Choose a tutorial below
What is a web browser?
A web browser is a program used to browse the web.
For instance, the program you are using right now to view this webpage is a web browser.
These programs allow for the internet to become a visual and interactive experience.
Some web browsers include:
To download any one of these web browsers, please click on the links below.
Click here for Internet Explorer
Click here for Firefox
Click here for Chrome
Some standard elements of a web browser which you should familiarize yourself with are the task bar, the bookmark bar, and the tabs bar.
The task bar is the long white horizontal bar that runs across the top of the web browser. This is where you type in the web address you wish to go to, as shown in the moving example image below.
The bookmark bar bar is a great tool for ‘bookmarking’ your favourite websites or places on the web. This could include a crossword website or your bank’s website for when you do your online banking.
This bookmark bar can typically be found at the top of your web browser as seen below.
Simply click on “Bookmarks” and select “Bookmark This Page” to save the website to your Bookmarks.
Did you know? Bookmarks are used as short-cuts to visit your favourite websites.
To go to a website you previously bookmarked, simply return to “Bookmarks” and click on the website you wish to visit. *These sites which you previously Bookmarked will appear here.
The tabs bar is a handy tool when you want to have multiple ‘tabs’ or websites open at one time inside your web browser.
Think of it like a photo album. Instead of giving every photo an an individual book or frame of it’s own (which would cause a lot of clutter), you place all your photos in one photo album for easy access.
We can then apply the photo album concept to the web browser.
Let’s say you want to listen to you favourite radio station online while checking your emails. Instead of having two separate web browsers open – one for each, you can simply have one web browser open with with both tasks running inside of it.
Here’s how to use tabs.
1) Type in the first website you would like to visit and hit ‘enter’ on your keyboard
2) Click on the ‘new page’ tab. This will typically have a ‘+’ sign, or say ‘new page’.
3) A second ‘tab’ with pop up. Simply insert the web address of the second site you wish to visit and press ‘enter’.
Now you have two web pages open within one web browser. You can listen to your music while doing a second task – in this case, visiting www.geekygrandma.com for all the latest updates you need as a senior citizen in world of technology.
To go back to the first site you were browsing, simply click on the ‘tab’ which it appears.
You can have multiple tabs open within a web browser at one given time. This example only used two websites but you can use many more.
Reasons for using tabs include:
- De-cluttering your computer screen space – by condensing your internet activities into one organized place
- To learn to multi-task efficiently with your web browser
- To simplify your online experience by having all activities simple to transition back and forth to
Thank-you for choosing The Geeky Grandma to learn about web browsers. For more easy-to-learn and fun tutorial please visit other pages on The Geeky Grandma site.
What is the internet?
Simply put – the internet or world wide web (www) is an online ‘highway’ of information anyone can access.
The internet can be access by anyone who has an internet provider (IP).
Internet providers are companies such as Bell, Rogers & Cogeco in Canada and AT&T, Sprint or Verison in the US.
Installing your Internet
A technician typically comes to your home to set this internet access up. There is a type of transmitter box called a modem, which the technician installs and attaches through either your cable line or your phone line.
It is through one of these two sources (cable line or phone line) which the internet signal is emitted.
In order for this internet signal to become wire-less, meaning you do not have to plug in your computer to the modem directly to obtain the internet signal, you must purchase and install another emmitting box called a router.
What is a Router?
A router does several different things. A router…
1) Is essentially a fire-wall for unwanted spam or virus’ which could be transferred through you internet
2) Is the tool which allows the internet signal from the modem to be transmitted wirelessly throughout your home
Although routers have many other features, these are the two basic reasons to have a router.
Setting up a router is fairly easy as most come with a quick set-up guide.
The router plugs directly into your modem and emits the internet signal wirelessly.
You can also do things such as set up a password protected signal through the router set-up. This password set-up can be reaccessed and changed at any time.
Setting up a password to your router is highly recommended. In this case, you won’t have to worry about other people (such as your neighbours) stealing your internet signal. This can be very bad as someone stealing your internet signal could cause massive overages to your internet bill and make your internet experience slow as other computers are sharing your internet signal.
*If you would like a tutorial on setting up an internet password please let me know in the comment box below
Once you have your internet set-up with an internet provider (IP) of your choice and have your modem and router installed (and password protected) you are ready to ‘surf’ the internet!
If you are wondering how you access the internet from your computer, read my article on What is a Web Browser.
How to use the internet efficiently
There are many ways to use the internet. You can search for answers to questions, look for interactive online games, dating websites, your local news, and even the weather!
But how can you better your experience on the internet?
Simply put, you must learn how to use the internet efficiently.
Here are Grandma’s three sure fire ways to use the internet efficiently to get what your looking for.
1) Search Engines
Search engines are the hub of all online information. Everything you are looking for can be found within the search engines. Search engines are websites which are data-bases for all online websites. The best part about these engines is that you do not have to know the exactly name or web address of a site you are looking for, you simply need to know what you are looking for.
For example, Jim is looking for a fishing website to checking out some new jigs. Jim types in “fishing jigs” into the search engine and poof, Jim is delivered the top rated sites for his search. Jim clicks on the third link which reads www.fishingjigs.com. He find all the new jigs on the market: exactly what he was looking for.
Jim did not know the web address of this site from memory, nor was he intentionally looking for this particular site. However, Jim knew what he was looking for.
If you are trying to find anything online, type it into a search engine and start browsing the results. 99% of the time, you will find exactly what you were looking for.
Some of the top search engines are:
When I say ‘top search engines’ I am referring to the search engines with the largest data-bases. These engines listed above will yield the best results which match your search.
2) Searching Images
This way of utilizing the internet efficiently piggy-backs on concept number one. However, instead of searching on a search engine through typing in an inquiry, pressing enter and choosing a search result, you actually choose a picture.
What do I mean by choosing a picture?
1) On the front page of the search engine of your choice, type in what you are looking for.
2) After the initial search results populate turn your attention to the photos choice within the search engine.
3) Click on this option and start browsing through the photos
4) Once you find a photo of what you are looking for, click on that photo.
5) If the photo does not automatically re-direct you to it’s according website, there is usually an option to proceed to that photo’s website. Click to be transferred to the site.
6) You’ve now successfully found a website in accordance with what you were searching for through photos!!
I would recommend this type of searching when you are looking for something with a specific brand or logo in mind, or when you are searching something which you feel could have an image. Sometimes searching through photos on a search engine can yearn better search results that simply searching on the regular function of the engine. This is usually because an image shows more detail of what your looking for than simply reading through a website.
3) Reading comments
Wow Grandma, slow down! What on earth is a comment? Ok sunny, grandma’s here. Don’t get your panties in a bunch.
A comment is a message left usually by a reader in response to what is being said. For instance, you can leave messages on any of my posts at the bottom of each page. This is usually a form of feedback. Sometimes good, sometimes not so good. But Grandma will send those naughty comments straight to the trash!
I highly recommend reading comments as sources of feedback when you are about to make a purchase of a product online.
For instance, lets say Grandma is on Amazon.com, where Grandma spends most of her days, and is checking out the latest shower bar to install in her bathtub. I will read the comments (better known as reviews) of the product I’m about to purchase. This is a great way to get instant feedback on a product, especially since what you are doing is over the internet.
This is where Grandma’s internet safety measures kick in. If Grandma is shopping online, she can’t feel, touch, hold or even sniff the product. Grandma must rely completely on any external sources she can find to justify the quality of her purchase.
Below is an example of a bad review of a cable I was about to purchase on Amazon.com
Having said all of this, using the comments or feedback of an item can better help you evaluate your purchase or the seller or company. People will usually come back to the website they made a purchase from to leave their opinion. Most of the time, people will go out of their way to leave a comment if the feedback they wish to share is bad in order to warn other potential buyers. However, some people enjoy their purchase so much they too come back to share their positive opinion.
So sunny, how do you like Grandma now? Use Grandma’s three tactics to using the internet efficiently and you will be finding exactly what you are looking for in no time.
How to set-up and E-mail account
In this tutorial Grandma will be showing you how to set-up two different e-mail accounts. Why two different accounts, you ask? To demonstrate how similar (and easy) the sign-up process for any e-mail can be.
The first e-mail account tutorial is with Hotmail and the second is with Gmail.
1. Navigate to www.hotmail.com using your web browser of choice.
2. You will land on the Hotmail Log-in page, see image below.
3. Navigate to the bottom right-hand corner of the web page to where it says “Sign up now”, see image below.
4. You will then land of the Sign-up page, see image below.
5. Fill out all the information on the Sign-up page including what you would like your e-mail address to be. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. When you are finished filling out the e-mail Sign-up page, proceed to “Create account”, see image below.
And Voila! You have successfully set-up your Hotmail e-mail account.
To access your new e-mail simply navigate back to www.hotmail.com and use your new e-mail address along with your password (you created a password when you created the e-mail account) to access your e-mail.
Remember, at any given time you are lost, please e-mail Grandma so she can help you through it.
1. Navigate to www.gmail.com using your web browser of choice.
2. You will land on the Gmail Log-in page, see image below.
3. Navigate to the bottom of the web page to where it says “Create an account”, see image below.
4. You will then land of the Sign-up page, see image below.
5. Fill out all the information on the Sign-up page including what you would like your e-mail address to be. For example, email@example.com.
6. When you are finished filling out the e-mail Sign-up page, proceed to “Next Step”, see image below.
And Voila! You have successfully set-up your Gmail e-mail account.
To access your new e-mail simply navigate back to www.gmail.com and use your new e-mail address along with your password (you created a password when you created the e-mail account) to access your e-mail.
Here’s a video on how to create a Gmail e-mail account
As you can see from both tutorials, e-mail account creation is similar across the board. There will most likely be a Sign-up page, an email address selection process and a password selection process.
Remember, at any given time you are lost, please e-mail Grandma at firstname.lastname@example.org so she can help you navigate your way through creating a new (or first time) e-mail address
How to set-up a Facebook account
1. Navigate to www.facebook.com using your web browser.
2. You will land on the Facebook Log-in page, see image below.
3. Navigate to the right side of the web page to where it says “Sign Up”, see image below.
4. Begin filling out the information listed such as your first name, last name, your email address and a password. You will also be required to give your date of birth and some other personal information. Once you are finished completing the initial sign-up page, click on the big green “Sign Up” button.
Your almost done!
5. Facebook with then ask you for three more points of interest: Find your friends, Fill out additional account information and add a profile picture. For those who do not wish to fiddle with extra settings, simply choose the “Skip this step” option in the bottom right hand corner of each of those areas. You can always change these settings at a later time in your account settings.
Et Voila! You have a created your Facebook Account.
Facebook is a great way to stay connected with your friends and family and at the time of this post is the largest social media platform in the world.
If you found this tutorial helpful make sure to let Grandma know in the comments section below.