The INTERNET is a big place, and navigating it can be daunting. Try out our top tips for not getting lost in cyber-space.
1. Use INTERNET search engines
Internet search engines are amongst the most useful tools at your disposal for
finding information on line, so use them. Rather than guessing the full
addresses of websites, simply type the information into a search engine
such as Google or Bing. Not only will this lead you to the information
that you require, it will also broaden your search to include other
2. Bookmark pages
Found an amazing site the other day? Can’t remember the URL now? Always bookmark websites
that you find interesting. Bookmarking creates a handy little shortcut
in your tool-bar to help you return to the site of interest with just a
click of the mouse.
Different browsers have different ways of bookmarking pages, but they’re all usually accessed near the top of your
browser. If you’re using Internet Explorer, look for the Favorites
menu, if you’re using Chrome or Firefox look for the star symbol by the
address bar. A simple click will do the rest. Alternatively, pressing
CTRL and D on your keyboard, will bring up the bookmark menu whichever
browser you are using.
When you want to revisit the page, simply go to your bookmark / favorite menu and you will find the page saved.
3. Upgrade your browser
Whilst there are merits to each of the main browsers, there’s no point in
setting yourself at a disadvantage by operating a browser which is not
up to date. If, for example, you’re operating Mozilla Firefox 8.0, check
for any messages that pop up when you’re next using your browser. These
messages will probably be offering you a free download to update you to
the slicker, faster and more efficient Firefox 9. Keep an eye on these
messages, they can mean the difference between operating a top of the
range browser and a sluggish has-been.
4. User browser shortcuts
Browser shortcuts can save you a lot of time. Instead of finding and navigating
the correct menu with your mouse, you could use a few simple keyboard
shortcuts. Here are Simplify digital’s top ten shortcuts that you should
- CTRL F: brings up a search box allowing you to search for a specific word on a page
- CTRL D: bookmarks a page
- CTRL P: prints whatever you have selected
- CTRL T: opens a new tab
- CTRL W: closes window
- CTRL +: zooms in
- CTRL -: zooms out
- Alt Home: returns you to your homepage
- F5: refreshes or reloads the page that you are on
- F11: lets you toggle between full and regular screen mode, a particularly useful shortcut if you are using multiple windows
Get to know your browser shortcuts and surf the web more effectively.
5. Keep browser plugins updated
Browser plugins are handy pieces of downloadable software that help you to use
various applications in conjunction with your browser. Watching a
YouTube video? You’ll need a Flash plugin. Streaming some music? You’ll
need a plugin for that too. Be sure to download the latest version
whenever you are required to, failing to do so could hamper your
6. Use tabbed browsing
If your desktop is overflowing with browsing windows and you can’t remember
which one contained the vital piece of information that you were
searching for, maybe it’s time to use tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing
allows you to open various different websites in one browser window
simply by using tabs. You can open a new tab by either clicking the
symbol to the right of the last tab (see image) or by pressing CTRL T.
7. Update your antivirus
Often overlooked until it’s too late, a good antivirus program can make the
difference between a nice, healthy computer and one which is overflowing
with all sorts of computer nasties. Always keep an eye on your
antivirus software and ensure that all its components are in good
working order. If not; download an update, it will be more than worth
it. If you don’t have antivirus software, Simplify digital recommends the
free antivirus program Avast!.
8. Use ‘Tab’ to jump between fields
Whilst a mouse is an undeniably useful device, it’s not always necessary. In
fact, not using a mouse can save you a great deal of time. If you’re
filling in fields on a web page, rather than clicking on each field in
order, simply press ‘Tab’; this will jump between the fields for you.
Clicking tab enough times will cycle back to the beginning of the
web-page. You can also use the up and down arrows to select things in
drop down menus, saving you even more time.
9. Drop the http:// and www. prefixes
Whilst explaining to people that http stands for hyper text transfer protocol
is undoubtedly a great way to win yourself some friends, putting it at
the front of a web address is just an exercise in wasting time. Drop the
http:// and www prefixes as they are simply not necessary. Instead,
just type the remainder of the address and press enter. It will work,
10. Search direct from your browser
We’ve already covered search engines and how useful they can be to the modern
Internet browser, but typing in the address of a search engine can
really eat up a lot of time. To create a truly streamlined browsing
experience, why not access the search engine of your choice directly
from your browser. You can do this in two ways; the first way is through
a customizable home screen, like the one offered by Google, which gives
you the option of having a search engine on your homepage. The other is
by customizing your browser to give you a search bar of your choice.
Drop down list of search engines
Use the browser options menu to do this. More advanced browsers will allow
you to search eBay, YouTube, Amazon and a variety of other sites simply
by selecting the appropriate search option in a drop down menu.