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Beginner - Internet

We assume that you used the 'Beginner - Computers' roadmap first.  Some of the links in that roadmap cover the concepts of network and internet.  More specific links related to computer networks are given in this roadmap.

Where would you like to start?  How about the very first RFC - http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1.html that explains the working mechanism and software in the first internet - ARPA network.  ARPA stands for Advanced Research Project Agency which became DARPA (D for Defence). The equivalent organization in India is DRDO.  What is an RFC and why should you read these?  You do not have to read these documents to learn about internet unless you are interested in the full technical details.

The key point is that internet has been there for more than 4 decades.  However it was used primarily by technical people for research in the earlier decades.  Though consumers have started to use the internet few years before the World Wide Web (WWW) concept started in the mid 90s, majority of the consumer usage of internet began in the late 90s and in the first decade of this century.  Majority of the consumers use only Web 1.0 or Web 2.0 for most of the tasks including email.

  1. Visit the computer history museum online to read the Internet History. 
  2. About.com has good introduction - Internet 101: Beginners Quick Reference Guide. Key takeaway from this page is that 'World Wide Web'  (WWW) is a subset of 'Internet - Interconnection of Computer Networks'.
  3. HowStuffWorks has a series of articles in their internet technology channel.  While you could read through all their articles on internet basics you might lose interest quickly unless you want learn more about this technology.  We suggest that you read the articles on internet tips as they may be interesting if your interest is non-technical use of internet and WWW.
  4. Avoid internet traps, email virus spreading, and adware/malware/spyware.  Again the preceding links could have advertisements interspersed.  Learn more on Microsoft's Malware Protection Center.  And their guidance and advice is comprehensive if you must use their operating systems.  Can you distinguish the advertisements from advice in this case?  Did your vocabulary so far include only a computer virus (and if you think malware/adware/spyware are other names for the same thing) how does this sound 'multi-component family of rootkit-enabled backdoor trojan'?  Curious? Here is the story of one such organism.  Or just ignore all the links in this item if it is scary or confusing and follow the simpler suggestions given in the next item.

  5. Security.  This is an important topic. Most of the time plain common sense works.  Protect yourself just the way you would do in the real world. Don't take bait from strangers. Unfortunately social engineering has become sophisticated enough to trick you into getting trouble even when you go through the links sent by your close friends or family.  Be aware of your surroundings so that you can avoid a phishing attack.  If you use on-line banking they send you enough tips on how to avoid some of these issues. Trying to impress someone for the wrong reasons can get you in trouble.  If you disparage someone on the internet there is a permanent record of it.  Turn safe search on in search engines, YouTube and elsewhere if it is offered. Here are some resources:
  6. Your data. Protect it. Data theft is common on the internet.  Protect yourself from the worst - identity theft that leads to financial losses for you.  Know more on how you are tracked on the internet / WWW and how your personal data is managed.
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