What is Netiquette?

Netiquette is network etiquette, the do's and don'ts of online communication. Netiquette covers both common courtesy online and the informal "rules of the road" of cyberspace. Netiquette is very important because without it, other internet users might consider you very rude. There are some general rules that are mostly common sense, which usually aim to make the web more usable for everyone. One example of this is to use only common abbreviations, like "thx" for thanks." You would not want to use "tyfyt" in place of "thank you for your time," because no one would understand what you are talking about. Other rules are more specific, as outlined in the list to the right. Those rules are widely accepted, and though the list might not be complately inclusive, it provides a good base for new internet users.

Safe Instant Messaging

If a child is asked for more personal information than necessary, he or she should immediately report the incident to an adult. Some websites will try to take advantage of people, and many children are prone to naivite, which makes them easy targets for wrongdoers on the web.

Reporting Innapropriate Activity

A federal law, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), was created to help protect kids online. It's designed to keep anyone from obtaining a child's personal information without a parent knowing about it and agreeing to it first. COPPA requires websites to explain their privacy policies on the site and get parental consent before collecting or using a child's personal information, such as a name, address, phone number, or Social Security number. The law also prohibits a site from requiring a child to provide more personal information than necessary to play a game or participate in a contest.

Safe Texting

  • Spell check. Not doing so can interfere with understanding and coherance.
  • Don't write IN ALL CAPS. Caps are rude because it is commonly interpreted as yelling.
  • Tell the truth, be yourself. Don't be fake on the web.
  • Don't flame. Personal insults are unnecessary, the interent should be a safe place for everyone.
  • Don't spam. It is very annoying and will not make you any friends.
  • Be conservative. Never say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.
  • Use discretion. Not everyone is as old as you or at the same maturity level as you.
  • Use secure sites. Some undesirable sites are frequent spots for predators.
  • Don't curse. It is considered very rude to curse online because there are young people.

Chat Room Safety

Chat room rules, Remember that you can't take messages back. Keep private information private. Don't get together with someone you meet in a chat room. Don't reveal your actual location. Choose a nick name so you don't have to give out your real name. If someone says or does something creepy, block them and don't respond. If the discussion becomes innapropriate, just sign out.

Parental Resources

  • Netsmartz workshop
  • The Police Notebook
  • Many school systems