Frequently Asked Questions about the Internet
and Their Answers (Page 1)

This is a cheat sheet for busy and lazy people
and for those who are allergic to reading!

Home | FAQ1 | FAQ2 | Glossary | Internet & www | Browsers | Search Engines & Directories | Surfing/Navigating | Pop-Ups & Other Ads | Saving a Web picture, Copying & Printing from the Web | Clearing Browser Cache | Cookies | Safety Issues | E-mail | Links | ABC'S OF COMPUTING | COMPUTER HELP FOR PEOPLE OVER 50 | HELP WITH WINDOWS XP | BESTNETGURU.COM |

From the many e-mails I received from seniors, I have come to the conclusion that most people simply do not read but they want to get their work done! "Just tell me how to upload my photo in the Facebook". After I write back how to do it, another e-mail comes from the same person. "How do I locate my photo in my computer?" Pretty soon I realize the person does not know how to save a file, what is meant by "path" of a file, or even what is a file?

I try my best to help people. If "Skip the details, just tell me the basics in a nutshell" is what you want, this page is for you. If you can accomplish what you want to do in the Internet with the information presented on this page, I have no problem. But if you really want to learn the why's and how's, I am afraid, you'll have to read the other pages of this site as well as informations avilable elsewhere in the Internet!

That said, let's get started. This kind of page is called FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) in the Internet. You are supposed to go through this page first to find answer to your question before you seek help from somebody (in this case Me)! The questions are in random order (this also is typical Internet style). You just have to eye through everything to find what you are looking for. I used bold letters on many keywords to help you find what you are looking for. Click on the question to see the answer. Or just scroll down the page to read everything. MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ARE ON FAQ 2.

  1. Are cookies bad?
  2. When are cookies bad?
  3. Why should I remove cookies?
  4. How to remove cookies?
  5. What is a computer virus?
  6. What are spyware?
  7. What is browser cache?
  8. Why is it important to remove browser cache from time to time?
  9. How to clear browser cache?
  10. How to move around in a Web site?
  11. Is saving a copyrighted image illegal?
  12. How do I save a picture from the Web in my computer?
  13. How do I grab a picture from the Internet and make my wallpaper with it?
  14. Is there a difference between the Internet and the Worldwide Web?
  15. What do you mean by safety issues in the Internet?
  16. What precautions should I take to protect my computer from the dangers of the Internet?
  17. What precautions should I take to protect myself from the dangers of the Internet?
  18. What is dial-up Internet connection?
  19. What is high-speed Internet conection?
  20. Is there a difference between a Web page and a Web site?
  21. What is HTML?
  22. How do I print a Web page?
  23. How do I print a picture from a web page?
  24. I just bought a new PC. How do I install Internet Explorer (IE) in it?
  25. I have IE in my computer. But it is not connecting to the Internet. Why?

Q 1. Are cookies bad?
A 1. Don't be paranoid about cookies. Cookies are not malicious things like spyware and other malware, they can make your Internet experience pleasant and useful, they do not take up a lot of disk space on your computer's hard drive, and they are easy to remove either manually, or by using special software for automatic removal everytime you shutdown your computer.

Q 2. When are cookies bad?
A 2. I don't think cookies are bad. They do not harm you. They do not steal your personal information. If somebody tracks your surfing habits for the purpose of serving you with the right kind of advertisement that might interest you, I don't think it is so bad! Cookies might spare you from entering your password everytime you want to visit a site. I think these are good things. Spyware are bad things. They might steal your personal or sensitive information. Spyware and cookies are two different things. But if you don't like cookies, you can tell your browser not to accept cookies, or you can manually or automatically delete all cookies everytime you shutdown your computer.

Q 3. Why should I remove cookies?
A 3. Cookies are very tiny programs (text files), usually just a few bytes. They do not take up any appreciable space of your hard disk. So there is really no need to delete them often, unless you do not like purpose for which they are placed in your computer. But you might want to delete them about once a month when you perform your routine computer maintenance to avoid cluttering of your hard disk.

Q 4. How to remove cookies?
A 4. In Internet Explorer, click on the Tools button on the upper right corner. Then click on Delete Browsing History, then Delete cookies, then Yes. Or you can use your anti-virus software to delete cookies.

To learn more about cookies please click here.

Return to top

Q 5. What is a computer virus?
A 5. Computer viruses are little programs that replicate and attach to computer files and usually cause damage to your computer. These programs are man-made. Some brilliant people with evil intensions create them, and spread them in a manner so that large number of computers of the world are quickly affected and cause loss of data and damage to computer equipment.

To learn more about computer virus, please click here.

Q 6. What are spyware?
A 6. This term is being used more and more these days as these are being covertly put in the Web surfers' computers by unscrupulous businesses more and more these days. Spyware can be really bad for the Internet users in more than one way. In short, just like the adware they collect information about you and relay them back to the owner of the spyware usually for advertising purposes but they can be used for other more damaging purposes too. The terms adware and spyware overlap to certain extent, but spyware got a separate name as they can do a lot more than adware. Spyware are programs that can read your keystrokes, read cookies, install other spyware in your computer, scan your computer files on the hard drive and steal your credit card number, bank account number, social security number, e-mail addresses from your address book, and so forth. That is why they are called spyware. They can really "spy" on you and steal all your information for illegal purposes, not just for advertising purposes. Spyware are more harmful than adware.

Aside from unethically gathering your information and not respecting your privacy, spyware (which are programs by themselves) steals your computer's memory resources to run and uses up bandwidth to send back information about you to its home base via your Internet connection! And since these are additional programs that run in the background, they may cause computer crashes and/or general instability in the system.

To learn more about spyware, how do they enter your computer without your knowledge, how to prevent getting infected by spyware, and how to remove spyware if you are already infected, please read Safety issues in the Internet.

Q 7. What is browser cache?
A 7. When you look at a web page, your browser makes a copy of it and saves it in a special folder in your computer's hard drive so that the next time you want to visit the same page, it can make it available to you quickly. These copies of web pages or temporary Internet files are called cache.

Q 8. Why is it important to remove browser cache from time to time?
A 8. For two reasons. Cache or Temporary Internet Files can be large in size, specially if you watch videos (like in YouTube) or visit sites with lots of photos (such as Flickr). These can quickly build up to several gigabytes and eat up a huge portion of your hard disk space. So you should delete the temporary Internet files (cache) regularly. Second, large amount of cache can literally clog your browser. If that happens, it will take a long time for new Web pages to load or they will not load at all (in extreme cases). So remove the browser cache regularly to keep your browser work properly.

Q 9. How to clear browser cache?
A 9. In Internet Explorer, click on the Tools button on the upper right corner. Then click on Delete Browsing History, then in Temporary Internet Files click on Delete files, then click Yes.

To learn more about browser cache please click here.

Return to top

Q 10. How to move around in a Web site?
A 10. On the page you are in, look for something like Menu or Contents. It may be on the top, bottom, left side, or right side of the page. It could be anywhere else on the page too! There will be items in it naming pages, subjects, chapters, groups, sub-groups, departments, merchandise, sales, service, company information, company history, contact information, FAQ, and so on. All of these will be hyperlinks. Just click on the item you are interested in, and you will be taken there! Sometimes each page will have links saying Next, or Previous, or Back. You can click on those too to go to the page you want to visit. Sometimes on the bottom (or top) of a Web page you will find numbers like 2, 3, 4 etc, which are hyperlinks. If you click on any of these numbers, you will be taken to that page number. Usually, when a series of hyperlinked numbers are given, on the left of those numbers you will find a hyperlink to the Previous page, and on the right of those numbers you will find a hyperlink to go to the Next page. Easy to understand, right?

Also, on the main body of virtually all Web pages, you will find words or graphics which are hyperlinks. Just click on them, you will be taken there. And remember, these links or hyperlinks can be Internal or External, meaning you could be taken to another page of the same Web site or you could be taken to a different Web site.

Q 11. Is saving a copyrighted image illegal?
A 11. No. Saving a page or a picture for your own, personal use is NOT illegal. But mass distribution of these or putting them up in another Web page (even if that is a non-commercial, not-for-profit page) claiming these to be your own is ILLEGAL. If want to use somebody else's work in your own site, you must take previous written permission of the owner. This is LAW. Never break it or you may be in trouble!

Q 12. How do I save a picture from the Web in my computer?
A 12. Right-click on the picture and then click on Save Picture As. A Save Picture dialog box will appear. There select a folder in the "Save in" field. The default is My Pictures. You can keep that default folder unless you have created sub-folders in My Pictures folder. Then select a file name in the "File name" field. (The file name that already appears there, may be very clumsy. You are better off erasing that name (hit the Backspace or Delete button) and giving it a short, descriptive name so that you can recognize that file (picture) later. Don't change anything in the "Save as type" field. Keep what already exists there. Now hit the "Save" button. You are done. The file will be saved in your computer in the folder you have specified with the file name you have given to it.

Rarely, some Web sites disable right-clicking (I have disabled right-clicking on this site). That means nothing will happen if you right-click on a picture. In these cases, it is not possible for a novice to save a picture from that site. But advanced users know a round about way of saving pictures even from these sites!

Q 13. How do I grab a picture from the Internet and make my wallpaper with it?
A 13. Easy. Right-click on the picture and select "Set as Background".

Hint for fine tuning: If the picture does not fill your entire desktop, or the picture is too small for your desktop do as follows:
Right-click anywhere on the desktop and click on Properties. A Display Properties dialog box will appear. In that dialog box, click on the tab marked Desktop. You will see a list of Background images that are available. On the right of it look for "Position" and click on the downward pointing arrow under it. A dropdown menu will give you three options: Center, Tile, Stretch. Choose Center if you want to put your picture in the center of the desktop (good choice for large pictures). If your picture is small, a better choice is Tile. Many copies of the same picture will be tiled to fill the entire desktop. If the picture is large, but not large enough to fill the entire desktop, Windows can stretch it for you to fill the desktop if you choose Stretch. But don't choose Stretch for a small picture. The picture will not look good! Stretch is a good option for pictures that almost fill the desktop, but not quite. Just experiment and see what you like. You can send many pictures to the desktop - only the latest one will show. If you ever want to remove your wallpaper, just hit None under Backgound. And please remember whatever change you are making you have to first click on Apply and then on OK.

Return to top

Q 14. Is there a difference between the Internet and the Worldwide Web?
A 14. The Internet and the Worldwide Web (www) are actually two different things. The Internet is much larger and the Worldwide Web is actually just a part of the Internet. But common people usually use the two terms interchangeably or synonimously and that is OK in the layman's world. If you want to learn a little bit more on this subject, then please click here.

Q 15. What do you mean by safety issues in the Internet?
A 15. The Internet is a wonderful and convenient place to get latest news, find information about virtually anything, shopping, banking, and entertainment. You can order pizza delivery online, you can buy your vacation package online, you can look for and apply for jobs online. You can also post your own messages in the Web, write your online diary (blog), comment on other people's blogs, buy and sell online, upload your photos and videos for other people to see or just for storing them at a safe place. But the Internet is also a dangarous place unless you take some basic precautions. Your computer may get infected with virus and you can lose valuable data or months or years of work. You can also become a victim of hackers and they could steal your personal and valuable information including your identity. That is why it is important to know what could happen in the Internet and what precautions or actions are necessary to stay safe in the Internet. The damages could be irrepairable. That is why it is important to educate yourself about the safety issues in the Internet.

A detailed discussion about the safety issues in the Internet can be found here.

Q 16. What precautions should I take to protect my computer from the dangers of the Internet?
A 16. You must do the following to protect your computer from the perils of the Internet:

  1. Regularly download and install Windows critical updates. It is best to set up your computer to receive these updates automatically. Click here to learn how.
  2. Install an antivirus program, antispyware program, and a peronal firewall program in your computer. All three are needed. Better yet, install either Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security Suite. These programs include all three of the necessary things, that is antivirus, antispyware, and peronal firewall. But you have to keep these programs uptodate at all times to ensure complete safety. Luckily, latest versions of both Norton and McAfee automatically updates themselves. Just make sure you always have the latest versions of these programs. The versions are changed or updated almost every year.
  3. Use only a late (if not the latest) version of your browser whether it is Internet Explorer, Firefox, AOL, Chrome or whatever. Modern browsers come with built-in protection against pop-ups, spyware, phishing etc.

In computing, old versions of anything is actually obsolete. Always stay uptodate and use newer versions for trouble-free computing. Technology is changing for the better everyday!

Q 17. What precautions should I take to protect myself from the dangers of the Internet?
A 17. First you have to make sure you have taken care of everything listed above to protect your computer. Otherwise hackers might gain access to your computer and steal your personal/security informations. Then you have to be careful about the following:

  1. Never disclose your full identity (i.e., full name, address, age, sex, marital status etc.) to an unknown person in the Internet. This includes e-mails, chat rooms, instant messages, bulletin boards, and guestbooks.
  2. Never assume that the other person is telling you the truth, especially in chat rooms, instant messages, and e-mails from unknown people.
  3. If you shop through the Internet, first research and make sure that the merchant you are dealing with is well established and reputable. Make sure you have an exact street address and telephone number of the merchant's store or office. Learn about their return policy. Lots of phony merchants exist in the Internet to cheat and grab unsuspecting people's money. Seniors are usually easy prey for them!
  4. Before you give your credit card number or bank account number online, make sure you are on a secure server. Look out for the closed padlock picture somewhere in your browser. (In IE7, the padlock appears on the rightside of the address field). Additionally, the http:// part of the URL should change to https://. (The s stands for secure). When you are on secure server, the information you give online is coded before it is transmitted over the wire so that even if some unscrupulous person intercepts the information, he/she will not be able to crack the code and steal your personal information. This kind of coded message is called encrypted message. Encryption gives you security and protects you from thieves.
  5. To conduct various kinds of business online (such as booking an airline ticket) you often have to open an account with an establishment, and you will need a username and a password to access that account. Do write down the username and password (because you are bound to forget them if you are a human being), but keep it in a safe place preferably under lock and key. Never disclose your username and/or password to anybody. It is for your own security. Protecting your account from others is your responsibility. Also, remember that passwords are often case-sensitive (which means 'A' and 'a' are not the same thing).
  6. Always create a strong password for yourself and protect the password carefully. See answer to Question #22 on FAQ 2 to learn what makes a strong password.

    Q 18. What is dial-up Internet connection?
    A 18. Dial-up connection means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) connects your computer with the Internet via the telephone line. It is usually much cheaper (just make sure they have an Access Phone Number within your area code, otherwise long-distance charges may apply) but it is also SLOWER. The Web pages will take longer to load. Downloading and uploading time will be much longer. And it will be virtually impossible to enjoy videos in the Web, such as YouTube videos, CNN videos, AOL videos, Yahoo videos etc. Most people these days have high-speed Internet connection.

    Return to top

    Q 19. What is high-speed Internet conection?
    A 19. High-speed or Broadband connection means your Internet Service Provider (ISP) connects your computer with the Internet via DSL modem or via the cable (of the cable TV). These are much FASTER as compared to dial-up connection (cable is the fastest) but they also cost most.

    Q 20. Is there a difference between a Web page and a Web site?
    A 20. Yes. A Web site usually consists of several Web pages. Think of a Web site as a book and a Web page a single page of that book. Technically, a Web page is a single HTML file, and an Web site consists of several inter-linked HTML files belonging to the same domain. A Web site always has an opening page or home page called index.html page. Internet Basics for Seniors is a Web site. This FAQ page is one of the Web pages of that Web site.

    Q 21. What is HTML?
    A 21. HTML is the short form of "Hyper Text Markup Language". When a web page is made it is written in HTML. This is the language your browser understands. Using this language, instructions are written for the browser to tell it how to display the web page. What is the background color, what is the color and size of the fonts, what is the layout of the page, line spacing, paragraphs, position of the graphics (pictures), which are links (hyperlinks), color of the links, where goes a table, and so forth. To get a sense of what HTML looks like, go to any web site. Find an empty spot on the page, and right-click your mouse on that spot. A menu will appear. Click on 'View Source' on that menu. A white page will appear with strange writings which may look like Latin or Greek to you. That's HTML. To close that white page, click on the X button on its upper right corner. (In an attempt to prevent piracy, I have disabled right-clicking on this page. You cannot view source of this page that way.)

    Q 22. How do I print a Web page?
    A 22. Click on the printer icon of your browser. Remember to turn on your printer first.
    Helpful Hint: Web pages are often jammed with many graphics (pictures), ads etc. In such cases, before clicking on the printer icon, first look for a link labeled "Printer Friendly" on the page. Many Web sites provide such a link. If you find that link, first click on it. You will see another simplified version of the page has appeared containing only the main contents of the page without the superfluous things. Now click on the printer icon or the Print button on the page to print that page. This will save you paper as well as printing ink and the main contents will fit on the printing paper nicely!
    More Hints: Want to print only a selected part of a Web page? Highlight the part you want to print, copy it (Ctrl+C), open your word processor, and then paste (Ctrl+V) it there. Now print it from your word processor. Just hit the print icon.
    Want to print your selection or the entire Web page in black and white (to save the more expensive color ink)? Like I said above, copy it and paste it in your word processor, then click on File, click Print, click Properties in the Print dialog box, put a checkmark in the box (by clicking on it) before Print in black and white, click OK, and then OK again in the Print dialog box. Everything will now be printed in black and white.

    Q 23. How do I print a picture from a web page?
    A 23. Right-click on the picture and then click on Print Picture. You can print the picture in black and white by following instructions given above.

    Q 24. I just bought a new PC. How do I install Internet Explorer (IE) in it?
    A 24. Your new PC has both Windows and Internet Explorer already installed in it. If you see a big blue e (icon) on your desktop, just double-click on it to open Internet Explorer (IE). If not, click on the Start button and then on the Internet Explorer icon (big blue e).

    Q 25.I have IE in my computer. But it is not connecting to the Internet. Why?
    A 25. You have to sign-up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) in your area who will give you connection to the Internet. Your telephone company or cable TV company should be able to help. You can also look in your area's Yellow Pages or search in Google for a list of ISP's in your area.

    If you think this page is helpful for beginners and Internet novices, then PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD. Let your friends and family know that they can learn many things in a shortcut way here. THANKS.

    Return to top

    << Home page

    FAQ 2 >>

    Check out the companion sites:

    This page was added on June 14, 2010
    Copyright © 2010 Silabhadra Sen
    All Rights Reserved