What are netiquette and online hygiene?

The word netiquette is easiest to define as internet etiquette, that means that it is a set of rules that every internet user should follow: it’s a show of respect to other users. Netiquette is often also referred to as digital behaviour.

Cyber hygiene is a series of behaviours and practices that help computer users keep their systems running and improve their security. This activity prevents most common risks.

The main rules of netiquette are:

●     Be nice and polite.

●     Add your full name and email address at the end of your writing.

●     Be mindful when using and quoting material protected by the Copyright Act.

●     Don’t write a whole sentence much less a full paragraph in full caps! In the internet realm this is the equivalent of shouting in normal communication.

●     Don’t send emails with a blank subject line. To help navigate the flood of emails, write on the subject line what the message is about.

●     From time to time so-called chain letters are circulating online. These are letters that ask you to forward the message to all your friends and acquaintances. These emails usually talk about a computer virus, a great money-making opportunity, or other similar topics. You must be very careful forwarding these emails, because if everyone who receives the message sends it to their friends and acquaintances, some lines of communication and central computers might get clogged.

The main rules of online hygiene are:

●     Choose secure passwords. A password should be at least 8 characters long. Use both uppercase and lowercase letters. The password contains at least one number and one special character.

●     Keep your software up to date, updates fix security issues.

●     Keep track of what you download, and why. Large unknown files might contain viruses.

●     Prefer dual authentication.

●     Don’t share private information on social media and check your privacy settings. Keep track of what and where you post.

The material has been compiled by the youth information portal Teeviit.


  • http://www.eau.ee/~mhovi/arvut/NETIKET.htm
  • https://digitark.ee/milline-on-hea-salasona/
  • https://digitaalneiq.ee/oppimine/

Published in the youth information portal Teeviit in 2021.

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