Frequently Asked Questions about the Internet
and Their Answers (Page 2)

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

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Please click on the question to see the answer.

  1. How can I open a Web page in my computer?
  2. How can I put a Web page in my Favorites?
  3. What exactly is a link?
  4. Are all links blue?
  5. Why sometimes links change color?
  6. Can a picture be a link?
  7. How do I know that something is a link?
  8. How is a picture size measured?
  9. Why in some Web pages I see a blank box with a red X on it?
  10. I click on a link. It takes forever for something to happen. Why?
  11. What is a file?
  12. How do I download a file?
  13. How do I upload a file?
  14. What is 404 error?
  15. How can I block pop-up ads?
  16. What is Google?
  17. What is Wikipedia?
  18. What is CC and BCC in e-mail?
  19. How do I open a hotmail or Yahoo e-mail account?
  20. Are e-mails safe for sending sensitive information like credit card number, bank account number, social security number, and so forth?
  21. Is it safe to click on an e-mail link or open an e-mail attachment?
  22. What is a safe password?
  23. Are passwords case-sensitive?
  24. Is it safe to sign the guestbook of a website?
  25. What is phishing?
Q 1. How can I open a Web page in my computer?
A 1. Oh, there are several ways:

Q 2. How can I put a Web page in my Favorites?
A 2. In Internet Explorer (IE), look for the green and yellow "Plus Star" icon (second left on top) and click on it. Alternatively, press Alt and Z buttons together. Then click on Add to Favorites. In the next dialog box, change the name of the site if you want (sometimes the name that already appears there is too long and cumbersome). Now click on Add. The dialog box will close and the site will be added to your list of Favorites. Why don't you practice right now by putting this Web page in your list of Favorites?

Q 3. What exactly is a link?
A 3. Links or hyperlinks connect one Web page or a part of a Web page to another. By clicking on a link (also called hyperlink) you can move from one Web page to another or from the top of a page to the bottom of the page and so forth. This way the whole Worldwide Web is inter-connected or inter-linked forming a Web.

Q 4. Are all links blue?
A 4. Not necessarily, though text links are generally blue and underlined. But they really can be any color (but different from the color of the general text on the page) and they may or may not be underlined.

Q 5. Why sometimes links change color?
A 5. Web site designers (Webmasters) sometimes do fancy things. They may choose to create one color for the links, a different color for the 'active link' (in this case the link will change color while it is being clicked on), and yet a different color for the 'visited link' (link which was visited or clicked on at least once). In fact, in this Web site I have created links in blue, active links in green, and visited links in brown. Find a "Return to top" link on this page, click on it, and carefully observe the color changes to understand what is link color (blue in this case), active link color (green in this case), and visited link color (brown in this case).

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Q 6. Can a picture be a link?
A 6. Yes. These are called graphic links. In these cases the picture will generally have a border of the same color as the text links on the page. But again, this is not true in all cases. Graphic links can indeed be without any border!.

Q 7. How do I know that something is a link?
A 7. Just hold your mouse over the text or graphic you suspect to be a link. If the arrowhead becomes a hand, it is a link. Sure shot diagnosis!

Q 8. How is a picture size measured?
A 8. The physical dimensions of a picture is measured in pixels. For example, a picture may be 400 pixels in width and 300 pixels in height. It is expressed as 400 px X 300 px or simply 400 X 300, as your photo print may be 5 X 7, or 8 X 10. But the file size of a picture is expressed in kilobyte (KB) or megabyte (MB).

Q 9. Why in some Web pages I see a blank box with a red X on it?
A 9. That means a picture is supposed to be there in that empty box which, for whatever reason, did not download. If you see such things while surfing the Web, always Refresh the page a couple of times to see if it downloads in the second or third attempt (sometimes it might). If it still does not download, it may have been removed by the owner of the site or there may be some technical problem in the coding of the HTML document.

Q 10. I click on a link. It takes forever for something to happen. Why?
A 10. This can happen if:

  1. If your Internet connection is slow.
  2. The file being being downloaded is huge.
  3. The Internet is busy (Just like rush hour traffic, the Internet has peak periods too).
  4. Your browser is clogged with Temporary Internet Files (cache).
Of course, always check if you are connected to the Internet.
Hint: Sometimes, if you click on the link a second or a third time, it may take you to the desired page. So before giving up, try a couple more times. Also, I have seen when it takes a long time to load a page, if you click on the red X on the right of the address field in IE to stop loading the page, and then click on the link again, the page often loads quickly! I never wait for more than 10-12 seconds.

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Q 11. What is a file?
A 11. Any bit of information you save in your computer is saved as a file. Files can be huge, like you can write a 1200 page novel and save it as a file. Or they can be tiny. You can type one letter or a number or a punctuation mark and save it as a file. Like text, a photo can be saved as a file, or a piece of music or video can be saved as a file.

Q 12. How do I download a file?
A 12. If something (such as software, music or video) can be downloaded from a site, the site will provide a "Download" button. Click on that button. You will be asked where would you like to save the file. Specify a folder of your choice. "File name" and "File type" will be in their respective fields already. You may change the file name if you want. But never change the File type, else it will not work. Then click on the Save button. Downloading will begin. Depending on the file size and the speed of your Internet connection, it may take anything from a few seconds to several hours for the download to complete. You will be shown a progress bar, so you know what is happening.

Q 13. How do I upload a file?
A 13. If you are reading this to learn how to upload a file, I can safely assume you are not an advanced user and hence you are not doing FTP to send a file to your friend's computer or to your office computer or to the computer of your Web hosting company. Just be informed to do such things one will need special software.

Most ordinary people upload photos to sites like Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket etc. or upload videos to sites like YouTube or Vimeo. If you want to do such things first you have to open an account in the site of your choice by creating a username and password and of course, giving the site your e-mail address. Once the account is opened, sign-in. You will then find instructions about uploading. Basically, all these sites will provide an UPLOAD button. Click on that button. That will open up folders and files of your computer. (By the way, the thing which you are uploading, HAS TO BE IN YOUR COMPUTER FIRST). You will have to navigate through these to find the file (photo or video) you want to upload. Once you find it, click on it to highlight it, and then click OPEN (There will always be an OPEN button). The folder and files window will close automatically. The upload area will show your file and its path, something that will look like: :

C:\Documents and Settings\Silabhadra Sen\My Documents\Shoban's Websites\Movie Making/camcorder.jpg
[The above shows the PATH of my photo (file) called camcorder.jpg].

Just make sure that is indeed the file you want to upload and then click the UPLOAD button. Uploading will start. Depending on the file size and the speed of your Internet connection, it may take anything from a few seconds to several minutes (even several hours for video files) for the uploading to complete. You will be shown a progress bar, so you know what is happening.

Q 14. What is 404 error?
A 14. The Error 404 "Page not found" response code indicates that although the client could communicate to the server, the server could not find what was requested or it was configured not to fulfill the request.

Q 15. How can I block pop-up ads?
A 15. Today's new browsers like Internet Explorer (IE), Firefox, Chrome, AOL, etc. can all block pop-up ads. If you intall Google toolbar or Yahoo toolbar in your browser, they come with built-in pop-up blockers and they can effectively block pop-up ads. All spyware blockers like Ad-Aware, Spybot, Spy Sweeper, etc. can also effectively block pop-ups. Finally, if you have installed the latest version of either Norton Internet Security or McAfee Internet Security Suite in your computer as your antivirus, antispyware, and personal firewall (all-in-one) program, you are also protected against pop-ups as either of these two great programs are also excellent pop-up blockers.

You will find a detailed discussion about pop-ups and how to deal with them here.

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Q 16. What is Google?
A 16. Probably the best and most widely used search engine of the world. Google is such a commonly used search engine, that the name google has become synonimous with searching. The word google is now often used as a verb - "I just googled him and found everything I wanted to know about him". Google also hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products such as Google Maps, Google Chrome browser, and Google cell phone called Nexus One.

Q 17. What is Wikipedia?
A 17. A highly popular online, collaborative, editable, multilingual, and FREE encyclopedia. It is a very convenient and quite reliable encyclopedia available at your fingertips to look up information about virtually anything.

Q 18. What is CC and BCC in e-mail?
A 18. CC means Carbon Copy (like the one used in typed, on-paper official correspondence). BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. The recipient(s) and those named in the CC field of the e-mail cannot see the names and addresses of those named in the BCC field. Sometimes you might want to hide the names and addresses of some recipient(s) of an e-mail. Put their names in the BCC field.

Q 19. How do I open a hotmail or Yahoo e-mail account?
A 19. It is so easy that if you can read English, you can do it yourself in just a few minutes. I'll just give you some clues here to get started.

To open a hotmail account you have to begin at and to open Yahoo e-mail account you have to go to At either place you have to click on Sign up to begin the process. You will be presented with a short and easy-to-understand form which you will need to fill out. In hotmail, it will ask you to create a hotmail address first. You just have to choose a username in the blank field ( will already be there). Select your username and click on availability. If your preferred username is not available (already taken by someone), you will be presented with some alternative usernames similar to your choice. You can choose from those or begin from scratch again. In Yahoo, selection of Yahoo ID and e-mail comes in the second box - the first box is for your personal information. Just like in hotmail, select your username (Yahoo ID) and check availability. Then create your password (make it difficult for others to guess or crack). Yahoo will indicate the strength of your password with green and red colors, the more green the better. Please remember everywhere you create a password you will always have to re-type your password. This is a protection against typo. Also please remember passwords are generally case-sensitive. That means roger and Roger are not the same. So please be careful. In both hotmail and Yahoo mail, at the bottom of the form you will have to type in the characters exactly as they are displayed above the blank box. (If you cannot read the displayed characters, you can always request for a new set of characters). This is to prevent automated (software generated) submissions. When you are done click on Create My Account (in Yahoo). At some point, in both cases, you will have to agree to the provider's Terms and Conditions.

If you have read the above instructions, you can do the rest. Good luck.

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Q 20. Are e-mails safe for sending sensitive information like credit card number, bank account number, social security number, and so forth?
A 20. Absolutely not. E-mails can be easily intercepted by technically competent crooks and they can read your information. Banks, credit card companies, and other financial institutions always provide Secure Server Communication Forms in their Web sites. You have to first log in. Then click on something like Contact or Send Message. A form will open up to write your message. When done, click on Send. Not already signed up with the institution? Just use your telephone. The telephone is safe when you are making the call. Don't give information over the phone when the other party calls you!

Q 21. Is it safe to click on an e-mail link or open an e-mail attachment?
A 21. Unless you know for sure who sent you the e-mail and you can trust that person, never click on an e-mail link or open an e-mail attachment. Your computer may get infected by dangarous virus or you can become a victim of phishing. Also, the e-mail attachments may contain objectionable or obscene pictures. So please be very careful in opening attachments. Simply delete the e-mail. If your e-mail program permits it, report it as spam. Also, in unwanted e-mails, if you may see a link saying, "To unsubscribe, click here". Don't even do that. That action will confirm to the sender that the e-mail address is genuine, and you may be bombarded with more unwanted e-mails (spam). Just delete the e-mail.

Q 22. What is a safe password?
A 22. Technically, no password is totally safe. Remember crooks use password cracking software to get into your computer to steal your personal information. Easy passwords can be cracked in seconds or minutes. Difficult passwords may take hours or days to crack.

That said, you can take some general precautions to make your password reasonably strong, not easy for common people to guess. Here are some pointers:

The above are just a few pointers. You can read my Password Help to learn more.

Q 23. Are passwords case-sensitive?
A 23. In most cases, they are. The site for which you are creating a password, will most often tell you whether the passwords there are case sensitive or not. It is a good idea to assume they are and type them exactly the same way when you created them. Also, please always make sure when you create and use a password that your keyboard's 'Caps Lock' button is off. When you type a password in the Password Field, you cannot see what is being typed - each character appears as an asterisk or just as a bullet (dot).

Q 24. Is it safe to sign the guestbook of a website?
A 24. Generally, there is no risk in signing the guestbook of a Web site provided you use your common sense. Never write your full name - use only your first name or nick name. Never give complete address or telehone number. Normally no guestbook will ask for your address or phone number. Similarly, never give your exact age or date of birth. Age group is OK (like 50-60 years). For 'Location' or 'Where do you live' write Kansas City, or Belmont MA, or even just USA. Try not to give your e-mail address. The only danger I see in signing a guestbook is you may start getting unwanted e-mails (spam). So try to leave that e-mail field blank. If the site insists that you MUST give e-mail, you may want to walk away and not sign that guestbook. Personally, I am not paranoid about receiving spam, because I know how to effectively stop them (report them as spam). Finally, if the Web site looks fishy or dubious in any way, don't sign their guestbook!

Q 25. What is phishing?
A 25. It is a term for a relatively new Internet scam in which an e-mail is sent to an individual asking him/her to click on a link to go a legitimate business's (such as a bank's) site to update account information such as password, account number, social security number, credit card number, and so forth. The link actually takes the victim of the scam to a bogus site which looks like the organization's genuine site (it is easy to make look-alike sites by copying the HTML codes of the actual site). When the victim gives his personal and confidential information at this bogus site, those informations are used for identity theft which can cause great distress to the victim. Don't fall a victim to "phishing". Never click on a link in an e-mail asking you to go to their site to give your personal information (which the real organization already has). Genuine organizations will never send you e-mail to give your information. If in doubt, call the organization to verify if they had sent you such an e-mail. Furthermore, an Web site may look-alike, but the address field of the browser can tell an experienced surfer if it is indeed the genuine site. For example, the address of the genuine Citibank site is likely to be rather than You can also go to, say, actual Citibank's site, by searching for Citibank in Google (the only search engine you really need!) and when Google provides you with the link, click on it and you will arrive at the genuine Citibank site.

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.

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This page was added on June 14, 2010
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