This page assumes that you are reading this text by using a laptop or desktop computer, rather than a mobile phone, and gives some browser tips that can be helpful for you and your family.
Our site is written for the "newby" meaning that we go a bit overboard in helping you figure out how to do something. We do this because 300,000 people discover the internet every year. Many of those are kids. There is no shame with being a newbie, because we ALL were at one time. We want our information below to help the widest audience. So, if you are already web savvy, please pardon the "web 101" nature of the information below.
A Browser? What's a Browser?A web browser is a program almost all people use to view web pages on the internet. If you are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox right now, you are using a browser to look at web pages stored on the Internet. If you are not using one of these browsers, you are still using some application (also called an "app" or "program") to view the internet. Now, the APP or PROGRAM itself (Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, or Firefox) is not "The Internet". It is simply a program letting you see web pages stored on the internet. You could go and download a completely different browser and still see the internet. For example, as a web developer, I downloaded and I use all of the browsers above, so that when I create a web page, I can look at the web page with different browsers to see how the page will look to different people. My favorite browser at this time is Chrome, so I use it for all my normal internet surfing. You could go download a different browser right now, and still access the internet just fine. This is an important detail because a lot of newbies get confused about their browser and think that it, the browser itself, is "The Internet" and because that confuses them, a lot of miscommunication and further confusion can take place.
Like Word, Excel, or any other program that is installed on your computer, your browser program has "Preference" settings that you can set and change at any time to help your web viewing experience. For example, right now, hold down the Control (Mac user hold down Command key) key on your keyboard, and then tap the + key 2 times. For most browsers, this will "magnify" the page you are now looking at. If you want to view a page at its "normal" magnification, just hold down the Control key (Mac user hold down Command key) on your keyboard and then tap the number 0 on your keyboard.
Whenever instructions, almost anywhere, want you to hold down the Control key (Mac user hold down Command key) and then tap another key, they usually refer to it this way: " Type Control + " that is a much shorter way of saying the same thing, and it is how we will refer to using two keys at once, from now on.
RecapIf Control + magnifies the screen, and Control - decreases magnification, you can see that kids goofing around with your keyboard can greatly alter the look and feel of how your browser works, and therefore it is a good idea to learn about some of the preference controls that your browser offers, so that you can set preferences yourself, set them for your young kids, or to simply restore proper settings if your child has been playing, hit a few keys and changed settings accidentally. There are also browser preference controls you can use to help young children stay on the web sites you approve of, and not accidentally stray. If you do not use any other kind of "family filter" program installed on your computer to control web access, then we recommend that at the very least, you take time to set up a web browser for your child, that has preference settings adjusted for them.
Getting StartedBelow we will give some browser basics, and help you understand a lot more about handling a browser on your computer. Stay tuned, as this article will be developed over time. It will cover several different browsers, so that you can read specific instructions for the browser of your choice.
Mom Tip: Mommatown is a no-pop-up zone. If, when you visit our sites, a pop-up window appears, that could be a sign that your computer is infected with a virus. Never click on links in any pop-up unless you are sure of its author. Have a reputable company clean your computer if you suspect an infection.