The internet is an intricate community with its own sets of rules and guides that you should take into consideration while using it. Just treat it as if you moved to a new town, workplace or place of study - you need time to adjust and learn their way and on the internet you need to do the same. Here is the top ten rules of netiquette and a little about e-mail netiquette.
#1. Respect Others
This netiquette rule is one of the most important because you are not just talking to something on the computer, you are talking to a real live person and you should respect their differences and opinions. You have to take their feelings into account when speaking to them just like you would when you speak to a person face to face. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what way you are saying something and how people interpret it on the internet, especially when it is just via text. So when you speak to another person on the internet, be careful about how you express yourself and always do it in a nice manner so you won't be misunderstood.
#2 If You Don't Do It At Home Then Don't Do It On The Internet.
All the same rules apply whether or not you are on the internet. Stealing, illegal or inappropriate behavior or content is not acceptable on the internet just as it is in person. Don't do it. You may think that your chances of getting caught might be slim but this is couldn't be further from the truth, there are always people getting caught on the internet for such behavior and if you are one of them, then it won't take all that long for you to be caught as well.
#3 Knowing Where You Are
This netiquette rule is relatively simple, always know where you are, when you explore the wonderful world of the internet so you don't wind up somewhere where you are unfamiliar or get in trouble especially when it comes to forums. There are forums on everything, some are formal while others are not. Some people will get up you if you post something that is entirely off topic. So make sure you know what the site and the topic is about before you dive in, and always find one that suits you at the time.
#4 Respect People's Bandwidth
Bandwidth is the amount of space a page, forum or anything else has on the internet and if they exceed the limit that they are given, they have to pay for it so when using the internet especially while in places like a forum be considerate and say what you need to say in the least amount of words and make sure you post it in the right place. It saves you time and others' money.
#5 Presenting Yourself
Again another simple rule of netiquette, but an important one. You are judged on the way you present things on the internet so when sending messages spelling and grammar are a must, if you want to present yourself respectively.
#6 Wealth Of Knowledge
There is a wealth of knowledge on the internet and many willing people to help you answer any questions that you cannot find answers to, but if you do ask someone make sure it is not a simple question that you could quite easily look up for yourself. You can also answer questions posted on the internet, but make sure if you do that the information is accurate and easy to understand.
#7 Dealing With Flaming
The internet is full of people who are angry or find it fun personally attacking people and insulting them even when they know absolutely nothing about them. Don't become one of these people and if you are attacked, try not to reply to it, ignore it no matter how much it angers you, even go do something else for a while. If you end up in a flame war again just leave and go do something else, there are so many better things to do than sitting there, flinging insults between one another.
#8 Respect Other's Privacy
This is simple if someone tells you about themselves, or they send you an email in confidence, don't go sharing it to the rest of the world no matter who it is. It is wrong. Also if by accident you receive someone's emails, messages or personal information don't read it. It's not nice, and I'm sure you wouldn't like someone going through your personal messages and information so don't do it to them.
#9 Don't Abuse The Power Of The Internet
This is a very important netiquette rule. Don't abuse your power of the internet, be responsible. Such things include not harming others, stealing programs or creating harmful ones, don't snoop or interfere with others' work or files, don't use resources without authorization and so forth. You get the point, be responsible with what you do on the internet.
#10 Forgive Others
We all make mistakes in life and the internet is no exception, if someone makes a mistake no matter what it is give them a break and don't hassle them about it.
Before we go, I would like to talk about another form of Netiquette, e-mail netiquette, a lot of the same rules apply, but also some others that you should know like: don't use caps lock to write messages, its annoying, not cool. Write your message in the shortest way possible, keep your signature short and when replying to a person always quote what they said. If you need to forward something, cut out all excessive and unnecessary text to save size and when sending attachment files make their size as small as possible.
So there you have it, a little about the rules of netiquette and e-mail netiquette. There are plenty more netiquette responsibilities that you will find out as you go while you are on the internet, but it's easy to pick up and most of it is just common sense. Have fun and play nice.