Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Using The Web: Search Engines, Directories And Safety, Part 1

Next, we'll be learning about directories and portals and protecting your safety on the Internet.

Now that you've mastered the search, you can make your life even easier by letting someone else do the work for you – directories and portals.

Directories and portals are sort of a simpler form of search engine. A directory divides items and information into categories to make it easier to find. A portal does the same thing, but it will often display feature items or news stories that it thinks may interest you. Most directories and portals are sorted by topic. If you want information on 'cruises,' just look under their 'Travel' category and you'll find it!

The Internet is a great tool. There are many benefits to using the Internet, but there are also risks. These risks include contracting computer 'viruses' that can harm your computer and having your personal information fall into the wrong hands. Here are some tips for avoiding both these problems:

First – computer viruses; computer viruses are small pieces of software and like real viruses, they spread from one computer to another. They can cause your computer to malfunction or work very slowly. The best defense against computer viruses is installing up-to-date anti-virus software. Other defenses include not opening email attachments unless you are expecting a file, and not downloading any files from the Internet unless you trust the source.

Second – keeping your personal information safe; the best way to do this is to keep your personal information private. Never give out passwords or information to people or websites that aren't safe and trusted. Keep your credit card and banking information as protected as you would in real life. It's okay to shop on-line, but do so at sites that have privacy and security policies.

The Internet is an amazing resource. Whether you're buying the latest bestseller, sending emails to your family, getting local movie times or researching – it can all be done quickly on-line. But, it's important to stay safe and, of course, have fun!

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