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internet basics - header, online

You’re young, you’re old – internet is a topic for all ages!

Nowadays a lot of stuff is related to the internet. Kids and youngsters, the homemaker next door, and the business man with the bright good morning-greetings have something in common: They’re using smartphones and tablets, have laptops and computers, and roam freely through the internet.

What exactly are these people doing on the internet?

The different activities are very multifaceted and depend strongly on age, interests, and social standing: They arrange meetings with co-workers, make dates with friends by using platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, and share their life via Instagram, Snapchat, or other social platforms with their loved ones. They listen to music, watch TV shows or movies, look for the best route for their next trip, book the flights and train rides they need, make a reservation in a restaurant or arrange the next visits for their doctor or barber, play online games, read news, take care of their financial activities or learn something new.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.” – Marie Curie

What is a browser, what is a link? It’s all very confusing

You’ve painstakingly learned how to use a computer and now finally know the basics of how to work with it. But your computer can do a lot more than e-mails, photos, and text documents. On it you can find so-called browsers. The most common ones are the Internet Explorer (on newer computers it’s the Microsoft Edge browser), the Mozilla Firefox browser, the Google Chrome browser or the Apple Safari browser if a Mac is your poison.

internet basics - browser icons

Now, if you feel like those are an awful lot of browsers you might be right. The good thing is that while they differ in features and speed they all have a lowest common denominator: Displaying websites. Without a browser trying to open such a site won’t work – which is why basically everyone with a PC and access to the internet uses one. You certainly have heard the following sentences: “Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise […]”. The internet is not so different. Out there an almost infinite amount of websites, information, pictures and videos, services, etc. await you. Search engines like or help you to navigate the web by searching for key words and phrases that lead to a selection of websites that fit the search. You might also receive handouts or even spam and bulk mails from companies, doctor’s practices, or governmental institutions with a link in them (i.e. that leads to a website with further information. As soon as you have clicked on or keyed in the address into the URL bar of your browser the website will be displayed.

In case you have elderly relatives who you think could profit from this article and for whom it is written anyway, we have a print version available: Print version

By the way: Your kids can follow us on Instagram and learn a lot about cybersecurity and privacy, too. To stay up-to-date follow us on Facebook, Twitter and here on the blog.

It’s been worth going back to school – by now you’ve learned the most important basics and are able to move freely through the internet. It wasn’t that hard, was it? What are your next steps? What will you look for first?

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Hey, I'm Istvan and the Social Media Manager @Avira. Find all of my blog articles here and I hope you enjoy & share them. Stay up-to-date and connect with Avira on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Follow this blog with Bloglovin.