Netiquette Of Confidentiality

The following rules of netiquette concern Internet confidentiality:

Don’t Publicize Other’s Email Addresses

Don’t distribute other people’s email addresses to strangers by email or by posting messages to the Usenet newsgroups, unless the email is on a public work and obviously intended for distribution. Otherwise, you may be responsible for someone getting spam email from commercial sites, and strange email from unwanted strangers.

Never Send What You Don’t Read

Never forward an email you haven’t read, or send someone an attachment you haven’t examined. Many people have been badly embarrassed by forgetting this rule, and the email or attachment turned out to contain information they really shouldn’t have forwarded.

Remember Archiving

Remember that many mailing lists, newsgroups, and even some chat groups and email systems archive information. If you aren’t prepared to have your words archived and recalled at a later time, then don’t send the message. This is especially important to remember if your message contains information about third parties.

Respect Copyright

It is easy to copy something from the Internet and put it in an email or on a web page and give the impression by mistake that it is your work. Always clearly identify the author of work that is not your own.

Similarly, if you are forwarding or posting someone else’s work, don’t alter or edit their words — even to change what you may think of as mistakes. There may be a reason or importance to a missing comma or misspelling, and you don’t want to be responsible for passing on false information. A small change can have a large effect later that you may not realize at the time.