Network etiquette or “Netiquette” is a set of guidelines for online communication. Netiquette covers topics concerning what is proper to post or send, and how to present yourself in an online environment.

  1. Be clear
    • Make sure the subject line (e-mail) or title (web page) reflects your content.
    • Include contact information so others can reply to you.
  2. Use appropriate language
    • Don't send or post emotionally charged messages. If you have doubts, do not send the message; save it, and review it later. Remember:no one can guess your mood, see your facial expressions, etc. All they have are your words, and your words can express the opposite of what you feel.
    • Do not use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - it is equal to shouting or screaming
    • Fonts display differently on different computers. Fonts that look like handwriting are difficult to read.
    • Use color sparingly. dark, colorful, highlighted.
  3. Be brief
    • If your message is short, people will be more likely to read it.
  4. Make a good impression
    • Your words and content represent you; review/edit your words and images before sending.
  5. Remember you are not anonymous
    • What you write in an e-mail or web site it can be traced back to you.
    • Assume that e-mail is not secure (unless you know that you are using some form of encryption). Never put in an e-mail message anything you would not put on a postcard.
    • Be selective on the information you include in an e-mail or on a web site: Information on the Internet is very public, and can be seen by anyone in the world including criminals, future employers, and governments.
  6. Consider others
    • Try to be forgiving of bad spelling or ignorance.
    • If you think a message you have received, or post you have read violates the law, forward it to your instructor who will contact the appropriate university personnel for follow-up.
    • You may be communicating with people located across the globe. Allow for time zone differences and a chance to respond before assuming your mail did not arrive or that they do not care.
    • Remember that the recipient is a human being whose culture, language, and humor have different points of reference from your own. Remember that date formats, measurements, and idioms may not travel well. Be especially careful with sarcasm.
  7. Obey copyright laws
    • Do not use others' images, content, etc. without permission.
    • Do not forward e-mail, or use web site content without permission.
    • Cite others' work as you use it.
  8. Use distribution lists appropriately
    • and with permission.
  9. Do not send
    • SPAM, unsolicited e-mail, often advertising messages to a wide audience. (Another way of thinking of it is electronic junk mail.)
    • Forwarded chain letters. If you receive one, notify your instructor.
  10. Do not respond to "flames" or personal attacks
    • Contact your instructor for action and/or referral.
Adapted from and