We are a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations are tax deductible

Computer Skills – Browsing and Searching Tips

Return to Building Computer Skills

Web Browsers




To use the internet, you first must open a web browser. To do this, move you’re the cursor over one of the icons below and double-click on it.

To ‘surf’ the internet, simply enter key words in a search engine (such as google) and look through the search results to see if you can find what you are looking for.

Search Engine Tips

Here are some of the more frequently used search engines available. They are quite different from each other, so take a little time to see the value of each one ~  Available online only

Ask.com | Google | Yahoo! | Craigslist | Monster.com | Zoo | WebCrawler

Tips for quick and accurate searching

  • Use six to eight key words, preferably nouns.
  • Most users submit only one or two key words per search, which is not enough for an effective query.
  • Avoid verbs. Use modifiers if they help define your object more precisely, e.g. feta cheese rather than just cheese.
  • Spell carefully, and try alternative spellings.
  • and or + between key words means: I want only documents that contain both or all words

Tips for Qualifying Internet Sources

  1. Authority  Who owns/operates the server/site? Where is it located?
  2. Coverage   Is the material relevant?
  3. Objectivity and Accuracy   How accurate, objective, balanced is the site?
  4. Currency  Is the information up to date?

Some of the clues you will find at the end of a URL are:

URL                                              STANDS FOR

.org                                        Non-profit organization

.museum                                      Museum

.info                                           Informational

.coop                                     Business Cooperative

.aero                                              Aviation

/users                                    Personal page from a private net provider

~name                                   Personal page from a private net provider

.state or .us                          State or Local Government

.edu                                       Educational (School or College)

.biz                                         Business

.com                                       Commercial

.pro                                         Professional

.net                                         Personal page from a private net provider

/members                              Personal page from a private net provider

.name                                     An individual’s web address


(~ is pronounced tilde) (Warning: some non-profit groups are not harmless.)


Advertising on the internet is as aggressive as any other media outlet. Regardless of what ads or spam email tells you, no-one is giving money away, nor can you make money simply by clicking on a button. Don’t waste your time! They are all scams. Remember, the computer and the internet are tools for you to control.

If you are shopping online, be specific in your search for what you are looking for. When you have made your purchase, leave the website. Marketing and ‘consumer behavior’ professionals are paid well to devise ways to get more money out of your wallet. They will offer special deals, appeal to your shopping tastes and make One-Time-Offers. Resist their ploys. Put your credit/debit card away. Remember: you are in control.


Like shopping on the internet, only download what you are looking for! Read or listen to reviews to find out if the programs, music, movies etc. that you’d like are safe to download.


Be careful where you upload data. Sometimes servers make it difficult to remove or transfer your data, and some websites, like Facebook, have the right to use the images you upload.

Internet Connection

If you use encounter a ‘Server not found’ error or ‘Connection problem’ sometimes the modem just needs to be restarted. Unplug your modem from the wall for a few seconds and plug it back in. Hopefully this will take care of the problem.