Internet Basics

What We'll Learn

  1. What is the Internet and why do we care?
  2. The importance of having  Internet Accounts
  3. Searching for information from your device
  4. Using a password safe to remember passwords

What is the Internet

Just like you can pick up the phone and talk to anyone in the world, computers can talk to each other using their own connections. There are literally billions of computers connected together in a large network which we call the Internet, also referred to as the World Wide Web or The Cloud.

When you use the Internet you are basically using someone else's computer. Why do we care? There are three benefits in using the Internet:
  1. Finding Information - the Internet is essentially a vast storage of knowledge and data at your fingertips.
  2. Using Services - Companies provide many helpful services over the Internet, including email, banking, and sharing platforms such as Facebook.
  3. Storing Information - Also most of your information can be stored on another computers on the Internet so you can access it from anywhere on any device.

Internet Accounts

When you put your money into the bank, you set up an account so that the bank can clearly track and identify what belongs to you. Your account allows you to easily identify yourself to the bank so you can access information about your money or withdraw and deposit more funds.

In the same way, Internet Service Accounts identify who you are so that you can store information and preferences that are available to you every time you use that service. For example, your email address and password are used to access all of your email and to use the post office services that send and receive email to your computer or device.

When you set up a new phone or tablet, often you will be asked to create an account with the company that is providing the basic software on your device. This Device Account is used to store your settings and critical information online and to make it easy to connect to the variety of services related to your device.

When you are asked to log in to an Internet service, you are basically identifying yourself to get secure access to your private information. Often the same account can be used to access many different services.


Use the following steps to identify what current accounts are setup on your device:
  1. Access the Settings on your device.
  2. Locate the Accounts area.
  3. Review the current set up.

Search by Voice

All of your devices have abilities that make it easy to search the Internet. This may include Voice Search, Search Widgets, and an Internet Browser. Let's experiment with each of these and some more detail.

The following videos provide a bit of an idea of the voice search experiences on your device:

Google Voice Search

Siri on Apple Products

Depending which family you are in, you may have one of the following voice search capabilities:


Try the voice search features on your device.
  1. Google Voice Search -
  2. 16 Things to do with Siri -
Hint - Use cue cards or the back of old business cards to help you remember common voice commands you would like to use.

Text Searching

Sometimes it's not convenient to search by voice, or your device does not have the capability. It's important to know how to effectively search the Internet using text.

Depending which family you are in, you may have one of the following voice search capabilities:

  • Apple - use Safari to search the Internet.
  • Google - the Google Search App is He built into most android devices
Check out this video for some quick tips on how to search better:


    Try the text search features on your device. Here are some helpful resources:
    1. Locate the search App on your device. More info on using Safari (Apple), Google Now (Android)
    2. Review the Google search tips from this page:
    3. Read this tutorial on how to read a webpage:
    4. Try out some of these advanced Google search ideas -

    Passwords: No Need to Remember

    One of the challenges that come with online accounts is trying to remember your passwords. Sometimes people use the same password for all their accounts, but that poses a significant security risk since someone would just have to crack one account to have access to all accounts.

    Here's a few things to remember about password security:
    • Use strong passwords that are not easy to crack or for someone else to guess
    • Use unique passwords, especially for email and banking
    • Use effective password recovery questions and contact information
    • Use a password safe
    What Is a Password Safe?

    A password safe is a secure storage facility for all your passwords. All you need to do is remember a single password to access your safe, and the safe will remember everything else. A great example of an easy to use, popular password safe is PasswordBox.

    You can learn more about it from their website: