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Cheat Sheet

The Internet For Dummies

From The Internet For Dummies, 13th Edition by John R. Levine, Margaret Levine Young

For well over a decade, people have been surfing the Internet and browsing web pages. Here you'll find a list of the top four web browsers and their features and the most common plug-in programs you are apt to run across on the Internet.

Using Firefox to Browse the Internet

The Firefox web browser makes surfing the Internet a breeze. Firefox was the first web browser to implement tabbed browsing. The following list outlines Firefox's main features:

  • Download Firefox for free from www.getfirefox.com or www.mozilla.com. After that, it can update itself automagically. (Choose Firefox→Options→Advanced→Update.)

  • Add the current page to your bookmarks: Press Ctrl+D.

  • Edit your bookmarks: Press Ctrl+Shift+B.

  • Set your browsing preferences: Choose Firefox→Options.

  • Set the current page (or pages) to be your start page: Choose Firefox→Options→General, and select Use Current Pages in the Startup section. If you have multiple tabs open, Firefox remembers them all.

  • Erase cookies or the history of which websites you've viewed: Choose Firefox→Options→Privacy and click Clear Your Recent History (or press Ctrl+Shift+Del).

  • Block pop-up windows: Choose Firefox→Options→Content and make sure that Block Pop-up Windows is selected. Click Exceptions (to its right) to specify sites that can or can’t open pop-ups.

Using Google Chrome to Browse the Internet

Chrome offers all the speed and reliability you have come to expect from a Google product. The following list outlines the main features of Google Chrome:

  • Download Chrome for free from chrome.google.com.

  • Add the current page to your bookmarks: Press Ctrl+D.

  • Edit your bookmarks: Press Ctrl+Shift+B to display or hide the Bookmarks toolbar. To open the Bookmark Manager, click the Customize and Control icon (the wrench) and choose Bookmarks→Bookmark Manager.

  • Set your browsing preferences: Click the Customize and Control icon and choose Options.

  • Set your start page: Click the Customize icon (the wrench), choose Options, and click Use Current Pages in the On Startup section.

  • Erase cookies or the history of which websites you've viewed: Click the Customize and Control icon, choose Options, click Under the Hood, and click Clear Browsing Data. (Or, press Ctrl+Shift+Del.)

  • Block pop-up windows: Chrome automatically blocks pop-ups.

Using Microsoft's Internet Explorer to Browse the Internet

Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) is the most familiar web browser, because it comes preloaded on most Windows PCs. The following list outlines Internet Explorer's main features:

  • Internet Explorer comes with Windows. Download and install new versions from www.microsoft.com/ie. Beware of Internet Explorer’s many security holes, for which Microsoft issues frequent updates to patch. Check for updates at windowsupdate.microsoft.com. The current and recommended version as we write this page is IE 9.

  • Add the current page to your favorites: Click the Add to Favorites Bar icon or press Ctrl+D.

  • Edit your favorites: Click the Favorites icon or press Alt+C.

  • Set your browsing preferences: Choose Tools→Internet Options.

  • Set the current page to be your start page: Choose Tools→Internet Options→General, and select Use Current in the Home Page section.

  • Erase the history of which web sites you've viewed: Choose Tools→Safety→Delete Browsing History (or press Ctrl+Shift+Del).

  • Control cookies on your computer: Choose Tools→Internet Options→Privacy, click Advanced, select Override Automatic Cookie Handling, and then set First-party Cookies to Accept and Third-party Cookies to Block.

  • Block pop-up windows: Choose Tools→Pop-Up Blocker.

Using Apple's Safari to Browse the Internet

Safari is the default browser for most Mac users. There’s a free version for Windows, too. Safari works differently than other browsers, but it’s still small and fast.

  • Safari comes supplied on the Macintosh, iPhone, and iPad. You can download the Windows version at www.apple.com/safari.

  • Set your browsing preferences: Click the Settings icon (the gear above the right corner of the web page) and choose Preferences, or Press Ctrl+, (comma).

  • Add the current page to your bookmarks: Click the plus-sign icon at the left end of the Address bar.

  • Set your home page: Click the Settings gear icon, choose Preferences, click the General tab, and set New Windows Open With to Home Page.

  • Erase the history of which web sites you've viewed: Click the Settings icon, choose Preferences, click the Privacy tab, and click Remove All Website Data.

  • Control cookies on your computer: Click the Settings icon, choose Preferences, click the Privacy tab, and set the Block Cookies option.

  • Block pop-up windows: Click the Settings icon, choose Preferences, click the Security tab, and click the Block Pop-up Windows check box if it doesn’t contain a checkmark.

Web Browser Plug-Ins You Should Have

Plug-ins are small programs that you install on your computer to view or play some web applications. The following outlines the most common plug-ins you'll need:

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