This section covers some core skills that will be helpful to individuals when using this digital toolkit.
The BBC has developed a range of video and written guides to help you to get connected and develop the online skills to make the most of your mobile, tablet, computer or interactive television.
Types of Devices
There are many types of devices that you can use to 'get online'. Many of these can be found around the home and you might not even realise that they can access the internet!
Below are examples of the most common types of devices that you can use to get online.
Each type of device will have many different variants that are available from a wide range of manufactures. Some people have a preference over one brand compared to another, but a lot of that can be down to personal choice.
Types of Software
There are many different types of software, otherwise known as operating systems, programs, applications, or simply 'apps'. These are the programs that actually run on computers, tablets, and mobile devices. Here are the most common types that you might come across.
- Word processing: typing and creating documents.
- Database: storing large amounts of information.
- Spreadsheet: performing calculations and numerical analysis.
- Multimedia: playing videos and music.
- Presentation: showing slideshows and other electronic presentations.
- Educational: dictionaries, encyclopedias and reference software all falls under this category.
- Simulations: many uses, from flight to scientific simulators.
- Application suites: a package of lots of programs that come bundled together, such as Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice
- Specialised: for a very specific purpose, e.g. music notation, engineering, architecture, programming.
A broadband connection gives you a fast, permanent connection to the internet. That's great, but if you are connected all the time, there is a small chance that someone might be able to steal personal data or download things to your PC.
To prevent this there are a range of software products on the market and many available free on the internet. The most important protection is called a 'firewall'.
A firewall is just a piece of software which runs on your computer all the time. It makes sure that no programs on your computer try to connect to the internet without your consent and that no one can download things to your PC without you knowing.