13 Holy Cybercitizen Laws

Parents–everyone needs to teach and follow cybercitizen laws the same way we follow rules in real society.  Here, I listed the basic ‘real’ laws and made the equivalent for cyberspace.  Please forward along (but thou shalt not spam) to anyone who you think needs a basic lesson in netiquette.   Here is my video making a very real life comparison to the respect people should show online (I know, its super corny, but it makes sense right!?)


1. Thou shalt not steal

Pay for your music and movies instead of downloading illegally.

2. Always wear clothes

Do not post naked pictures or videos  of yourself online, as this is the same as walking down the street naked…in front of all of your friends and family…and your whole town…and the next town over…and a bunch of people in New Zealand…in a parade.

3. Thou shalt not inflict harm upon others

Do not cyberbully or attack others through IM, online chat forums, virtual bulletin boards, emails

4. Thou shalt not not destroy public or other’s private property

Do not graffiti on wiki pages, do not deface or hack into another person’s website, do not write inappropriate things in online forums.

5. Thou shalt treat others with respect

Do not slander or spread gossip about other Internet users

6. Kids: Beware of strangers

Never talk to random people on social networks, IM, online forums or virtual worlds

7. Though shalt not litter

Do not Spam people…this includes bad chain letters

8. Kids: If you see litter put it in the trash

Never open Spam, unknown messages or mail

9. Kids: Never let strangers into your home

Never give out private information about your identity, never videochat with someone you do not know

laws-of-the-internet.jpg10. Thou shalt pay taxes

Pay for your wireless if required

11. Kids: If you see something suspicious tell an adult

If you see inappropriate words, are contacted by a stranger or see someone being cyberbullied, tell your parents or report it to the website administrators.

12. Kids: Anyone who wants to get into your house can break down a locked door…so get an alarm system

Do not trust all privacy settings, if you are not comfortable wit everyone in the world seeing something you are about to post, DO NOT PUT IT ONLINE (…that one was a bit of a stretch, but you see why it is still important.)

 13. Your bank pin number is private

Do not give out your passwords no matter how much you trust them!

Make your additions in the comments! (and porn enthusiasts, please do not bash my non-naked picture law!)

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8 Responses to “13 Holy Cybercitizen Laws”

  1. Phillip Miller
    April 3, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    wow, that is perfect. I did not watch the video yet but I am referring to the actual post. once again excellent job putting into words what floats around my clutter brain.

  2. Vanessa
    April 3, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Thank you!

  3. Haha
    April 3, 2008 at 11:12 am #

    Is this some kind of a joke? Breaking these is what makes the internet fun.

  4. Marian Merritt
    April 3, 2008 at 11:42 am #

    I love these!! Well done, Vanessa.

    (minor typo in #7- “thou” not “though”)

    Marian Merritt
    Symantec/Norton Internet Safety Advocate

  5. Charlie A. Roy
    April 3, 2008 at 7:12 pm #

    @ Vanessa
    You might want to add posting stupid pictures on facebook. Most employers search facebook and myspace. I’ve had good teaching candidates I couldn’t hire because of their stupid decision to post pictures on the web.

  6. Vanessa
    April 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm #

    ohhh that is a good one, like airing your dirty laundry or something

    PS I have gotten the most inappropriate comments on this post to delete, people who think they are being really funny. it is just annoying.

  7. beth
    September 10, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    related to a few of your points: before i post anything in a public space, be it comment or something on my FB profile, i think, ‘would i be comfortable saying this in a room full of strangers? and would i be comfortable saying this in front of the town gossip?’ those two questions have kept me from posting some snarky comments, and i teach my kid to use the same guidelines.


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