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Follow these simple rules for online netiquette.

NetiquetteWhen you are driving down the street you expect others to observe the rules of the road, the Internet is no different in this regard. While travelling along the information highway there are rules of the road that need to be observed and respected. These rules are very simple and easy to apply and remember. Netiquette does not happen overnight, it is something that you learn as you go along. Don't be afraid to surf the net and connect with people. If you make mistakes, and you will, don't take it as a bad thing. Quite the opposite, it means that you have learned something. Always remember that knowledge is power. If you follow these simple rules, you will have a trip around the net that is relatively pot-hole free, enjoyable and less frustrating.

    bulletFirst thing, avoid using caps...IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING! No one likes to be yelled at and even if this is not your intention others may misinterpret you and before you know it, you have someone being rude to you.

    bulletKeep your communications to the point. In other words, don't be too wordy and ramble. Acronyms are a great way to keep your messages short and to add expression to your words.

    bulletWhen you want to post to a newsgroup or bulletin board stick to the topic. So if you are at a newsgroup about sports, don't post a message about a new recipe you found.

    bulletDo not spam! Spamming is when you post advertisements on bulletin boards indiscriminately, or email advertisements about yourself, your web pages or products that are unsolicited. People do not usually appreciate unsolicited email or posts. If you do this you will probably start a flame war. A flame war is when people treat others rudely in public or private over the Internet.

    bulletWhen posting to a newsgroup or bulletin board, make sure that your subject line is filled in and clear. Most people will ignore a post that has no topic or get frustrated when they click on the subjectless post to see that it is something they are not interested in.

    bulletIf there is FAQ offered at a site, bulletin board, chat room, or in a program you have downloaded to use on the Net, read it. Nothing makes people angrier than being asked a question that is covered clearly already in a FAQ. A FAQ is a list of Frequently Asked Questions

    bulletOne thing to keep in mind when you are corresponding with others from around the world is that not everyone lives the same way or thinks the same as you do. Respect other's opinions and cultures as you will have them respect your own. Your opinion is not the only one that matters. Give others the freedom to think and believe in themselves.

    bulletJust as you have the right not to be harassed by others; others have the right not to be harassed by you. If you feel a real need to respond to someone in anger, turn the computer off and take a break for a while or leave the chat room (bulletin board) and go back after you have calmed down. There are a lot of people out there that love to make others angry for fun. Don't let them get to you. Ignore them and have fun.

    bulletThe Internet is not censored, so if you come across a site, chat or bulletin board that you find offensive, leave that area. Don't go back there and don't start a flame war. It is not worth the effort. And above all, tell your parents about it.

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