Internet Etiquette & Tips
When sending e-mails to multiple addresses, try sending them all as bcc's (blind carbon copies). That way you protect the identity of everyone you are sending to. I've received e-mails from people I don't even know only to find out they got my e-mail address off of an e-mail that someone I do know sent them. Furthermore, don't do that either. No one wants to get an e-mail from someone they do not know. Some e-mail programs won't let you send all bcc's; they require at least one address in the "TO" field. If that's the case with your e-mail program, just put yourself in the "TO" field and everyone else in the bcc field. Your friends and family will appreciate not having their e-mail address sent all over the internet.
Oh, Those Annoying Forwards...
When forwarding a joke that's been forwarded over and over again, please highlight and delete all of the previous forwarding addresses. Only include the actual text of what you're forwarding.. Nothing is more annoying than having to scroll down past hundreds of other people's e-mail addresses.
Please don't believe the e-mails you get stating that if you forward it to eight people, or whatever, that a message or a cartoon will pop up on your screen, or that you'll receive $500.00, or whatever. These do not work!! It's only a ploy to get you to forward the original e-mail message which, no doubt contains an advertisement somewhere within it. Do not forward these e-mails passing along free advertisement. Just delete them.
Don't believe every virus warning e-mail you get. When you get a virus warning, save it, but go to Norton or McAfee and investigate it to see whether or not there's actually a virus out there that's like the one you were "warned" about. Again, these "warnings" often contain an advertisement somewhere within them. Don't help someone advertise for free!!! If you find, in fact, it IS a real virus, then forward it to those you know, but let them know that you investigated it first, so they know it is real. Also, don't forget to highlight and delete all the other forwarding addresses that appear in the text. Only send the warning.
I'm sure you've all received other types of forwarded "warnings" as well. Oh, you know, the one where the man goes to a party and wakes the next morning missing a kidney. Investigate those, too! To investigate forwarded warnings you may receive, simply type in the subject of the warning in a search bar on Google or Yahoo. For the above scenario, I would do a search for party+missing+kidney - be as specific as possible. Use plus signs between the words when searching, it really narrows down your search results. Sometimes you find that these forwards are, in fact, urban legends, or myths; sometimes you find they are for real. If you find the warning is legit, go ahead and forward it to those you know, but again, let them know that you investigated it first, so they know it is real. If it is not legit, as with the case of the missing kidney, I would reply to who sent it to me, informing them that they've been duped. Heheh, not really, but I would send them a link to the page proclaiming it to be untrue. When investigating these "warnings," make sure that your answer comes from a reputable website such as Snopes, or TruthOrFiction. These sites have a search feature, so you can go directly there and do your search if you want.
Get Good Virus Protection!!!
About a year ago, I received a virus on my computer which, unbeknownst to me, sent everyone in my address book bits and pieces of text documents from my computer (which could have been embarrassing!) along with an attachment, which was the same virus that was sent to me! This virus came to me in an e-mail from a trusted friend (my daughter's first grade teacher!) who had no idea that her computer had received this virus and was sending out e-mails to those in her address book! I now use Norton Antivirus, which automatically scans every single e-mail that I receive AND send. If there is a virus attached to an e-mail that you are trying to send, it won't let you send it! Let people know that you have this, too, so they will feel safe receiving e-mails with attachments from you. And keep the virus protection updated, too. Most antivirus programs will notify you when an update is available. All you have to do is click "OK" and it will do it for you.
Don't send someone an e-mail and then send them another e-mail the next day asking them if they received your e-mail from the day before. Give people a little time to respond. Remember, not everyone checks their e-mail as often as you might. In my experience, it is very rare that an e-mail gets lost and doesn't make it to the intended destination. Give it a few days. If you're really worried about it, some e-mail programs offer "receipts" which send you back an e-mail when the other party has opened your e-mail. Whether they respond immediately or not, you will be sent a message saying that they received your e-mail. In whatever e-mail program you are using (i.e. Outlook Express), click on HELP and then search the index for "receipts" to see how to set up your system to do this for you.
Keep It Simple, Sweetie!
When choosing an e-mail address, remember that you are most likely going to be giving it out to those you know who are online as well. Try to pick something that's easy to spell with no underscores in it or duplicate letters. People don't always remember the underscores, and I've seen some really dumb e-mail addresses, which I don't think anyone would remember, like one I ran across the other day was "cateyyyyyyz" - it is obvious that they wanted "cateyes" but it was already taken... so was cateyz, cateyyz, and so forth up to five y's, so they chose the next available one, with six y's! Who would remember to use exactly six y's when e-mailing you?? When I want an e-mail address that's already taken (for example, cateyes@_____.com), I just add my zip code to it with no underscore (cateyes12345@____.com). Chances are, it won't be taken already. Make your e-mail address easy enough for people to remember when you simply tell them instead of having to write it down.
Protect Yourself From Spam!
When you are on a website that requires you to enter your e-mail address, enter a dummy account that you have previously set up with, say, Yahoo, or some other free web-based e-mail service. That way, you won't receive all sorts of unwanted spam in your main e-mail account. You can periodically check the dummy account for anything that you might actually want, and delete all the junk that you don't!
Protect Yourself From Intruders!
If you use chat programs such as Yahoo Messenger or ICQ, set your preferences to accept messages from only those that are on your contact list. This way you won't get unwanted messages and advertisements from God knows who saying God knows what!
Have Fun With Your E-Mails!
Make your e-mails stand out! Did you know you can create your own stationery for your e-mails on most e-mail programs? I use Outlook Express and I have created dozens of looks for my e-mails. You can change the font and the color of the text as well. I also have many "signatures" that I can chose from. It's a fun way to end an e-mail. I like using funny quotes for my signature. If you're not sure how to do this, do a search on HELP and look up "stationery" and/or "signatures."
If you just click around on the upper task bar of your e-mail program, you will discover all sorts of cool things you can do!
Ask For Help!
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most people are happy to give you advice on the internet and e-mailing. And, on the flip-side, be willing to help others that might not know as much as you. It's a good feeling to teach someone else what you already know.
Watch Your Kids!
Keep your eye on your kids when they're using the internet. Hover! Be Nosey!! There are a lot of strange people out there who prey on the innocent. There are some good browser protection programs, like Net Nanny, that will disallow certain materials from being displayed on your computer. That's great, but you still need to diligently watch what they're doing and who they're talking with. Chat programs can be great for out-of-town relatives, but it's never a good idea to chat with someone you don't know. This is good advice for anyone, not just children.
The internet is awesome...full of knowledge and great ways to keep in touch with friends and family, but be please be courteous and be careful!