All week long I help computer users of all ages and experience levels. Too often, I see that many computer users (beginners and experienced alike) do not utilize or know about some basic web browsing skills that will speed their work and give them less problems when using the Internet.
In this week’s tip, I will highlight the inefficient habits computer users use and replace them with tips that will make YOU a quicker and more proficient web user.
1. Using an old browser
No matter how old your computer is or what operating system you are using, make sure to keep your browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) updated. Updates do change the look from time-to-time, but the updates also include many security enhancements and fixes to help keep you safe.
2. Using a search engine instead of the address bar
If you know a web address you are trying to visit, do NOT use a search engine to type that address, type it directly into the address bar and press Enter on your keyboard.
3. Closing the web browser or clicking the Home icon before going to another web site.
When changing channels on a television, you don’t always go back to channel 1, then go to the channel you wanted do you? Likewise, with the web, you can simply click a bookmark or type a web address in the address bar to move on to a new web site. You don’t need to close the window or click Home first.
4. Keeping the default browser home page
Your Internet provider often installs their web site as your “home page” (the first page you see when you launch your browser). However, if you never use that page, change it to something you will use.
- How to change your home page video tip.
- How to create your own customized news page to use as your home page.
5. Overuse of the back button
With older browsers (see Habit 1 above), we had little choice but to click on links, then the back button to reach our previous page. True, some people learned to use multiple browser windows, but even that is a dated technique now.
Modern browsers give us the efficiency and elegance of opening multiple pages in what are known as tabs. Tabbed browsing will drastically cut your use of the back button and change your web browsing life forever…for the better.
6. Wasting paper, time, and money by printing more information than necessary
The Internet definitely gave paper companies a new lease on life because we print more today than ever before. However, too often, Internet users want a certain amount of information from a web site and end up getting 6-8 or more extra pages of information they don’t need.
Instead, take advantage of this easy to follow tip that lets YOU select exactly what you want to print and print only that.
7. Search from a search engine site
Searching the Internet is by the greatest, in my opinion, function available for our computers. However, with modern browsers, again see Habit 1, there is no need to visit the search engine site to start your searches. Instead, use the built-in search bar in your browser. You can find it in the upper right corner of IE 7, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
Watch the short video below to see all these tips in action and also use the links in this article for more details. Master all of these tips and you will be a web surfer with 7 highly effective habits!