Browsing the internet

Using a web browser

 A web browser is a type of software that allows you to find and view websites on the Internet. Even if you didn’t know it, you’re using a web browser right now to read this page! There are many different web browsers, but some of the most common ones include Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox.

I am also introducing Tor a browser that is owned by Mozilla Firefox and is becoming popular to go to sites that other browser do not go to including the dark web and it can go to the deep dark web.  I will explain the different as we go over Tor in the class later.

No matter which web browser you use, you’ll want to learn the basics of browsing the Web. In this lesson, we’ll talk about navigating to different websites, using tabbed browsing, creating bookmarks, and more.

You can use any browser you want. Keep in mind that your browser may look and act a bit differently, but all web browsers work in basically the same way.

Why are there so many browsers and why are they free.

The link below shows how web browsers make money.  We do not cover this but is good reading, the answer is advertising revenue.    Everything you click on in a browser makes money for that company.    

Below is links on how browsers use has and is changing throughout the world


Name and picture of some popular browsers

  1. Microsoft Edge and Bing (same search engine)
  2. Chrome (In chrome you can enable duckduckgo as an extension for private browsing)
  3. Firefox
  4. Opera (you can enable vpn and duckduckgo in settings)
  5. Apple Safari
  6. Internet Explorer
  7. EPIC
  8. Tor


URLs and the address bar or how to get around the internet

Each website has a unique address, called a URL (short for Uniform Resource Locator). It’s like a street address that tells your browser where to go on the Internet. When you type or click on a URL the browser’s address bar and press Enter on your keyboard, the browser will load the page associated with that URL.



Bookmarks or links to pages you go to on a regular basic or for special pages you might want to see again without searching the internet.

 To mark a document or a specific place in a document for later retrieval. Nearly all Web browsers support a bookmarking feature that lets you save the address (URL) of a Web page so that you can easily re-visit the page at a later time.  This is useful so you do not have to type the address just click on the link

How do I create an internet favorite or bookmark? 

Link to instructions below

How do I manage internet favorites or bookmarks? 

We will do a show and tell in class.  Let’s look at a pictures of what book marks look like


This is also where the bookmark manager is and the manager lets you make folders and move bookmarks around.


What are cookies?

An HTTP cookie (also called web cookie, Internet cookie, browser cookie, or simply cookie) is a small piece of data sent from a website and stored on the user’s computer by the user’s web browser while the user is browsing. The main purpose of a cookie is to identify users and possibly prepare customized Web pages or to save site login information for you.

How cookies are used

Upon each return visit to that site, your browser passes that cookie back to the server. In this way, a web server can gather information about which web pages are used the most, and which pages are gathering the most repeat hits. Cookies are also used for online shopping.

How to delete cookies

What happens when you delete all your cookies

You will have a hard time finding a web page and you have to resign in as the site will not know or remember you.

Just remember that if you choose to clear your browser’s history or browse privately, you’re on your own to find a Web page again. That could haunt you when you’re looking for that ONE recipe you saw the day before for chocolate cake that was the most delicious thing you’ve ever seen. Good lucking finding it out of the other 10,300,000 recipes for chocolate cake.

The Tor browser and why is it different from other browsers

Tor is free software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is derived from an acronym for the original software project name “The Onion Router”.  Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user: this includes “visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms”.[11] Tor’s intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored.

What is Tor? Tor is a free software and an open network that helps you defend against traffic analysis, a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security.

Why Anonymity matters

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

This link is what happens when people search for Tor.  It shows a lot of browser and some good tools that can be used

This link is to a manual on using TOR browser


What is a Browser History?

Every time you go online from your computer, your browser saves a copy of every page that you visit. That’s right: Your computer and Internet browser—whether you use Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or something else—keep track of where you’ve been and a history of what pages you’ve seen.

That’s not something they’re hiding from you and it’s not a conspiracy or invasion of privacy. It’s there for your convenience. And unless you’re doing something you don’t want someone else to see, such as planning a secret birthday, it makes your online experience easier.

On all browsers, “History” is one of the drop-down menu choices across the top of the page, along with other choices such as File, Edit, View, Bookmarks and a few others. The History feature keeps tabs on your Internet browsing for as long as you’re online.

Browser application designers realized that people needed a way of knowing where they’d been and what they’d read or seen online over a long Internet session. And over time, they added helpful features to the History feature.

Still, a surprising number of people (more than you’d think) have never explored their browser’s history menu or learned about some its special features. And some people are a little leery of having their Internet history on display.


Whenever you see a word or phrase on a website that’s blue or underlined in blue, it’s probably a hyperlink, or link for short. You might already know how links work, even if you’ve never thought about them much before. For example, try clicking the link below.

Hey, I’m a link! Click me!

Links are used to navigate the Web. When you click a link, it will usually take you to a different webpage. You may also notice that your cursor changes into a hand icon whenever you hover over a link.


If you see this icon, it means you’ve found a link. You’ll find other types of links this way too. For example, many websites actually use images as links, so you can just click the image to navigate to another page.

 Navigation buttons

The Back and Forward buttons allow you to move through websites you’ve recently viewed. You can also click and hold either button to see your recent history.


Tabbed browsing

Many browsers allow you to open links in a new tab. You can open as many links as you want, and they’ll stay in the same browser window instead of cluttering your screen with multiple windows.

To open a link in a new tab, right-click the link and select Open link in new tab (the exact wording may vary from browser to browser).


Downloading files

Links don’t always go to another website. In some cases, they point to a file that can be downloaded, or saved, to your computer.

This is link to this file to download

If you click a link to a file, it may download automatically, but sometimes it just opens within your browser instead of downloading. To prevent it from opening in the browser, you can right-click the link and select Save link as (different browsers may use slightly different wording, like Save target as).


Saving images
Sometimes you may want to save an image from a website to your computer. To do this, right-click the image and select Save image as (or Save picture as).



Plug-ins are small applications that allow you to view certain types of content within your web browser. For example, Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight are often used to play videos, while Adobe Reader is used to view PDF files.

If you don’t have the correct plug-in for a website, your browser will usually provide a link to download it. There may also be times when you need to update your plug-ins

You may see a picture like this


Revising history.

The history feature on our browsers is there to make our online experience simpler and to provide convenience. But it can feel a little strange, knowing that someone can peek into you browser history to see what you’ve been up to. Most of us wouldn’t like that.

Still, it doesn’t happen that often. Also, it’s only an invasion of your privacy if someone gets access to your computer and actively (or accidentally) searches your history. If you have nothing to hide, then it doesn’t matter.

Still, if your privacy is a concern, regardless of what you look at, there are a couple of things you can do, by exploring two options in the browser’s History menu.

Clear Recent History. This allows you to clear the history record and start browsing with a clean slate. If you do decide to clear your history, all your website visits will be wiped from your browser’s memory, and after you hit “Clear,” it’s gone. You’ll even get a warning before you hit “Clear Now” button that says, “This action cannot be undone.”

Private Browsing. When you select New Private Window, you’re turning off the history feature—that means whatever you look at won’t be tracked or won’t appear on the list of websites on your history list. Private browsing isn’t just about being sneaky online. It offers special benefits:

  • Private browsing is helpful if you use a shared computer, bank online, check medical records, or look at personal or private subject matter you want to keep private.
  • Security experts say that websites won’t be able to use “cookies” to track your behavior when you use private browsing.
  • You can prevent Facebook and other social media websites from tracking your online activity while you’re on their websites.

When a website places a cookie on your computer, oftentimes part of what they do is track you history to see what you’re interested in. That’s why it’s not a coincidence when you look up an article about France and then see an ad for Air France show up when you visit another website.

Change this one browser setting to book a cheaper vacation or buy things without the price jumping up. Go to INCOGNITO MODE or change to a different browser such as Opera or Tor.

 This is the trick that most people never think of. Most airfare tips have to do with the airline itself, and the way these fares change over time. But this trick has to do with your browser, and how it communicates with flight-booking websites. When you upload a page, the website remembers that you visited before. Many bargain-hunters believe that this awareness causes the prices to steadily climb because you have already expressed interest in a given itinerary.

Browsing incognito

Google Chrome: There are a few ways to open an Incognito browser if you’re using Google Chrome. The first is to right click on the Google Chrome icon before you launch the application. This will bring up a menu with the option, “New Incognito Window.”

The second option is easy to use if you’re already browsing in Google Chrome. Simply open a new tab, then hit (and hold) the following keys down: Control, Shift, N (Command, Shift, N for Mac users).

Firefox: In Firefox, this private browsing option isn’t called “Incognito Mode,” it’s called “Private Window.” To access this, just open a new browser and click the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner. There, you’ll see a drop-down menu that lists an option called “New Private Window.”

Safari (on desktop): When using Safari on your Mac, you can open a Private Window in the same way as Google Chrome. Just right click on the icon, and select “New Private Window.”

Safari (on mobile): On mobile, opening a Private Window is a little bit different. While in the browser, tap the Pages icon in the bottom right-hand corner. This will show you all of the windows you have open, and at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the + sign to open another window. Tapping the + sign will open a regular browser. If you’d rather browse privately, be sure to tap “Private” right beside it.

Android: To prevent the website from recognizing your IP address, Android users can employ their “incognito mode.” To use an incognito window on your Android device, open Chrome, then click More (the three vertical dots), then hit Incognito Window. When the new window opens, you’ll see the incognito icon, which looks like a face with a fedora and glasses.

Not every device or browser has an incognito-like feature, but there’s another way to get a similar effect: Most websites recognize your returning visit because of the cookies they install on your computer. Just delete all your cookies and browsing history, and these online services won’t recognize you.

There is some debate on whether using Incognito Windows and eliminating cookies don’t have a substantial impact on airfares. Each website works differently, so it’s hard to say. But feel free to tinker with a regular window and an Incognito Window and see what happens. When it comes to travel, it isn’t the destination but the journey.



Increased state surveillance, countless security breaches and widespread concern about data sharing have spooked many of us into wanting to protect our privacy more than ever.

Despite bubbling almost under the radar for nine years, anonymous search engine DuckDuckGo is now finding its stride in this current climate. In January, it announced it had passed ten billion searches, with four billion occurring in 2016.

What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo describes itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. It promises not to use cookies to follow users and says it doesn’t collect any personal information on those who use it. Even your IP address is hidden.

DuckDuckGo’s ambitious plans to be more than a search engine

How is it different to Google and Bing?

DuckDuckGo’s ambitious plans to be more than a search engine

When you click on links from Google and Bing, even in private mode, the search terms are sent to the site you’re visiting in the HTTP referrer header. When you visit that site, your computer automatically shares information, such as your IP address. This information can be used to identify you.

DuckDuckGo calls this “search leakage” and prevents it happening by default on its search results. Instead, when you click on a link on the site it redirects that request in such a way to prevent it sending your search terms to other sites. The sites know that you visited them, but they don’t know what search you entered beforehand, nor can they use personal information to identify you.

DuckDuckGo additionally offers an encrypted version that automatically changes links from a number of major sites to point to the encrypted versions, including Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.

Private browsing is not totally private.

Private browsing is not the same as secure browsing. And it’s not really completely private. It simply hides your activity from being viewed on your computer through the history feature.

  • If you use private browsing on a computer at work that’s connected to a network, the network administrator can always see what sites you’ve visited (if they want to).
  • If there is spyware on your computer, your online activities could still be tracked.
  • Internet protection software, used by families to filter and monitor Internet content, can track even “private” viewing sessions.
  • Your Internet Service Provider also has access to your online history, but they could search it and report it only if they were directed to through a legal action.

How to clear your history in any browser

One last thing.

Just remember that if you choose to clear your browser’s history or browse privately, you’re on your own to find a Web page again. That could haunt you when you’re looking for that ONE recipe you saw the day before for chocolate cake that was the most delicious thing you’ve ever seen. Good lucking finding it out of the other 10,300,000 recipes for chocolate cake.



The Momentum Chrome extension has over 2.5 million users and you can see why once you install it. It has a compelling purpose: to turn your new tab page into a useful (and beautiful) productivity tool. Momentum walks you through the setup process after you install it. What you will notice first are the lovely background images. You will also see the weather up in the corner, the time displayed prominently in the middle, a pleasant greeting, and an inspirational quote at the bottom.

Momentum lets you build a to-do list, set daily goals, and keep important links at your fingertips. Every time you open a new tab, you will see a reminder to help keep you on task. It’s a big step up from the regular Chrome new tab window.


The internet is a big place and it can be a challenge to keep track of what’s truly important to you as you’re traveling from website to website, absorbing information. Google Keep is a way to catalog pages, images, and text for easy access later on.

You can access your saved information through To add to your Keep collection, install the extension, and then just click the lightbulb icon in the upper corner of Chrome. It will give you the option to add a note. You can also save individual images and selected text. Later, you can head to to add labels, archive or trash a saved item, or set a reminder. This is like a much more advanced version of the old bookmarks feature. Your inner organizer will rejoice.


Wikipedia is an incredible resource, a fountain of knowledge covering everything from celebrity biographies to historical events. But it’s not the prettiest website around. You can transform Wikipedia’s utilitarian interface into a more modern web experience with Wikiwand. Install the extension, head over to Wikipedia, and you will immediately notice the cleaner layout, larger font, and visually appealing photo collages. The table of contents for each page now loads in a bar on the left and stays accessible even as you scroll through long articles.

Naturally, Wikiwand will appeal to anyone who spends a fair amount of time browsing through Wikipedia, but it’s also a welcome improvement on the interface for casual users looking for a more comfortable way to interact with the site. You will have a hard time going back to the regular Wikipedia formatting after you’ve discovered Wikiwand.


We all like to make a good impression with our writing, but typos and grammar errors can easily slip into emails, status updates, and other internet endeavors. Chrome has a built-in spell-checker, but you can access more features by installing the Grammarly extension.

Grammarly handles the usual spell-checking duties by underlining words and giving you suggested replacement options, but it also monitors your writing context and looks for correctly spelled words that may be out of place, like “very” and “vary” or “pore” and “poor.” The extension does have some limitations. For example, Grammarly doesn’t work with Google Docs, but it will help clean up your writing on most popular sites, including Gmail, Facebook and Twitter.


You’re filling in a contact form, spending some time on a well-crafted message. There are many things that can go wrong. Maybe you accidentally close the tab, or you get a network error and when you reload the page, everything you just wrote is gone. The Lazarus extension has your back when these problems crop up. It automatically saves everything you type into web forms, so you can just refill the form and go on with your day.

You know Lazarus is at work when you see a small ankh symbol in the corner of the text box. Click on it to see what Lazarus is saving or to choose the text you want reinserted into the form. You might not need it very often, but you will be glad it’s there when you do run into a problem

Over the years how browser have grown and are being used.

Downloading and uploading


While exploring the Internet, you’ve probably encountered the terms downloading and uploadingDownloading means receiving data or a file from the Internet on your computer. Uploading means sending data or a file from your computer to somewhere on the Internet.

These terms describe activities you may have already learned how to do. If you’ve ever opened an example document in one of our tutorials, you’ve downloaded that file. If you’ve ever shared a photo you took on Facebook or another social media site, you’ve uploaded that photo.


Usually, when you download a file you will start the download by clicking a link to that file. Many of our tutorials contain links to files.

If you click the link, your browser should prompt you to select one of two methods for downloading the file.

  • Open with will download the file and load it immediately in the specified program.
  • Save File will download it and save it to your hard drive.

Either way, once you click OK, the download begins. Your browser will indicate the progress and time remaining on the download.


A dialog box will appear, prompting you to select a file. Browse to the location where your file is stored, select it, then click the Open button. Afterward, a progress bar tracking the upload process will appear on the page.


Some sites support a drag-and-drop interface. For example, when logged in to Dropbox you can drag the files from a folder on your computer and drop them into the browser window.


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