The internet can be a great place to meet people, chat, network, swap knowledge, learn and a host of other things. But when interacting with people on the net, you should follow a few rules to keep yourself safe and keep from aggravating other people. Here are four general rules to get you started – many forums also have specific rules you should read.
Rule #1 – be careful with your contact info
When you're on the internet, you generally want to keep a level of anonymity, because you don't really know who you might be talking with or that might view your information. For example, you should be very, very careful about giving out your phone number or address to anyone you meet. Use email, IM, chat, blogs, etc, to communicate.
Rule #2 – follow the rules for promoting your product or service
If you have a product or service you want to promote, you should follow several rules for doing so. First of all, don't post advertisements in forums, other people's blogs, etc. Most forums do allow you to have a signature or profile with a link to your website. That is the polite way to promote. Also, it's generally acceptable to post a link to your website in response to a post requesting a service or product like yours.
Rule #3 – No adult material
You should not post links or otherwise distribute adult material in forums, chat groups, etc, for several reasons. First of all, it's probably against the rules. Secondly, if you send it to a minor, it's illegal and you could get in big troubles. Thirdly, it's not appreciated! Don't do it!
Rule #4 – The golden rule
Just like in non-virtual life, the golden rule goes a long way. Be kind and considerate in your dealings with others, and always treat them how you like to be treated. Don't bash people, be obnoxious, etc.
So...follow the rules, be kind, and have fun!