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You are Here:   Rocky Mtn Web.com | Free Info Center | Beginners | The Very Important Basics

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The Very Important Basics                  

  

Internet Basics

A "Browser" is a program that allows you to view pages on the Internet. Browsers come in two basic brands, Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. There are many different versions of these programs. Your "Browser" program is not the Internet, and the Internet is not your Browser. 

Many computers are set up by default so that when you open one, the other will open also, but not all. Traveling to different places on the Internet requires that both the "Browser" program be opened AND that you be connected to the Internet.

Traveling on the Internet is mostly accomplished by "clicking" on links.

A link is an underlined work that when you put your mouse pointer over it and click the button once, it will take you somewhere. The standard of the Internet is that "links" are underlined. One thing that you will find our very quickly as you move around the internet, is that not all people follow the standards. 

Another method of traveling on the Internet is by typing in a specific URL.

A URL is the Internet equivalent of an address. As a matter of fact, the URL is often called an address. If you look at the top of your screen, you should see a white space with the following text: http://www.rockymtnweb.com/free/beginners/basic-email.htm .  That is the URL, or address, of this page. If you had a different address you wanted to go to, you can type that address in that white box and then hit the "enter" key. Your Browser program will access the Internet, locate that address, and then take you to that page. 

URLs can be thought of like telephone numbers. When you need to look up the number of a local Plumber, you go to a phone book, probably the yellow pages - unless you know the Plumber's name. To look up a URL on the Internet, you go to a "Search Engine".

There are many different search engines, and they all work slightly different - but basically the same. They will have a place for you to type in a topic, and something to click on, like a button that says "Search" or "Go". 

Something you should know about search engines is that many accept money for having a specific page turn up in the first couple of results returned from your search. This is not necessarily bad, but you will find out as you gain experience, that the reason that the company pays for their page to come up first, is usually because they are aggressively trying to sell you something. 

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You should follow the links on a search engine page to learn what their policy is concerning the selling of top few returns of a search to better understand the the results of the information the search engine is giving you.

A few of the better places to search for places to go are http://www.google.com , http://www.msn.com , and http://www.yahoo.com. There are many other, and if you want to find them, just type in, or do a search for, 'Search Engines" on any of the three links above, and you will see just how many there are. Experiment. Have fun, and then stick with the one you feel most comfortable with.

Be sure to read Safety and the Internet so that you may enjoy your Web travels without concern or repercussions. 


E-mail Basics

Probably the most important think to constantly keep in mind about email is that it is not necessarily private. It is unlikely... but possible that someone... anyone could read your message. Therefore, NEVER say anything in an email that gives away your private confidential information, or anything that may come back to haunt you.

It is much like sending a postcard through the mail. Everything that you have written is available to anybody who comes across it. 

Besides your computer, there are many other places that a copy of your email may be stored - like servers, network main frames, ISP mail servers, just to name a few. So it is possible, that even if you delete an email off your computer, that the email is still available from other sources. 

Ollie North (remember him?) did not realize this, and even though he took great pains to delete all the emails that contained things he did not want anybody to know about, it was the copies of these emails that were stored in other places that were his downfall.

If you use email for business purposes, be sure to read up on Business Netiquette. See  Internet & Email Etiquette for a good business guide.

A good virus protection program is a must these days... get one... keep it updated. A virus infection can end up costing you twice what you paid for your computer. 

Spam is the term given to "junk" or unsolicited email. Eventually, you will get spam. There are Spam-guard programs available to block spam, but they are not perfect - you will loose some of the email that you want to see. It's best to give out your email address as little as possible, and this will keep spam to a minimum.

Do not send spam - it can get you kicked off the Internet.

Write in short paragraphs - long paragraphs are hard to read. 

Be sure to see the Internet & Email Etiquette guide for a good basic understanding of how email works and be extra sure to read Safety and the Internet so that you may enjoy the Web without needless worry and concern.

 

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