Searching, tweeting, emailing, texting, and lots of other things online are great fun and helpful. However, there is potential for some situations to become dangerous or illegal. Ignoring these situations usually make them worse. CyberSmart, a website from Australia, recently published a wonderful series of articles about protecting yourself and others on the internet. The seventh article in this series is about Netiquette.
If you missed last week’s post about staying legal on the Internet, click here. Also, check back next week to learn more about online friends.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the other person you are chatting to on IM, playing a game with, or posting to their profile is a real person. It’s easier to say and do things online that you might not do in ‘real life’. This may hurt that person’s feelings or make them feel unsafe or embarrassed. It’s important to be kind and polite to others online—and to stop and think about how your behavior will affect them.
- Treat other people the way you would like to be treated. Avoid using bad language and don’t say things to someone to make them feel bad.
- Learn about the ‘netiquette’ of being online. What’s considered okay to do and say and what isn’t? For example, if you type a message to someone in UPPER CASE they may think you are shouting at them.
- If someone says something rude or something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t respond. Leave the chat room or forum straight away.
- Tell your parents or another adult you trust if you read upsetting language, or see nasty pictures or something scary.