10 Facebook Etiquette Rules

The convenience and immediacy of social networking can easily allow us to forget our manners. Follow these ten essential steps to good Facebook etiquette to ensure you socialise without offending others or regretting your actions.

1. Think before you post
Every post should be considered carefully. A status update that is inappropriate, rude, embarrassing or offensive may haunt you forever.

2. Protect your online persona
Privacy settings should be watertight. A potential new boss may think twice if photos of your Saturday-night antics are just a Google-search away.

3. Respect other people
Think before you post or tag others in embarrassing photographs; they may be uncomfortable with it. Never gossip about other people on your timeline.

4. Unfriend with caution
Your timeline may be clogged with updates from little-known "friends" but it's best to cleanse by muting rather than risk offending by unfriending.

5. Socialize when sober
Drunken rants, impulsive messaging, heartbroken outpourings -- social networking after a glass too many is prone to both ridicule and regret.

6. Cover your tracks
Be cautious of check-ins if you have fibbed to friends or colleagues about your plans; similarly be careful of tagging others and revealing their whereabouts.

7. Status-change with certainty
Only update your relationship status when you are 100 percent sure of the union/split/reunion. Changing it back would cause even more gossip.

8. Save the bad stuff
The public nature of Facebook makes it unsuitable for conveying sensitive or bad news. If it's important, take the time to telephone or meet face-to-face instead.

9. Keep it private
When contacting people directly, avoid posting onto someone's wall. Keep the conversation between the two of you and send a private message instead.

10. Do I even know you?
Remember, you don't know all your Facebook friends that well, so avoid over-sharing or posting intimate information. And never friend strangers: it's always weird.