Five Quick Internet Tips

We are all quite familiar with the internet by now.  However, there are always things to be aware of when surfing the web.  By knowing a few simple things, you can vastly improve your web-browsing experience.  From being aware of safety issues, to refining your search results, to using a few simple shortcuts, here are five things you can do to enhance your internet experience.

1.  Use Different Search Engines

Google is by far the most popular search engine.  However, the algorithms Google uses to predict what you want may actually prevent you from finding what you need.  Diversify your search by using different sites, such as Yahoo, Ask, and Bing.  Each search engine comes with its own benefits, and you may get better results just by trying your query on a different website.

2.  Be Aware of Your Browser

Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox are four examples of popular web browsers.  Just like search engines, each browser has its advantages.  If you use Microsoft Office to manage your email and calendar, there are definite advantages to using Internet Explorer.  Same goes with Google Chrome, if you use Gmail and Google calendar.  Each browser can offer you different things as far as add-ons, speed, and privacy.

3.  Know Your Shortcuts

Here is a quick breakdown of different keyboard shortcuts that will make your browsing go more smoothly:

  • Ctrl-T: Open a new tab in your browser
  • Ctrl-N: Open a new window
  • Ctrl-W: Close the current tab
  • F5: Refresh the current page
  • Ctrl-L: Highlight the URL bar
  • Ctrl and +: Zoom in
  • Ctrl and -: Zoom out
  • Ctrl-0: Return to the default zoom level

4.   Know How To Clear Your Browser History

Clearing your web browser’s cache will save space and time in the long run, and help prevent against viruses and other nasty things nesting in your computer.  How to do this differs for each browser, but typically you can go to the “Tools” menu and click “internet options,” “delete browser history,” “delete cookies,” or “clear cache.”  If you see any of these, you are on the right track.  Automatic settings will usually prevent you from deleting anything you might need, such as downloads, settings, and bookmarks.

5.  Be Aware of Safety Issues

This is really a whole topic in and of itself.    You can protect your personal information by installing anti-virus software, anti-spyware, having a personal firewall,  updating your operating system regularly, and by securing your WiFi.  When it comes to internet browsing, don’t click on pop-ups, never send personal information to a website you don’t fully trust or that doesn’t have authentication, and don’t open any questionable emails.  Use strong passwords with eight to ten characters consisting of numbers and letters, and do not keep those passwords stored on your computer.  If in doubt, don’t check it out!!! Leave any links, pop-ups, or websites alone if they seem fishy.

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