Civility in Cyberspace - Be Cyber Savvy
Used with permission:Embrace Civility in the Digital Age
Avoid the Impulse. Remember, what you do reflects on you.
If you engage in an impulsive negative act that results in posting or sending material in digital format, this material can become widely disseminated and possibly permanently available. This could harm your reputation, friendships, and opportunities; place you at risk; or cause harm to others. Engage in effective problem solving and positive decision making before posting or sending anything. Be a helpful ally if you see someone is at risk or is being harmed.
Read With Your Eyes Open. Assess the credibility of information.
Anyone can post or send anything online and there is no guarantee that what has been posted or sent is accurate. Individuals, organizations, and companies may use sophisticated techniques to seek to influence your attitudes and behavior. Carefully assess the credibility of all information accessed on websites or received in messages and the trustworthiness of people in which you interact.
Keep Your Life in Balance. Avoid addictive use of digital technologies.
While use of digital technologies can be fun and allow you to connect with your friends, excessive use of digital technologies can be unhealthy. Ensure your use of digital technologies does not interfere with other activities that will make your life happy and successful.
Think Before You Post. Protect your reputation and respect others.
Other people will judge your character and decision making based on the material you post and send. This can affect your reputation, friendships, and opportunities positively or negatively. You can hurt others if you post or send material that reveals their personal information. Be careful whenever posting or sending material in digital format. Respect the rights and privacy of others.
Connect Safely. Interact safely with others online.
You will interact with many different people online. Most are safe and trustworthy, but some may not be. It is easier for people to be deceitful and manipulative online. Be careful when you interact with people online. Only let people you know, or those whom your good friends know, have access to your personal profile. If you want to meet in person with someone you have gotten to know online, make a safe meeting plan and bring along friends.
Keep Yourself Secure. Implement security and avoid scams.
Digital technologies can be corrupted with malware, which often is used to commit identity theft. Criminals use the Internet to commit a variety of scams. Ensure your computer security is maintained and your activities do not increase your risk. Watch out for scams---offers that are too good to be true or threaten loss if you do not share personal information.
Abide by the Terms. Act in accord with policies, terms, and laws.
Stay Out of the Garbage. Avoid objectionable and illegal material.
People distribute materials online that are harmful to others, including pornographic material. You could accidentally access this material. Accessing or distributing child pornography is a serious crime. Use safe surfing techniques to avoid accidentally accessing this material. Know how to effectively respond if such material is accidentally accessed. Don't access or distribute child pornography.
Don't Sell Yourself. Disclose and consume wisely.
The financial model of the Internet involves providing access to free content and services in exchange for market profiling and advertising. Sites and apps track your postings and activities to create a market profile that guides the advertisements you will see. Social networking sites encourage friends to send advertisements to their friends. You can find helpful information about companies and their products or services online. Make a personal decision about how much personal information you want to share with sites and apps. Use the Internet to research companies, products, and services prior to making purchases.
Protect Your Face and Friends. Be savvy and civil when networking.
Cyberdate Safely. Avoid exploitation and abusive relationships.
Watch out for fantasy relationships. Recognize that forming close personal relationships primarily through digital technologies can lead to unrealistic understandings and expectations. Proceed with caution when forming a relationship digitally. Avoid exploitation. Do not allow a partner to abuse you. An abusive partner may try to use digital technologies to control you by constantly texting and controlling your digital communications with others. Do not allow a partner to seek to control you in this manner.