Whether you’re a certified silver surfer happily browsing already, or nervous about getting tangled up in the World Wide Web, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to using the internet.
General tips for safety and security online
From keeping in touch with friends and family, to finding the best deals, there are plenty of reasons to get online and make the most of this fantastic resource. Whilst it may sometimes seem daunting, these handy hints and tips could help you discover new ways to broaden your horizons.
It pays to be cautious online, but if you know what to look for and who to trust there’s no need to worry. Always make sure your devices have up-to-date anti-virus software. It might sound a bit technical, but it’s very simple and most, if not all, computers, laptops and tablets come with exactly what you need right out of the box. However, many are limited be a free trial period of one to several months. If you’re happy with the service, you can make a purchase for long-term peace of mind.
Once online, you can check the security of a website by looking for a padlock symbol left of the website address. This guarantees that all your information remains private. If a site does not display a padlock symbol, don’t panic. Your security software will warn you of any danger and protect users from unsafe websites.
Staying up-to-date with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
Social media has taken the world by storm, but if you’re unfamiliar with it all, where do you start? Every social media site serves a different purpose. Facebook makes it easy to connect with friends and family with instant messaging and things like photo and video sharing. It’s fantastic and free way to keep in touch and stay up-to-date with everyone
Twitter is more geared towards staying on top of breaking news and current events as they unfold throughout the day, with a constant flow of information. You can even ‘follow’ your favourite news and/or celebrities, so you’ll never be out of the loop.
YouTube is the best place to find videos online about almost anything. Want to know how to crochet? There’s several beginner’s guides to choose from. How about gardening hints and tips? Can do. Maybe you’d like to do some cooking or baking with the grandkids? There are plenty of child-friendly cooking shows to choose from.
Keeping up with news and current events
You might have noticed that some of your favourite newspapers have gotten a little thin over the last few years, or even disappeared altogether! Most news publications these days have websites which run stories and features morning, noon and night.
From your local morning paper to international broadsheets, there’s a wealth of information available any time of day, and most are completely free to access. Many even have a Facebook or Twitter page which is constantly updated with the latest updates, and some offer special subscriptions for the ability to sign up for email alerts.
Television, films and radio online
One of the great advantages of the internet is that you’re never more than a few seconds away from whatever you fancy, including TV, film and radio. A ‘Smart TV’, for example, is a television that can access the internet for broadcasts as well as use a traditional aerial.
If you have a TV License, then you’re also entitled to watch both live and catch-up programmes through the BBC iPlayer website. Featuring all of your favourite broadcasts available at any time. There’s even a selection of great films to choose from, and everything is organised into categories.
Most traditional channels also offer a website with a collection of their programmes and films, all readily accessible online. Even then, there are plenty of websites, such as Netflix, which offer compelling original series alongside a healthy selection of films and shows, from time-honoured favourites to modern classics.
Online shopping and price comparison
And finally, online shopping is an easy and convenient way to get groceries delivered straight to your door and find some of the best deals on practically anything. Many supermarkets have their own websites where you can finish the weekly shop in no time flat with minimal effort. It’s as simple browsing the website, picking the products you need, choosing a delivery slot and paying.
Lots of websites dedicate themselves to finding and comparing the best deals on practically anything. Trip Advisor or Trivago, for example, can help with holiday and hotel prices whilst Compare the Market and Confused specialise in all kinds of insurance, allowing you to browse and find the exact cover you need at a reasonable price.