Top 5 tips for using The Internet

Yesterday, I spent my lunchtime with a few teachers and support staff talking about the Internet. It was great to see such a good turnout and some insightful questions were asked.

My talk drew heavily from this post with a few other ideas thrown in.


Make friends with search tools

The most common setting I change here is “Any time.” I search a lot for technical articles, and if they’re more than a year old they’re generally not that helpful.

sTurn off search history

Google says that they want to “improve your results”, but previous searches can completely mess up your results. I used Anita’s example here. Having searched for “Big Day Out” in the past, she couldn’t find material related to “BDO Spicers.”

If you already know where you’re going, type it into the address bar

I see a lot of people typing into a google search, or instead of just typing it into the address bar.

There are two reasons why this isn’t a good idea: there’s no guarantee that the top search result will actually be what you’re looking for and it eliminates a whole step. It’s also very important to do this if you’re doing your online banking or other highly sensitive internet activity.

Try a new browser

It might take you a little while to get used to it, but most people who escape from Internet Explorer don’t go back.

I recommend Firefox. They usually catch the security updates before the other guys, but most importantly, they don’t sell anything.

Chrome may be quick, but Google’s business is in selling information. Why make easy for them by using their browser.

Know how to recognise good quality information

  1. go to and look up a website. You can find out who is behind the website – you may have to Google their names etc.
  2. go to It might be blocked by your school internet filtering, but it’s a website set up by a white supremacists group called Stormfront.
  3. enter into and you’ll see the Stormfront links


I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s session, and if you weren’t there, I hope you found these notes useful. If you have anything to add, or you’d like to discuss any of my points, please leave a comment.

2 Comments to “Top 5 tips for using The Internet”

  1. Steve Voisey 21 March 2013 at 7:46 pm #

    A friend just shared this Microsoft ad aimed at GMail users:

  2. […] this year, I made some negative statements about Google Chrome in a Learning over Lunch session. I’ve also blogged about this from time to time. It’s a good time to revisit […]

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