Salam alaikum

As-salāmu ʿalaykum (Arabic: ٱلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ‎ ) is a greeting in Arabic that means "Peace be upon you". The salaam is a religious salutation among Muslims when greeting, though it is also used by Arabic speakers of other religions, such as Arab Christians. The typical response to the greeting is wa ʿalaykumu s-salām (وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلسَّلَام‎ ) "And peace be upon you, too."

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Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb, Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open... Answered 1 year ago

Simply reply by Alaikum Assalaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh
in fact this is a dua
you are saying "May God's peace and blessings be upon you" in Arabic
So if this friend of yours is acting that much friendly and wants to greet you with your Islamic culture do treat him/her in the same way and DO translate it for him/her.

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Abbas Di Palma, Shaykh Abbas Di Palma holds a BA and an MA degree in Islamic Studies, and certifications from the Language Institute of Damascus University. He has also studied traditional Islamic sciences in... Answered 1 year ago

as salam alaikum

the Qur'an says: "And whenever you are greeted with a greeting, greet with what is better than it or return the same" (4:86). 

Therefore in the above-mentioned case a full response should be given although it is preferable even a better response like "wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah" or "wa alaikum salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu".

With prayers for your success.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 year ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. It is generally praiseworthy to be an approachable and kind person in normal circumstances. However, that is within the bounds of wisdom and chastity. It is not necessary to reply a typed salaam whether that be by email or other forms of instant messenger.

May you always be successful.