For Seniors: Understand Internet Basics

The Internet, links, the web…people and the media bounce around many online-related terms these days, and folks sometimes use them incorrectly. Your first step in getting familiar with the Internet is to understand what some of these terms mean.

Here’s a list of common Internet-related terms:

  • The Internet is a large network of computers that contain information and technology tools that can be accessed by anybody with an Internet connection.

  • Residing on that network of computers is a huge set of documents, which form the World Wide web, usually referred to as just the web.

  • The web includes websites, which are made up of collections of web pages, just as a book is made up of chapters that contain individual pages. websites can be informational and/or host communication tools such as chats or discussion boards that allow people to “talk” via text messages.

    They may also provide entrance to an online retail business where you can shop, or allow you to share files with others or use software applications without having to install them on your computer.

  • You can buy, bid for, or sell a wide variety of items in an entire online marketplace referred to as the world of e-commerce.

  • To get around online, you use a software program called a browser. There are many browsers available, and they’re free. Internet Explorer is Microsoft’s browser; others include Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera. Browsers offer tools to help you navigate from website to website and from one web page to another.

  • When you open a website, you might see colored text or graphics that represent hyperlinks, also referred to as links. You can click links using your mouse to move from place to place within a web page, on a website, or between web documents.

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A link can be a graphic (such as a company logo) or text. A text link is identifiable by colored text, and it’s usually underlined. After you click a link, it usually changes color to show that you’ve followed the link.

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