Computer Basics: A Digital Guide to Understanding Your Computer
Computers are a big part of everyday life. They're used pretty much everywhere you go, from your home to school, work, and the stores where you go shopping. They make our day-to-day lives a little easier, which has made them integral parts of our society. Throughout the years, it's likely you've gained some sort of understanding of how to use a computer and how they work. However, most people only know the very basics, something that's becoming all the more common thanks to handheld devices with built-in or downloadable apps that require very little skill to use. Even so, there's a lot you can learn about computers and technology that can make your user experience easier, safer, and more organized than ever before.
Understanding Basic Computer Terminology
- Computer terms are often split into two categories: those that apply to hardware and software. Hardware consists of the physical parts of a computer, while software includes programs and apps containing instructions that the computer executes based on your commands.
- The Internet is commonly associated with computers. It has its own set of terms that differ from basic computer terms. Not every computer is connected to the Internet, as some have specialized jobs that don't require going online. But while learning about computers, it can be beneficial to gain a stronger understanding of Internet terms as well, since they are often interconnected.
- Understanding basic computer terminology can help us understand computers as a whole.
- There are actually a few different types of computers, such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, servers, and specialized computers, which include smartphones, wearable technology, game consoles, and even televisions.
- Depending on how you use a computer, sometimes, you may find yourself at risk of having your data and personal details stolen. That's why cybersecurity has become increasingly important. Installing virus protection software is a great way to keep your computer and data secure.
- There are seven types of cybersecurity threats: malware (malicious software that activates viruses and worms), Trojans like Emotet (which steals banking data and can hide ransomware), denial-of-service attacks (your computer or network is flooded and can no longer respond to requests), man-in-the-middle attacks (hackers insert themselves into a two-party transaction), phishing (the user is tricked into providing personal details), SQL injection (malicious code is inserted into a server and releases information), and password attacks (accessing a password database or outright guessing to steal personal information).
- Firewalls and antivirus software are often the first lines of defense in cybersecurity.
- Knowing the threats and how to protect yourself can keep your personal information and computer data safe from hackers.
- Keyboard shortcuts can be used on most modern operating systems.
- From general commands to editing to file management and even debugging, there are a multitude of different commands that work with different programs and functions.
- Both Mac and PC users can use keyboard commands. If you've never attempted it on a Mac before, a dialogue box may pop up asking you to set up your function keys.
- Once you learn them, shortcuts help improve efficiency while working on a computer.
- Word processors are a valuable type of technology for educators and students alike, as they allow people to write essays, letters, and the like without wasting paper.
- Word-processing programs are a type of software with the ability to handle text. This works by assigning each letter of the alphabet to a specific numeric code, which is then stored in the computer's memory. But using this software is simple: If you can use a typewriter, you can use word-processing software.
- The value of these programs is that they allow users to electronically cut, paste, and revise effortlessly without having to print out multiple copies and mark them up.
- Word processors let you create and format text that can be printed out or stored, either on your computer or in the cloud, so they can be opened and modified whenever you need them.
Organizing Computer Files
- You should name and organize your files in a way that indicates the content of the file and specifies its relationship to other files in a consistent system.
- Develop a folder structure by mapping out potential structures that you and others will be able to work with easily.
- Embrace the process of organizing your digital file storage as well as your emails. There are even built-in shortcuts available to make organizing and sharing your files even easier.
- File naming can help contribute to project documentation, sharing, and workflow organization when it's done in a well-organized fashion.