Common Questions


COMMON QUESTIONS ASKED BY NEW INTERNET USERS

Help me understand Windows and Programs
A computer is an Operating System 
Early Operating System's were named Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 etc. Old Operating Systems's are like old cars. The newest Operating System is Windows 10. 

An Operating System needs Programs and Software to do things for the user
An operating system manages all the software and hardware for the computer. Usually there are several different programs running at the same time and they all need to access your computer’s central processing unit (CPU), memory and storage. Programs are designed to do special things, for example some work just with photographs (Photoshop, Paint) while some work with maths (Excel) and others work with words (Word). Software is a very broad term that is used to identify programs, data, and other related files used to accomplish certain tasks in a computer.

Another name for Programs is Apps (for Applications)

Some Programs are all part of a package. Excel and Word are two programs that are part of the Microsoft Office Package, whenever this Package is updated and redesigned a year is added after the title, for example Microsoft Office 2010 (or 2013 or 2016). 

There are many Programs that do the same thing, it is up to the user which program they prefer to use (or buy). For example all photos can be opened in all photo programs. 

What is a Browser?
A Web Browser is a software application (a program) installed on your computer to reach and explore websites using the words or criteria typed into the bar of a search engine. It is a platform that people use to find any website via its URL. The most common Web Browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Opera. Google Chrome is a popular Search Engine.

What is a Search Engine?
A Search Engine is a website that allows you to look for specific websites or information based on keywords and other criteria. Unlike a web browser it is not installed on your computer but on the internet and is openly accessible to anyone through the use of a web browser, a search engine needs a web browser to display its results. The most popular Search Engines are Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.

What is WiFi?
Internet WiFi comes in two forms, one using the telephone line, called ADSL, and one that operates over the air. They both require different types of boxes which are called Modems and are purchased on an internet plan. WiFi can also be purchased as a dongle stick.

ADSL is the most reliable form of connection because it does not fluctuate like air WiFi. ADSL has a little in-built WiFi which operates around your home and requires a login. Many places offer Free WiFi, eg motels, McDonalds. ADSL has been replaced by NBN.

NBN uses a modern architecture that is designed specifically for the high speed transfer of internet traffic while ADSL relies on copper infrastructure that was not originally intended for more than telephone calls

Can I accidentally go over my internet (plan) limit and get charged a lot of money?
No, once you reach your monthly limit your internet speed will slow down. Sometimes your internet will stop working. Most people rarely run out of internet during the month. 

Can I share my internet?
Yes, with a password. If you have Wi-Fi internet (through the telephone line) it is becoming a modern courtesy to offer your guests free internet access. If you are unsure about sharing your WiFi simply check your data allowance with your provider. If you go over your limit the worst that could happen is your internet will be temporarily slowed/stopped until it automatically resets at the end of the month

Can anyone log into my internet without my knowing?
No, you have protection through your provider. Also your internet is only accessible within a small distance. Think of a hands-free telephone which will stop working if the ear piece is taken too far from its base. It is the same with your internet.

When 'surfing the net' (Google search) can I click a site that will send me a bill without my knowing?
No. Google search will bring up all subjects relating to your search words. The higher they are in the search menu the higher they are in the ranking. Ranking comes from a lot of people using that particular website. Every website has an owner, and that owner is trying to make money through various methods e.g ancestry.com. You are paying to have the internet. Go forth and enjoy surfing.

Can I accidentally touch or click something that will hurt my computer?
No. Your computer is tougher than you think. If your screen suddenly disappears check the following:
    1. You may have accidentally minimized your screen, simply maximize it
    2. Click on the BACK arrow to return to where you were
    3. Check that you have not accidentally opened another webpage
    4. Try the Escape key (Esc)

Why do I need to verify my account?
When you join a website you must verify that your email address doesn't belong to someone else. This also stops other people from using your email address. A code is sent to you either by:
    1. a different email address
    2. your mobile phone
    Internet banking commonly uses this verification method.

    What do I need to know about email scams?
    If you find a strange email in your Inbox it is important that you do not click any of the links. A typical phishing email will:
    1. ask you to do something e.g login to your account, pay a bill, double check your password
    2. make you feel either excited, fearful or anxious
    Note that the best of us can be taken in by professional scammers. Be alert. These types of emails are very common. If you are in doubt ring the provider, eg Telstra, Electricity, PayPal and Bank.