Online Ethics and Etiquettes – What are internet etiquettes and why are they important

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Netiquettes refer to the set of rules relating to manners and behaviour over any computer network. Nowadays, most of our conversations are held online. Be it formal emails, using social media or any formal or informal means of communication online, must abide by a set of etiquettes. In an era where million-dollar deals and jobs are confirmed through an email, we present you some do’s and don’ts when it comes to conversing in an online social environment. Here are some online ethics and etiquettes we all should follow.

Online Ethics and etiquettes

1. Be clearBe Clear - Online Ethics and etiquettes

One must be very clear and precise while delivering messages over the internet. Especially while writing emails for work, you must stick to the point, mention the appropriate subject and follow the basic format of a formal email. You can even put important stuff in bold. However, you should avoid writing in capital letters in emails, forums or social media posts as writing entirely in block capitals is taken as the online equivalent of shouting.

2. Obey copyright laws

Copyright - Online Ethics and etiquettes

We often pick up images or videos or even the entire presentations from the internet for our personal and professional uses. However, we must always keep in mind the copyright laws and keep a practice to acknowledge these sources in the references section of your presentation or report.

3. Create backup copies for your important stuff

Create backup copies - Online Ethics and etiquettes

Be it excel files or project reports on your PC or important personal documents, you must keep a habit of backing it up online. There are innumerable things that could go wrong with your PC like system crash, hard disk failure or even a virus attack that can sweep of the important data you wouldn’t want to lose. Thus, you can take a back up of such important files and information online on your drive or any such platform. However, you must always keep in mind not to share your sensitive information online. In such cases, you can take this on an external device like a pen drive so as to ensure security.

4. Report illegal activities or offending content

If you come across anything that you might find offensive or unfit for the audience on the internet, it is always a good practice to report the content. Almost all social media sites provide that option and you can even find many sites that report such content available on any external website.

5. Be careful while posting

Be careful while posting - Online Ethics and etiquettes

Posting on social media isn’t a new thing for a generation like us. However, you should remember that your posts are public. They could be viewed by a very broad audience like your family, friends, and people from work. Thus, you must be careful while posting anything online. Also, you must comment wisely as not to offend or defame someone. In case the things go sour, you shall be held liable for it. Besides, you can always control your privacy settings on social media to control the audience for your posts.

6. Always Acknowledge

Always acknowledge - Online Ethics and etiquettes

Be it party invitations or meetings or just a random gathering with friends, gone are the days when people personally called everyone to inform and invite each other. Nowadays, it happens with just a message on your social media group or on the email. Thus, when you get invited, you must acknowledge the sender. Be it your confirmation or response or even an “okay”, you must reply by mail or message accordingly.

The way you communicate online can a major impact on your impression. Read messages before sending to avoid any negative undertones that you might have missed upon the first time. Thus, following these online ethics and etiquettes will help you by large in your professional and personal life.

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