Cleaning some laptops for friends recently has made me realise that there are several levels of computer literacy. There are the obvious levels of super geek who can write code and illiterate who can’t turn the machine on but there are other, more subtle, grades. Prime amongst these are the people that use a pc but haven’t learnt the highway code of the web.
I have posted before of the different generations that use the web. The first generation were the ones that never trusted that anything could be free. My generation embraced free but never quite got to grips with paying for ‘e’ products. The current generation are happy not only to pay for ‘e’ services but even for virtual property. In amongst all of this are the people that have some knowledge, can navigate the web but aren’t really comfortable there.
For these people, and based on experience of machines, I thought I would establish some of the rules of the web. I’m not sure where these rules originate but if there was a school for the web this would be a lesson.
1 – You are not the lucky winner. Be it money, goods or services the web has not selected you as a lucky recipient.
2 – The red cross at the top right closes a window. Not the decline, refuse or cancel button in the window.
3 – Your computer is not at risk. Well it is, but that’s another lesson. The pop up warning is not from some crusading hero keeping you safe.
4 – Clicking here will not repair or speed up your machine. If your machine is slow it is probably because you clicked these links in the first place.
5 – You do not need a toolbar. It won’t get you the best bargains or improve your search results.
6 – If you must install things (I advise you not to) then select ‘custom install’ and untick the garbage.
I think that will suffice for lesson 1. When you see somebody selling ‘lucky heather’ in the street you don’t buy it, when you see the equivalent on the web don’t click it.