What is Netiquette?

The word netiquette is a combination of 'net (from Internet) and 'etiquette. It means being polite and showing courtesy when posting your views in an online discussion respecting others' views.

Some rules to remember

For online discussions, each group has its own accepted rules of behaviour. Here are the basic rules to be followed when using the Internet.

  • Follow the rules about what is allowed and what is not allowed to be posted on any site
  • When sharing your opinion, state it clearly. Avoid using non-standard or colloquial speech in your language.
  • Do not use improper words or attack anyone personally. If you disagree with someone, express it with dignity.
  • In discussion forums, do not deviate from the topic.
  • Ignore others' mistakes, whether it's a spelling error, unintelligent question, or an unnecessarily long answer.
  • Follow the privacy rules of the site and consider copyright issues when posting on a site.
  • Respect other people's privacy.

Email etiquette

  • Use proper expressions to greet and introduce yourself.
  • Keep it short and to the point.
  • Use spell check, full sentence structure, and proper grammar.
  • Avoid using shortcuts for real words, emoticons, jargon, etc.
  • Be clear in your subject line. Subject line must match the message.
  • Do not use all capital letters, it reflects shouting. Similarly, typing in all small letters is considered informal.
  • Always end the email properly using words such as Thank you', 'Sincerely, etc.
  • Respond promptly.

Picture Credit : Google

What are the terms of Internet?

We may often come across terms related to the Internet. Even though we may be familiar with the words themselves, we may not understand what some of those words mean. Here's a peek into a few such words

Webpage is a document connected to the World Wide Web. It can contain text, graphics, audio, and video files, or files that can be downloaded and hyperlinked to other pages or websites.

Website is a collection of webpages that are related to each other. They can contain multimedia. Websites can be owned by an individual, a business, or any organisation.

Homepage is the start page or the initial page of a website. Browser is a software program that assists in accessing the Internet. It helps send / receive emails, download/ upload data, audio and video files. Some of the popular browsers are Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox etc.

Search engine is a software program that searches the Internet for specified keywords and displays a list of websites that contain those keywords. Examples are Google, Yahoo, etc.

Keywords are the words used to search content on the Web. Downloading is making a personal copy of something you find on the Internet. When you download a file, a copy of the data is saved in your computer so that it can be accessed even when you are not connected to Internet. Usually we download audio and video files, data, and other software files.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used by the World Wide Web. It defines how messages should be transmitted and what actions Web servers and browsers have to take for different commands.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol SECURED) means that the web page can hide your personal information and passwords. For example, a banks website. When you log into it, you will see https at the front of the page address.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the language used for creating web pages. HTML keywords or tags instruct the web browser to display text and graphics in an orderly way. HTML tags are the hidden keywords in a web page. They define how the browser has to format and display the content.

IP (Internet Protocol) Address is a four-part or eight-part electronic serial number. It is used for tracking. Every computer, mobile phone, or device that accesses the Internet has a unique IP address.

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What is a software that blocks threats to your computer?

Computers could get affected by malware unless we take some safety measures. There are many security software available in the market that can detect and eliminate dangerous threats.

Antivirus software

Antivirus software is a program or a set of programs, when installed will detect viruses and other malicious software in computer and removes them. It searches every website you visit to see whether there are any viruses, and if found, fixes them. It also scans your data and files on a computer’s hard disk regularly. There are many different types of antivirus software. Many of them can be downloaded for free.

Did you know?

Every day new viruses, worms, and other computer threats are being created and spread in the Internet. Hence, you need to update your antivirus software. Most of the antivirus software updates are automatic via the Internet.

Firewall

Firewall is a combination of hardware and software that acts as a barrier between a reliable network and unreliable networks such as the Internet. It controls all computers in a network by limiting their exposure to the Internet so that crackers cannot reach the computers in the network.

Scanning the hard disk

You need to keep your storage devices such as the hard disk clean without any viruses. For doing this, the hard disk should be regularly scanned to detect and fix harmful threats through antivirus software.

Tips for computer safety

Here are a few tips that help you keep your computer safe from threats.

1. Don't leave your computer unattended or logged on, especially when others may have access to it.

2. Have protective software or antivirus software in your computer.

3. Whenever you want to install any new software or download any file or programs, run antivirus software to detect and fix viruses.

4. Be cautious of attachments and links in emails that come from people you don't know. It is advisable not to open them.

5. Avoid unreliable (often free) downloads from freeware or shareware sites.

6. Don't allow your web browser to automatically run any program.

7. Back up your files and programs regularly. 8. Update your antivirus software on a regular basis.

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What are worms and trojans?

Worms

Worms are similar to viruses in damaging the computer. A computer worm is a type of virus that replicates itself, but does not alter any files on your machine. It is a type of malware that can self-replicate without a host program. Worms cause damage by multiplying so many times that they take up all the available memory or hard disc space. As a result, the computer works very slowly and may even crash. If the worm affects the hard disc space, it takes a long time to access files. The user will not be able to save or create new files until the worm has been eradicated. Worms are hard to detect and often go unnoticed until the computer begins to slow down or starts having other problems. Some of the most prevalent examples of worms are the famous “I loveyou”, “Blaster” and “conficker” worms It is good to have an anti-virus program installed on the system that can detect and remove worms before they have a chance to replicate or spread to other computers.

Trojans

Trojan is a small program that is hidden inside another software. It does not get installed automatically like a virus. It is a malicious program that is designed to appear like a normal program. You have to run or install the program. Once activated following installation, Trojans can execute their malicious functions.

Unexpected changes to computer settings and unusual activity even when the computer is idle are signs of presence of Trojans or other malware on a computer. You have to be very careful while installing or running any program. Do not install any program unless you are sure that it is free from all malware. If your computer gets infected with a Trojan, run anti-malware tool to scan and remove it.

What can be done about malware?

Malware is a very prevalent problem. Many companies develop certain programs called anti-malware programs that helps stop and remove malware. These anti-malware programs use different ways to find malware present in a system. One has to install and run these anti-virus and anti-malware software on the computer to remove any malware from it.

How can you prevent malware?

  • Don't open email attachments from unknown people or unexpected sources.
  • Ensure that your USB drive is secure before you use it on your own computer.
  • Remember to scan your computer periodically by using a malware scanner.

Picture Credit : Google

What is malware?

Malware is the short form for malicious software. Any type of software that can harm your computer is called malware.

What do malware do?

These malware (software programs) can collect personal information, delete files, steal passwords, or cause any kind of damage to a computer. Some malware programs transmit information about your Web-browsing habits to advertisers without your knowledge. Some other malware may make your computer stop from working.

How did such malware come into existence?

Well, some people develop malware to harm others and make money usually by stealing passwords and getting important information or deleting files. The owner of the computer will not be able to use their own computer after that.

How do malware get into someone's computer?

The most common way through which malware get into a computer is the Internet - via email, free subscriptions, hacked websites, music files, game demos, or anything else you download from the Web. The developers of malware use a number of tricks to get users to download their malware. For example, a software that promises to speed up the Internet connection or assist with downloads may contain malware. An email may have a link or an attachment. A computer can also get affected from using any infected file from an external storage device such as a flash drive.

There are different types of malware. Here's a peek into an important one

Virus

Virus is a software program that duplicates itself. It damages a computer by deleting files or affecting computer memory. It easily spreads to other computers and infects all of them in a network. Your computer can get affected by virus through USB drives, email attachments, clicking on an executable file, or visiting an infected website. Viruses can attach themselves to other programs to hide and run automatically when the program is executed. Once a virus has infected the host, it can infect other system software or resources. Some types of viruses are: file infectors, macro viruses, overwrite viruses, polymorphic viruses, and system or boot-record infectors. Some famous examples are Zeus, Melissa, etc. One must use a good anti-virus program to save the computer from getting infected by viruses.

The following symptoms indicate a computer being virus-infected

  • Crashing of the computer
  • Restarting of computer randomly
  • Slow execution of programs
  • Too many pop-up ads while browsing the Internet
  • Text and graphics getting distorted
  • Passwords not working properly

Did you know?

  • The first-known computer virus was developed in 1971 by Robert Thomas, an engineer at BBN Technologies.
  • Known as the "Creeper" virus, it infected mainframes on ARPANET, displaying the teletype message. "I'm the creeper: Catch me if you can."

Picture Credit : Google