The Internet is a global web of computers connected to each other by wires,
cables, satellites, radio waves, and waves of light. If you look at a map of big
cities, smaller towns, and scattered houses, each is connected by roads, railways,
rivers and other things. This is similar to the Internet. The Internet, just like
cities, has millions of people interacting with each other every day.
The "big cities" of the Internet are the server computers of
and other networks. Each of these super computers are capable of sending
and receiving huge amounts of information extremely fast. Some of the "big
cities" like Yahoo for instance, have chat rooms where people from all
over the world can meet and communicate with each other. Other places
like Tripod have communities where people are able to create their own
webpages. These communities of webpages are grouped together to form "neighborhoods."
These "neighborhoods" are similar to the neighborhoods in cities where
people live. These "big cities" of the Internet often have search engines,
e-mail services, shopping, entertainment, and other services that draw
millions of people from all around the world just like the post offices, stores,
movie theaters, and other places do in the communities where we live.
Other computers on the Internet are also part of these online towns.
Local banks often provide access to account information with their
computers. Businesses like
many others have computers that provide online stores where people
can purchase different items. Many colleges and universities offer
online classes that allow people to get their degrees on the Internet.
You can often pay your cable bill, credit card payment, electric
bill and other payments online. You can even buy groceries
online at places like
You can do just about anything online that you can offline.
The largest part of the Internet, just like the world, is not
the "big cities." It's all of the millions and millions of remote
computers. When we connect to the Internet our computers become one
of these remote computers. We logon to the Internet through an
Internet service provider's, (or ISP's), server computer. Then
we're are off exploring the online world. Just like in the cities
where people are going to work, school, post offices, shopping,
or whatever, we are doing the same thing online. The Internet is
all about accessing a great deal of information and services from
the comfort of our own homes.
People often call the Internet the World Wide Web, but that
is actually not quite correct. The World Wide Web, (or WWW), is
simply a way of accessing HTTP information linked together on the
Internet. We use Web browsers like Internet Explorer to view Web
pages on the World Wide Web. Email, instant messengers, and other
things use the Internet, but have nothing to do with the World Wide
Web. Try not to let the two terms fool you, even though many people do.
As most of us know, the world is often very dangerous. There
are many bad people. Some people may try to take your money.
Others may even want to hurt you. This is no different on the
Internet. It is very important to remember that. You don't give
strangers your address, phone number, or any other personal information
offline. It is just as important to not do it online either. That
includes giving information to websites. If someone keeps trying
to get you to tell them things you shouldn't, inform your parents
or a trusted adult immediately! Although you may be smart
enough to realize that these people are up to no good, the next
person may not be as smart. It's up to you to try and protect
others by informing the authorities. Make your experience online
a fun, enjoyable, and safe one! Be careful online, just as you
are in your regular everyday life!