Internet Training: A Starting Point for Beginners Online
Where to start with internet training as a beginner? We’ve compiled an essential glossary of 20 terms you’ll need to start making the most of the ‘net.
Let’s take a closer look….
Internet Training: #1 Internet
The Internet is a vast network of computers connected to each other through a global network of cables. These computers can communicate with each other and each one has a specific series of numbers called an IP address for identification.
No single organisation owns or controls the Internet. Every device linked to that network “becomes” the Internet.
This gigantic network has one job: to move computerised information from one place to another. This computerised information could be anything: letters, audio, video, etc.
All information is handled equally and passed on exactly the same way. This gives the Internet huge potential as people can share any sort of information, so there are endless possibilities.
Internet Training: #2 World Wide Web (The Web)
The “Web” is used interchangeably with the “Internet,” however, they are not exactly the same. While the Internet is a global system of interconnected computers, the web is a global collection of documents and resources.
That means, the Internet is a way to transport information, and the web is the software that allows the usage of this information. The web is a service of the Internet, but it is not all of it.
Internet Training: #3 ISP
To get connected to this huge network of computers, you need an Internet Service Provider. Yes, that’s the ISP. It’s exactly like the mobile network carrier. An ISP could be a company or a governmental organisation who’ll connect you to the Internet.
You will pay a monthly fee to subscribe to a service provider. The fees vary according to the Internet package you pick. Internet packages have different speeds and different capacities for data transfer. Heavy users who stream movies and games often go for the more expensive ones. For beginners, who will most likely use it for email and light web surfing, the less expensive packages are the best option.
Internet Training: #4 Router
A router is a small electronic device that joins multiple computer networks together. Routers are wired, wireless, or both. Its function is to regulate the network signals arriving at your house/business. It manages sending signals between connected computers or devices.
A router also acts as a goalie that defends your device against Internet attacks. In addition, the router also directs the signals to the specific device connected to it only, or else, the whole building would be able to use the Internet service you are paying for. The neighbours would thank you, but your wallet would not.
Internet Training: #5 Web Page
Think of the web page as a page in a magazine. Each page has a different topic, and the content could be just about anything. It could be scientific, political, entertaining, educational, etc. Just like magazine pages, web pages include text and images.
However, web pages also include audio, video, animation, 360 degree images. Web designers try their best to make web pages as attractive as possible using fonts and colour schemes. Of course, all these web pages are part of the World Wide Web. The web includes billions of these pages.
Internet Training: #6 Website
Now, a website is the magazine that includes all those pages. There is an endless number of magazines, and each magazine has a main theme and a number of pages. That’s the same case with a website.
A website is a collection of webpages grouped under one name. Each name represents an entity: a government, an organisation, a business, or even a person. Websites aim to attract more viewers so they can spread awareness and host more advertisers.
The best websites are those who create the most valuable content and have the highest number of visitors.
Internet Training: #7 Domain Name/URL
The content of a website is stored on special computers. For a visitor to connect to a website, he/she needs to know the IP address of the computer where the content is stored.
However, for the regular visitor, an IP address is too hard to remember; it is a series of numbers. To solve that problem, domain names are needed.
A domain name is an easy-to-remember address to identify the computer you wish to connect with. Surely, it is much easier to remember “www.profiletree.com” than 123.456.789.1. Domain names are translated into IP addresses.
To connect to any website, all you need to do is type its domain name, and click “enter.” A side note: “domain name,” “web address,” and “URL” all refer to the same thing.
Internet Training: #8 HTML
HTML is the language that webpages are written in. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language. Computers do not understand human language, so programmers give orders to computers in the language that they understand: code. HTML is a type of code commonly used for building webpages.
Internet Training: #9 Browser
A browser is software tool that allows you to access the World Wide Web. It is the gate to the web. That’s why all computers and mobile devices include a browser at the time of purchase.
The most popular browsers are Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. A browser’s function is translating HTML and code to human-readable content.
Moreover, a browser translates the URL you enter into its address bar, into an IP address. That permits the connection between your computer and the computer where the website’s content lives. Let’s take a moment to appreciate browsers.
Internet Training: #10 HTTPS
“HTTPS is the acronym for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.” You’d find it automatically added before the URL you enter into the address bar. This indicates that the web page has a special layer of encryption added to hide your personal information and passwords from others.”
Internet Training: #11 Home Page
A simple one here: a home page refers to the main web page of a website. The first web page a visitor sees once they open a website is called the website’s home page.
A home page also refers to the first page that your browser opens. You can select any page to be your home page; the one your browser directly opens once you double-click on the browser’s icon.
Internet Training: #12 Email
Emails have changed the way humans communicate forever. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the invention of the email is as significant as the invention of the telegraph. Email is a method of exchanging typewritten messages and images from one computer to another.
To exchange emails, you must have an email address. It is like having a phone number. To have an email address, you must sign up with a web mail service for free. Gmail and Hotmail are popular mail services.
If you want someone to send you emails, you must share your email with them. You can create multiple emails, and the process is simple.
Also, you can use your email to create accounts on other platforms such as social networks and online shopping services. Therefore, the first essential step in the online world is to create an email.
Internet Training: #13 Spam and Filter
Since this is an Internet training, you should know that not everything on the Internet is positive. Spam is one of those annoying things on the Internet.
The word “apam” refers to unwanted and unsolicited emails. Spam comes in two main categories: heavy advertising and hacking attempts.
Ads are merely a nuisance, meanwhile hackers attempting to attack your email or your personal computer, are dangerous. Email services, such as Google, solve this issue by using software that reads incoming emails for keyword combination.
If the email’s content seems fishy, the software either deletes or quarantines those emails in a separate folder. Look for “Spam” or “Junk” folder in your mailbox to see your filtered emails. You should avoid clicking on any URLs in spam emails unless you trust the sender, and even then with caution as accurate information for the sender may not show without further investigation.
Internet Training: #14 Search Engine
What do you do when you are lost in a library looking for a specific book? You ask the librarian and he/she would tell you exactly where it is, and recommend you similar books that you’d enjoy. A search engine does the same function.
It organises information and makes it accessible to everyone. The world’s best search engine is Google. Google has become so popular that “to Google” is now an official verb in the Oxford English dictionary.
The Answer to Every Question
Now, the World Wide Web is huge, that’s why people needed a librarian, but with a superpower to be able to guide us through this huge collection of data. A search engine is a program that reads all websites and creates an index for them.
Once a user searches for a keyword, the program compares those keywords to the index it has and gives you the best results. The results are amazing. You can almost get an answer to any question, or get information on any topic, in the matter of seconds!
Internet Training: #15 Social Media
Social media represents a big portion of the Internet. These are large websites “dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration.” So, the main the purpose of these channels is building up an online community, sharing content, and connecting on a local, and a global level as well.
For example, LinkedIn is a platform for the global business community. Meanwhile, Instagram is a channel for sharing visuals and images. Creating an account on any of these platforms require that you have an email first, they are all free of charge to use.
Internet Training: #16 Blog
A blog is like a writer’s column in a newspaper. In the past, columns in a newspaper were accessible to a very few number of professional writers.
On the Internet, amateurs and professionals – also businesses – share their writings freely on any subject.
Blogs could be about technology, sports, product reviews, entertainment, or any other type of content.
Internet Training: #17 E-Commerce
E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services electronically. This process requires the transfer of funds and data over the Internet. E-commerce could be business-to-business, business-to-consumer, or consumer-to-consumer.
The most popular e-commerce platform is Amazon.
Like blogs, e-commerce is also a game changer. Online shopping has been growing in popularity so fast that brick and mortar retailers realised that if they want to have a future in the market, they must have an e-commerce channel.
Internet Training: #18 Downloading and Uploading
Downloading is the process of transferring data from the Internet to your personal computer so you can have access to it later, without an Internet connection. Uploading is the opposite of that. It is transferring files from your own device, to the Web, to share it to the world through an Internet connection.
Downloading/uploading often refers to transferring images, music files, videos, and movies. Of course, each file you transfer has a size, and the bigger the size of the file, the longer it’ll take to upload/download it, depending on the Internet speed.
Internet Training: #19 Application
An application, or an app, is simply a program designed to perform specific tasks. The clock or the calendar on your mobile device is an app.
Similarly, one considers Microsoft word, games, or browsers as apps. Application differ on the level of complexity and purpose. Some of them are simple, while others are more complicated.
In addition, there are two types of applications: mobile apps; for mobile devices, and desktop apps; for computers. You can download and install apps through different app sources such as Google Play.
Internet Training: #20 Cloud
“A cloud is a password-protected area of the web in which registered users can safely store and retrieve files, run applications, and look up information that may not be available to the public.”
The most popular clouds are Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. They are all free to use. Set up an account, and you’re ready to store files and share them with others. For Google Drive, you can use your Gmail account.