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Teenangels / Internet Safety / Cyberbullying / (Netiquette) Tip #8

(Netiquette) Tip #8

[Netiquette Guide Index] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

How private is the message you are sending? Are you willing to have others read this message or forward it to others without your permission?

E-mails get mis-delivered all the time. And sometimes the people we send them to share our communications with others without asking us first. (This includes logs of our chat room discussions and of instant messaging.) The courts allow others to read your e-mails under special circumstances. Don’t ever say anything in a cybercommunication you wouldn’t be willing to allow someone else to read. We always tell people not to say anything they wouldn’t write on a postcard they send through the mail. Sometimes when our friends get angry with us, they intentionally post our e-mails on public Web sites or send them to others. If you are going to share something very private, it’s best to use the phone or person-to-person communications (obviously only with people you know in real life).

When students apply for jobs or internships the recruiter will sometimes “Google them” first. We have seen many cases where old messages they posted when they were much younger and didn’t realize would turn up in an online search cost someone an internship position or a job. (It’s always a good idea to “Google yourself” regularly and make sure nothing turns up that you would be embarrassed about or that gives away personal information about you online.)

Also, many parents and schools monitor communications. This means they can read what you have written. Have you written anything they can’t read? And if you are using a family account that one of your parents uses for work e-mail, their boss may be monitoring e-mails too. That could be very embarrassing for everyone and may cost your parent their job.

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