want to forward on a funny email you've received, however forwarding emails that contain hundreds of addresses and lines of text (because they've passed through so many other people's email boxes before yours) before you get to the good part is bad Netiquette. You may also find that such emails contain a lot of ">" symbols, which usually appear in forwarded mail. If you really want to send a joke on, then spend some time cleaning it up. Hit the forward button, and delete any extra text before you enter the email addresses of those you want to pass it onto, then hit send.

6. Don't join the chain

Be wary of forwarding on chain emails, particularly those ones that threaten you with harm if you "don't send this email onto 50 people in the next five minutes". Some people will be annoyed at receiving them, so it's best not to send them on.

7. Can the spam

Never send commercial or bulk email to anyone to try to solicit their business without their permission. And if you do, make sure you have a way they can tell you they do not want to get those emails, should they choose. This practice, called "spamming", is considered the worst breach of Netiquette and it can even get you banned from your ISP. Mostt Internet users get very annoyed by spam.

--->Next Page