I used to be one of those who was only interested in going online, do what I want to do and then go offline. However, a time came when I felt that my internet surfing would make more sense and be more rewarding and safer, if I familiarised myself with some common terms that I usually came across on the internet. The high point of my turnaround has been single-handedly repairing my laptop which developed booting problems two weeks after purchase using Google and single-handedly designing my blog and creating its contents without needing to consult anyone. The turnaround has really paid off big time.
I got the inspiration to do this post after spending time trying to explain the difference between a phone’s hardware and its Operating system; and after explaining the difference between a web browser and a search engine to two friends of mine.
Indeed a lot of people would be better internet users if they knew more. And in this internet age where kids are wonderful on the internet, one cannot afford to be a push over 🙂 Please check out my compilation of 10 Common Internet-related Terms You Should Know.
1. The Internet
The internet is a global network of interconnected computer networks linked worldwide. It consists of millions of private and public networks that are linked by a vast array of wireless, electronic and optical networking technologies. Thus, the device you are using to view my blog forms part of this complex network.
2. World Wide Web (WWW)
The World Wide Web, invented in Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, is a system of interlinked documents and data that run on the internet and are also accessible through it. With your web browser you can view text, images, videos and other forms of data on the World Wide Web.
3. Web browsers
For me, browsers give life to the internet and the World Wide Web. It gives it meaning. You are able to visit my blog because a web browser made it possible. Funny enough, I have come across a lot of people who use the internet every day without knowing the difference between a browser and a search engine. A friend once told me he was using Google to browse 🙂
A web browser makes navigation through the World Wide Web (WWW) possible. It enables you to open websites and web pages, such as mine that you are viewing now. It enables you to either enter or retrieve information on the internet. This is done by entering the web site’s URL (see below) on the address bar. An example being www.infoplaze.com. The very first web browser was invented in 1990 and was called WORLDWIDEWEB. It was later renamed NEXUS. Thereafter we have seen OPERA, EXPLORER, FIREFOX, CHROME, SAFARI, all of which I have used. There are still many others.
5. Web Search Engines
Web search engines are softwares that provide information on the World Wide Web. They allow you to search for information on the internet. Search results are usually in form of websites, web pages, images or other means of data source. These are dependent on your search queries. Unlike browsers, where you MUST enter the correct website URL (see below) or web page, to get the expected results, search engines are very “intelligent” in that they give results that are closest to your search queries (what you are looking for). Popular web search engines include Google, Yahoo, Bing, AOL and Ask.
6. Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
Simply put, URL is just the web address entered on the address bar of your web browser. It is usually used with HTTP (see below). A good example is http://www.infoplaze.com. Note how my website address is written.
7. Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
Since I resolved to make this tutorial as simple as possible, HTTP, simply put, determines how messages and data are transmitted and how web servers and browsers should react to various commands. It thus underlies data communication on the World Wide Web. The technical details are not necessary for an average internet user.
8. Sofware Bugs
A computer bug is simply a mistake made in a computer program. This flaw produces a result which you did not expect. These errors could be in the programs’ source code or in the design of the program. Thus, if an application, theme or image is not behaving as expected, it could be as a result of a bug. For bloggers like me, bugs are not unfamiliar. Usually, software developers require that bugs be reported when noticed or suspected.
Malware, the shortened form of malicious software, is any software that is used to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information or gain access to private computer systems. It can come in the form of codes, scripts or other software. Malwares are generally hostile or intrusive in nature. Examples of malwares includes viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomeware, spyware, adware, scareware, among others.
Surprisingly, the majority of active malware threats are usually worms or trojans rather than viruses..
A computer virus is a malware program, which when executed, replicates itself by inserting copies of itself (usually in modified form) into other computer programs, files or hard drive. The affected areas become infected and can perform some harmful activities on the infected hosts such as stealing hard disk space, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying unwanted messages on user’s screen, spamming their contacts, amongst others.
Every internet user is prone to these softwares
10. Computer Programs
These are computer instructions written in such a way that computers are able to read and interpret them. They simply define the actions to to be taken by computers and gadgets where they are installed. Apps, as they are sometimes called, can be bought or downloaded online. However, downloaded apps are more prone to bugs and malwares.
By now, if you were the type who was only interested (as I used to be) in just surfing the internet, without bordering about the meaning of the terms I have listed above, you will definitely have more meaningful, safer and rewarding internet surfing.
Thanks for your time 🙂