The Internet is a source of more information then most of us know. In this report I highlight some
of my favorite things. Also, I highlight some of the things that we as users and buyers need to be cautious
of before using.
What is the Internet?
What comes to a your mind when they think of the Internet? Well, I will tell you what used to come to my
mind. When I thought of the Internet, I thought of x-rated Web pages and chat rooms. I envisioned a
medium that was so full of disgusting and perverted pictures that parents needed a “cybersitter” to make
sure that their children did not get into the Web pages that they were not supposed to. I thought this was
the way it was because that is what I had heard about, but I’m a experimental type person and decided to
investigate for myself what was really on the Internet. What I found surprised me greatly, for although
there are a lot of things that a person would not want their children to see or read, a person has to
intentionally search out these things to find them. When you compare the wealth of information you can
retrieve off the Internet, it is worth the effort that it takes to make it where children can work on the
computer without fear of them being exposed t!
o something they should not. One way to make it safer for your children and teens is done when you
origianly sign up with your Internet provider. What you do is turn on teen access only, or children acess
only, but since nothing is foolproof, keep the computer in a open spot where the you can always see what is
going on, for supervision is always the best solution.
What does the Internet do? That is a concise question with a broad answer. The facts show that the
Internet does nothing. We travel through it to get to our destination ,but we do not use it as itself. It is a tool
in our human communications capability. In my research the article compared the Internet to the telephone
system, and said that it was similar to our Interstate highway System. The Internet extends the reach of
people so that ideas and services can be exchanged, but this does not happen by itself. The Internet is
actually a global network of networks. Millions of computers are able to share information with each other
using the telephone lines. In fact, the Internet links at least 3 million computers at any one time, and that
does not count the people logging on just to surf the net. It only counts the institutions providing some type
of Internet service, or information sharing programs.
How did the Internet begin? I thought this was interesting. The Internet began like most things in our
society, that is to say that it was started by the government. The Internet started out as a experimental
military network in the 60’s. It then expanded to other governmental agencies and then to higher education.
Now the Internet is well known all over the world, for just about anywhere you go, people know what the
Internet is. Not everyone knows what to do with the Internet, but most know what it is.
Now, unlike a few years ago, the Internet is accessible to just about anyone with a computer. The
individual needs only a modem, but they also needs internet access to be connected. At this point it would
be good to distinguish between Internet providers and commercial services providing Internet access. As I
mentioned before the Internet started with the government and spread to education. These two groups
comprised the bulk of the Internet until the late 1980’s when companies began linking to the Internet. So a
University or Government agency that provides internet access to their students and employees are
providing what is considered full Internet access. They do not pay for their Internet access it is part of their
studies and employment. On the other hand, the average Joe can get hooked online through a commercial
service such as America online, prodigy, and other large communications company such as AT;T and
GTE. These companies provide Internet access that is much mo!
re user friendly, and was designed with the consumer in mind.
One thing I forgot to mention, is that before you can be connected to an online service you need a computer
equipped with a fax modem. If you plan to surf the Web a lot the fax modem should be at least 28.8 model;
however, the 33.6 fax modem would be an even better choice.The older 14.4 fax modems are ok, but they
are incredibly slow.Using my own computer as a basis of my experience I can truly say that the more
megabytes of memory that you have, the better off you are. I started out with 16 megabytes, but have
recently upgraded to 32 megabytes, and my computer now moves two to three times quicker when
downloading information from the Internet.
So what is it that makes the Internet so interesting? I will give you and example. My husband came into
the room jumping up and down because he needed to do a essay for his English class about serial killers.
He wondered where he could find the information that he needed about serial killers. He went into AOL’s
net find, and boom, he hit on a Web site from a college in Tennessee full of information about serial killers.
It could not have been easer. I myself asked for information about the Internet, and after a little bit of
searching I found a plethora of information. A person has to be time conscious on the Internet, because you
can get lost. Before you know it you may have spent 3 hours doing something that should have taken only
an hour. This is ok if you have the time to do it, but most of us don’t.
A few words of caution that I would like to mention is that when visiting cyberspace you have to be alert to
all the risks involved. During our cyberspace visits we may encounter con artists and other unscrupulous
people. Everyday my e-mail is full of junk mail just like my snail mail is. (snail mail is mail sent by the
U.S. postal service) I received e-mail from a person who was posing as a member of my online service’s
billing department, and sent me a message asking for my address, credit-card number, and confidential
account password. They say never give your information out over the telephone, and I do believe that this
should hold true on the Internet as well. For now we must assume that any information that is send through
the Internet can be read by strangers. We also have to be cautious because it is also possible to corrupt
your computer files with a virus picked up from a file that you download. I have been warned recently to
even watch my e-mail, because pe!
ople have been passing viruses that way. It would be wise for anyone using the Internet to have really
good antivirus software. I use Mcfee which is 90% foolproof, and I have had good success so far with it.
While using the Internet to do my research, I came across another great use of the Internet. This is a big
boon for law enforcement. There is a FBI Web page listing the top ten most wanted fugitives. For
example, Leslie Isben Rogge was a fugitive who escaped federal custody in Idaho in 1985. He bribed a
guard and escaped. He continued to evade capture, despite being spotted in Mexico and the Caribbean. In
1990 he was added to the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitive list. In March of 1996, someone in Guatemala
spotted his picture on the FBI’s Web page, and police in that Central American country began their search.
Eventually, with nowhere to run where he would not be recognized, Rogge turned himself in to the U.S.
embassy . He is now in Jail. The FBI’s ten most wanted list had been on the Internet for less then a year
when Rogge was arrested. The Web can make information on law enforcement available and accessible to
a worldwide audience. TV shows can reach many people,!
but Rogge’s capture has alerted the FBI about how the Internet can reach people overseas. We need all the
help we can get.
I want to focus on e-mail for instants. Even though I do get aggravated by all the constant junk mail I
receive, and I’m sure others do too, E-mail is still the most widely used part of the Internet. I came across
some surveys in my research which noted that 35 million people used e-mail last year, compared to only 9
million people who browsed the Web. The survey predicts that this year Web users will jump to 23 million
people. That’s nothing when compared to the 60 million people who will be sending and receiving e-mail
during the same time period. The report also noted that by the turn of the century 152 million people will be
using the Web, but e-mail still will maintain its lead with 200 million users hitting their Send buttons.
One other pretty cool thing that I enjoy using is AOL’s chat rooms. I really don’t have that much time to
mess with it, but when I do it’s really neat to sit and talk to people about any thing from parenting to
sewing. It can be a lot of fun.
Though the Internet we have a wide range of services which include news and weather reports, shopping,
games and electronic versions of many magazines and newspapers.
There is also a good deal of other internet services that you can access such as child services which provide
educational materials, games, and discussion groups just for kids. There are many discussion groups with
topics ranging from cooking to computer programming. There are all kinds of news sites that contain up to
date business news, and current stock exchange price. Services like airline reservations, home shopping are
abundant. Reference listings contain online encyclopedias. The Internet makes doing reseach for reports
much easier, and in our household being connected online is almost a necessity.
Teacher TLM (9/23/95) What is the Internet? TutorTCPIP
AAC Staff (6/15/97)What are some pros and cons of the Internet? TutorTCPIP
Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. (6/37/96) Cyberspace: A Beginner’s Guide Consumer Reports
Marlene Blanshay (5/27/97) Law Enforcement On the NetNetGuide
Robert Seidman (5/27/97) Will E-mail Be the Saviour of the Web? NetGuide