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Internet FAQ

Q - What is the Internet?

A - The Internet started out as a military research project during the late 1960s, but the Internet we know today came about during the early to mid 1980s, a result of joining up a number of large scale networks around the world. Essentially, the Internet is a huge network of computer systems & networks connected across the globe. While most people know of the Internet as websites & email, there are a large number of other facilities which can be used, including realtime chat (IRC), newsgroups (text based message forums), file transfer (FTP), personal file sharing (peer to peer) & many more.

Q - What is spam?

A - Spam, otherwise known as junk email, is widely used by unscrupulous organisations who post a massive number of emails to receipients, usually advertising products or services which are of no use to the recipient. There have been numerous attempts to cut the amount of spam down & server administrators, along with Internet Service Providers (ISPs), are working to stop the spread of spam via methods such as blacklisting. Some countries, such as Australia & the United States, are working to introduce laws to stop spam.

Q - What is a computer virus?

A - Computer viruses are software which has been written with malicious intent for one of the following results: damage to your computer, damage to your operating system, installing hidden software to send out email unknown to you, modify your internet connection settings or any of a myriad of other reasons. Viruses come in a vast array of types, such as worms or trojans. The predominant operating system affected by viruses is Microsoft Windows. Mac OS, Linux or other Unix style operating systems are rarely affected by viruses, but users of those systems can still transmit viruses to other users.

Q - How do I set up my computer for Internet access?

A - There are a number of different methods for connecting to the internet, such as dial-up modem, DSL, ISDN & cable. Each ISP has different settings for your connection & you should consult either the ISP's helpline or if you are able to use another computer to connect to the internet, look at the ISP's technical support pages for information. Most ISP's provide a graphical walkthrough for setting up certain software for your particular operating system.

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