Cyber Etiquette: 11 Rules of Online Etiquette for Students

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Cyber Etiquette

The past year was truly dystopian, it brought in a new normal way of living, and somehow the human spirit adapted to working from home and online classes. The thread that has pulled all of this together is undeniably the internet through which we carry out our daily work and study schedules and shopping and chatting. But just like we followed certain etiquette living in the better pre-pandemic world, you should know about certain cyber etiquette about studying or working online. These practices are there to maintain a level of cybersecurity and safety. Following these manners and etiquette in our digital lives can help us protect our data, the company or school’s confidentiality. Whether it is taking professional work meetings or attending online classes, cyber etiquette has become essential nowadays. Through this blog, we will explore what cyber etiquette or netiquette means and provide you with the rules of 11 online etiquettes you must follow.

What is Cyber Etiquette or Netiquette?

Courtesy: ISTE

To put it simply, Cyber Etiquette is a certain code of behaviour or conduct and manners applied to the use of internet technology in everyday scenarios whether you are surfing the internet for entertainment, taking online classes, sending a professional work email and so on. Also referred to as Netiquette, it simply refers to good conduct or behaviour we should follow online from e-mail syntax and jargon to internet slang, etiquette in online classes, respecting others’ opinions on the internet, amongst others.

Importance of Cyber Etiquette

YouTube: Mrsgehres

Cyber Etiquette is a set of acceptable rules and norms that must be followed with the use of technology. These rules are there to ensure individual and community safety, security and positive communication across the internet. Cyber etiquette is extremely important in this era of connectedness and increased virtual interaction. As the world is fast- adapting to online practices for learning, working and entertainment, there is a growing need to ensure respect, security, social sensitivity and appropriate communication in this sphere. Here are some benefits of cyber etiquettes- 

  • Protection from Cyberbullying
  • Ensures Ethical Communication
  • Teaches Email Etiquette and safe-conduct across social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Maintenance and protection of company/school’s data and confidentiality
  • Ensures Cyber safety for individuals, communities and organisations

11 Rules of Online Etiquette for Students

Courtesy: Medium

Now that you are aware of what Cyber Etiquette or Netiquette is, here are the 11 golden rules of online etiquette for students to follow while taking online classes:

Be Polite with Your Teachers

While taking online classes, you should be as polite to your teachers as you are to them in person. Since online classes let you hide your video, many students to take advantage of this and end up making unnecessary comments or noise during an online class. One of the top rules of cyber etiquette or netiquette is to respect everyone equally and be polite with everyone while following all the guidelines. Remember that your teachers are also adjusting to the pandemic world and adapting to using online technologies which they might not be as familiar with as the young generation. So, you should always be polite and respectful towards not only your teachers but also your peers while attending online classes.

Respect Everyone’s Privacy

This is one of the basic rules of Cyber Etiquette that applies in every situation whether you are taking an online class, meeting or even scrolling on a social media site. Remember that anything on the internet stays forever and you should not enter anyone else’s personal space just like you would not want anyone to breach your privacy. While taking your college classes online, don’t breach anyone’s locations, passwords, private conversations on class chat. While chatting and small talks are often ignored in a four-walled classroom, an online class might be hard to handle for a teacher if students are taking their private conversations on the chats or making any such comments. So, you need to keep in mind how to treat everyone with respect and everyone’s privacy.

Submit Assignments on Time

Assignment submission is a big problem in online classes. Just because there is no teacher to scold you personally, doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable for your work. Thus, you must also follow this cyber etiquette for online classes by sticking to the specific guidelines for submitting online assignments. Submitting files in the wrong format of way past the due date means the student isn’t paying attention. Properly submitting all your assignments on time is not only your moral duty but also the responsibility you have as a student.

Don’t Yell

Everyone in your class is equally as important as you are to the class. The key to effective communication is listening before speaking. You should try your best to maintain the decorum of your class. Chatting online with friends is different from chatting with your professors and you should be careful of the tone you speak to them with. Follow this cyber etiquette in any academic or professional setting especially in online courses, classes or meetings. Speaking unnecessarily and writing in all caps is usually interpreted as rude and so you should take care of that and work towards having healthy communication.

Speak Clearly

During an online class, you should try to be brief and to the point in your communication. Taking an unnecessary amount of time to reach a point may result in the loss of meaning in that point as well as loss of interest. So, make sure that you try to express yourself as clearly as possible by using minimum words.

Work on Your Spoken and Written Proficiency

Digital communication has certain rules that one must keep in mind at all times. You should properly use grammar and punctuation at all times so as to convey your message clearly. This cyber etiquette is not just for students but also for working professionals as we often overlook our own flaws in spoken and written communication. Speak clearly when taking an online class or meeting and write a clear, concise and professional message while communicating to your professor or manager online and avoid using any slangs or abbreviations in your email.

Control Your Sarcasm

Conveying a sarcastic message online can be a bit difficult and is often misunderstood. While you may be a humorous person in real life but when communicating digitally, a light-hearted joke can take a serious turn and might be perceived as rude. Your online classroom is filled with people from diverse cultures, so you don’t know what might hurt someone. Thus, follow this professional cyber etiquette of keeping your jokes and sarcasm at a minimum.

Address Your Teachers with Their Respective Titles

Many students tend to get informal in online classes and forget the decorum of the classroom. It is one of the most basic cyber etiquettes that one should follow regardless of anything. So, always maintain that formal relationship between you and your professors.

Be Accurate when Sharing Information

We are living in a hi-tech age brimming with information without any valid sources. So, before you share anything in your class group, check its accuracy and only send factual relevant information that might be of some use to others.

Read Before Responding

Just like you should speak clearly so that others get your point, you should also do the same while reading. A lot of people have a tendency to respond to a message without even reading and understanding it completely. Your lack of understanding might lead to a heated argument online and following this simply cyber etiquette can help you avoid the same.

Respond to Your Teachers

Many students attend classes just for the sake of attending them. So, understand that there is no benefit in attending classes if you are not attentive. Don’t mute your video and audio and stray off somewhere else while taking an online class. Instead, listen to your professor carefully, make important notes and request for breaks if you need one. 

Thus, these cyber etiquettes will surely help you make the most of your online classes and become a better netizen as well! Stay tuned to Leverage Edu for more such informative reads and don’t forget to check out our top blogs on emerging careers and courses. Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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