Lutz F.

Krebs

Introduction to the Internet

© 2001 – 2002 Universiteit Maastricht. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without prior, written permission from the publisher. PICTURE CREDITS Section cover background: size-isnt-everything.co.uk TYPEFACES Headlines are set in TheSansCorrespondence © TheTypes b.v., Lucas de Groot. Function calls are set in Arial Narrow © The Monotype Corporation plc. Image components and Google Output are labeled in Arial © The Monotype Corporation plc. Body text and side notes are set in Times New Roman © The Monotype Corporation plc. Keys are set in RatCaps 3D PC and RatKeys 3D PC © Quadrat Communications, David Vereschagin. Email quotes are set in Courier New © The Monotype Corporation plc. TRADEMARKS Product names, logos, designs, titles, words or phrases mentioned in this publication may be trademarks, service marks, or trade names of companies or other entities and may be registered in certain jurisdictions or internationally. DISCLAIMER WE HAVE USED EXCEPTIONAL CARE IN PREPARING THIS BOOK. NONETHELESS, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR MAKE NO CLAIMS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE BOOK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY WARRANTIES REGARDING THE USEFULNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES EXCEPT THOSE GRANTED HERE. THE ADVICE GIVEN IN THIS PUBLICATION IS NOT GUARANTEED TO PRODUCE ANY PARTICULAR RESULTS AND MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL OR UNDER PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF PROFIT OR ANY OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR OTHER DAMAGES. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the following for their continued support: Dirk Tempelaar. The computer whiz kids at ACO and ICTS. Andreas van Rienen and Carsten Sturmann. Christiane Arndt. FEEDBACK We are happy to hear from you. You can contact the author directly at l.krebs@ke.unimaas.nl.

Version 1.2 – 28/07/02 Maastricht University P.O. Box 616 6200 MD Maastricht Netherlands

CONTENTS A. GENERAL TOPICS

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

1. Introduction 3 2. Getting Hooked Up 9

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

B. THE WORLD WIDE WEB

3. Using the WWW 17 4. Finding Information on the Web 27 5. Security on the Internet 33

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

C. EMAIL

6. Setting Up Your Email Account 41 7. Sending & Receiving Emails 45 8. Advanced Topics 53

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

APPENDIX

A. Useful Websites 59

Image: size-isnt-everything.co.uk

GENERAL TOPICS

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

1. INTRODUCTION
The Internet ranks highly among the most important inventions of the last century. While initially a military network designed to withstand a nuclear war, it was soon championed by American academics. With the debut of the World Wide Web in 1991, the Internet has found its way into the common household. Today, the Internet is quickly becoming as ubiquitous as the telephone, first and foremost in commercial and academic settings but also in households.1 The two most commonly used services are the WWW (‘world wide web’, also known as the web or the ‘world wide wait’) and email. An Overview This book is meant as an introduction to the Internet. In the first section, we will start off with some general remarks and we will help you to connect your PC to the Internet. Once you are there, you will want to check out the Web, which is basically an information retrieval service. Anyone can leave documents on the Internet for others to see, a feature which has made information on almost every imaginable subject easily accessible. We will discuss this feature of the Internet in detail in the second section of this guide. Finally, we turn to the other big feature of the Internet, electronic mail (or email). The third section tells you how it works and how you can send and receive email using Microsoft’s Outlook 2000 program. What You Need to Get Started Before you can connect to the Internet, you need some basic ingredients. If you want to access the Internet from home, you obviously need a computer of some sort. In the following, we assume that you have a PC that is using some version of Microsoft Windows. Besides a computer, you need some way to connect it to the outside world. This would usually be some type of modem. (We’ll go into the details in chapter 2.) Once you have these gizmos, you are theoretically able to access the Internet. However, you will also need some software that tells the computer how to access the Internet: a browser that allows you to see the world wide web, and an email client that enables you to send and receive email. At Maastricht University, we have opted for a combination of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Outlook 2000.

Modem Device that sends and receives computer signals over ordinary telephone lines. Browser Computer program that allows you to see the world wide web. Email Client Computer program used to send and receive emails.

1

In a world were 75% of the population does not have a telephone, any remarks regarding the ubiquitousness of the Internet obviously apply only to the richer countries.

4 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is currently the dominant browser and it is available for free from Microsoft. It is already present on most PCs using Microsoft Windows, so you will not have to worry about it. Outlook, however, is a commercial program, which implies that you have to pay money to get it. The cheapest way to get Outlook is to buy Microsoft Office 2000 Professional from the ICT Service Center. Office 2000 Pro costs 25 €2 for students and includes a number of programs that you will find useful for your study, such as Microsoft Word (for writing assignments and projects), Microsoft Excel (for assignments in statistics and mathematics), Microsoft PowerPoint (for preparing presentations), as well as Microsoft Outlook. THE ICT SERVICE CENTER
ADDRESS PHONE EMAIL WEBSITE OFFICE HOURS

Looiersgracht 14, Room 0.011 (043) 388 35 64 servicedesk@icts.unimaas.nl www.icts.unimaas.nl
Phone/Email Walk in

Weekdays Saturdays

8 a.m. – 10 p.m. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. closed

If you do not want to buy Microsoft Outlook, there is no reason to despair: you can still use Outlook Express, its tiny brother. Outlook Express comes for free with the Internet Explorer. In the following, we focus on Outlook 2000 because it is the software used in the computer labs of our faculty, but Outlook Express behaves more or less like Outlook when it comes to emails. Public Computer Terminals If you do no own a computer yet, you can still use the faculty’s computer SMR (Studenten Micro Ruimte) labs (or SMRs as they are called at our university). There are two SMRs Synonym for computer lab at our at the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, and both are located university. in the main building at Tongersestraat 53. To use a PC there, you need your student ID number and a password that will be or has been mailed to you together with your student ID card.

2

These prices are sharply reduced in comparison to normal retail prices, because Maastricht University (in cooperation with other Dutch universities) buys large quantities of educational licenses.

General Topics: Introduction 5
●●●●●●●●●●●●

THE COMPUTER ROOMS
LOCATION NUMBER OF PCS OPENING HOURS

SMR 1 Rooms 3.047 – 3.061 120 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. closed

SMR 2 Rooms 0.012 – 0.014 60 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. closed

Mon – Thu Fridays Weekends
MORE INFO

www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/smr/

In general, the SMRs should only be used for study related activities, e.g. downloading and reviewing lecture notes, writing papers, registering for courses etc. If you want to write personal emails or surf the web for fun, you are asked to restrict yourself to the early morning (9 – 10 a.m.) or the evening (after 5 p.m.). Even with these rules in place, the SMRs tend to get crowded often. When the SMRs are closed, you can walk over to the library, which offers a small computer room of its own. Be aware that other faculties also use this computer room – you may have to wait (possibly a long time) for a PC to become available. If you know in advance that you need a PC for a study related reason, you can make a reservation for up to two hours per day. THE LIBRARY
ADDRESS PHONE WEBSITE OPENING HOURS

Bonnefantenstraat 2 (043) 388 34 27 www.ub.unimaas.nl 8.30 a.m. – 10 p.m. 8.30 a.m. – 9 p.m. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 12 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mon – Thu Fridays Saturdays Sundays

On the Use of this Book In this book, we assume that you have access to a PC with the necessary equipment to get onto the Internet. We also presume that you know in general how to operate a Windows-based PC. We will take it from there. This manual is not meant to be all-encompassing. It is meant as an introduction and as a guide. We will focus on getting you started, and in doing so will ignore a number of useful advanced features. You are encouraged to go beyond the contents of this book and explore the tools

6 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

that you are working with, as Internet Explorer and Outlook. If you feel that you need further guidance, there are a number of excellent printed resources. Personally, we find the jargon-free language and useful hints of the ‘For Dummies’ series to be particularly appealing, but there are certainly many other useful and well-written computer books out there. There is also a lot of helpful information on the web, and we will show you how to find it in chapter 4. This book focuses on showing you how to accomplish certain tasks in Internet Explorer and Outlook. Be aware that there are usually several ways to get things done. We will endeavor to show you as many of them as possible. In doing so, we will use the following conventions: ·
A toolbar.

Buttons on toolbars that initiate a certain function are usually displayed in the margin together with a brief description of what the button does. If you need to press a button, we will indicate this by printing the button, e.g. / implies that you need to push the ‘enter’ key. Frequently, key combinations are used to accomplish tasks. An example of such a key combination would be c + P, which means that you should press and hold the ‘ctrl’ key while pressing ‘p’. When you need to enter more than a few characters, we will not print the individual keys, because that would be space consuming and hard to read. Instead, we will indicate the text using a special font, as demonstrated here: ‘enter this’. Some of the options cannot be initiated using a keyboard shortcut or an on-screen button. Such options can usually be found in the menu bar. If we want you to select an option from the menu bar, we will list the names of the options in chronological order. E.g. ‘File’, ‘Print’ would imply that you click on ‘File’ in the menu bar, and then select ‘Print’ from the menu that appears. Instead of clicking on the items, you can also use your keyboard: press a and the underlined letter, in our example a + F. Once the menu is open, simply pressing the underlined letter is sufficient. E.g. after pressing a + F, pressing P will be enough to take you to the print menu. Finally, we will use a similar notation when you need to select options from the Start menu, e.g. ‘Start’, ‘Programs’, ‘Internet Explorer’ will launch Internet Explorer. Once again, you can use keyboard shortcuts: press the Windows key (ÿ), followed by the underlined letters.

·

·

·

A menu bar.

·

The Start menu.

General Topics: Introduction 7
●●●●●●●●●●●●

If you are stuck… If you cannot find the answer here, there are still a number of ways to get help. If you are stuck using a certain program, the first thing you can try is pressing the 1 key. Pressing 1 is like asking the computer for help. In most cases, the appropriate program will then give you additional information on whatever you are currently doing. There are, however, cases when your computer does not understand your problem (because the persons that built the software did not foresee it) or when your PC is not able to help you (because it is malfunctioning). In such cases, you may want to check out a helpful website, Tech24 SelfHelp at www.tech24inc.com/help.html. Tech 24 offers self-help links that are sorted by category (e.g. ‘Internet’, ‘Email’, ‘Outlook’). They also offer live support from certified technicians. You can also try contacting the producer directly. If you have trouble with Outlook, Outlook Express or the Internet Explorer, you might want to visit www.microsoft.com to see if they know the answer to your question. However, some producers do not offer a lot of support or charge money for it. Another option is to call or email the computer whiz kids at the ICT service center of our university. They offer support for the software used throughout the university, which includes among others Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, and the McAfee virus scanner. (See the info box on p. 4 for their contact information.) Finally, befriending a geek may be the best solution. Geeks are by nature friendly, helpful and extremely well versed in all things computer. If you can count one of them as your friend, he (or in rare cases she) probably won’t mind dropping by and helping you out when you are having trouble with your PC. An invitation to dinner or to the movies in return won’t hurt either. We wish you success in working with the Internet!
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
In this chapter, we will help you connect your PC to the Internet. If you do not own a PC or do not plan to connect it to the Internet, you can safely ignore this chapter.

2. GETTING HOOKED UP
At Maastricht University, there are two ways to connect to the Internet. You can establish a temporary connection over the telephone network or you can apply for an ‘always-on’ connection. The two options differ in their cost and in the speed with which you can exchange information with the Internet. Also, the second option may is only available in Maastricht and some of the surrounding Dutch communities. Connecting over the telephone network

ISP (Internet Service Provider) A company or institution that has a connection to the Internet and allows private individuals to use that connection whenever they need it. Modem A modem is a device that translates the electrical signals from your computer into audible sounds so they can be transmitted over a telephone line. This process is known as modulation. It also translates the incoming sounds into electrical signals for your computer; demodulation in computer-lingo. The term modem is simply an abbreviation of modulator/demodulator.

Most people do not need an Internet connection that is always active. Instead, they only want to connect to the Internet sometimes, e.g. to check their mail or to use the WWW. This is where Internet Service Providers come in: they have connections that are always active, and they allow people like you and me to use them when we need them. To connect to such an ISP over the telephone network, you need a regular telephone connection and a modem. The vast majority of computers sold today already comes with a modem installed, so we will skip the physical installation procedure. If you do not own a modem, you can buy one from a local electronics or computer store. Please consult your modem’s manual for installation advice.

You also need the phone number of the ISP (the so-called ‘dial-up number’) and a name and password to identify you. The latter is necessary because most ISPs either charge a certain fee or restrict access to a certain group of people. Our university belongs to the second group: you do not pay anything to use the ISP of our university, but they want to make sure that only our own students and staff can use the network. Dial-up connection A connection between computers By the way, you still pay for the telephone connection to the ISP, which is usually a local call. that is established over a
telephone line.

In the following, we will describe how to set up a connection over the phone line. While the process is the same no matter where you live, some of the details depend on your location. After the general description, we therefore turn to the specific cases of students living in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Please be aware that the information provided here is subject to change. All information is up-todate as of July 1, 2001. The general procedure In the Start menu, click on ‘Programs’, ‘Accessories’, ‘Communications’, ‘Dial-Up Networking’. In the window that opens, click on ‘Make New Connection’. You will then be guided through the process of setting up a new connection.

‘Start’ „ ‘Programs’ „ ‘Accessories’ „ ‘Communications’ „ ‘Dial-up Networking’

10 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

In the first step, enter a name for the Internet connection. This would usually be the name of the ISP, such as ‘Maastricht University’ or ‘Enertel’ if you live in the Netherlands. (More info in the region-specific sections below.)

In the same step, you will need to select the device that you want to use for the connection. If your modem is properly installed, it will be automatically selected and you will not need to do anything. In the second step, you will need to enter the area code and telephone number of the ISP. If you live in the Netherlands, then the area code is ‘06760’ and the telephone number is ‘88029’. Finally, select the country you are currently residing in for the country code.

The third step only confirms what you have entered. That’s it, you are done. You will now see a new icon in the dial-up networking window with the name you have given your Internet connection. Double-click on it to test whether the Internet connection works. A window will appear to ask you for your username and password.

Both depend on the ISP you are using and can vary a great deal. Please see the region-specific section below for further details. If you are the only one using your PC or if you trust the other persons in your household, you can tick ‘save password’. If you don’t, you will have to enter your password every time you want to connect to the Internet, but you keep anyone else from using the Internet on your account. Finally, quickly check whether the phone number displayed in the window is correct.

If you are in the Netherlands, it should say ‘06760 88029’. Once you are done, click on ‘Connect’. Your PC will now try to establish an Internet connection. If anything goes wrong, you will see an error message. Possible problem causes are:

General Topics: Getting Hooked Up 11
●●●●●●●●●●●●

· ·

the modem is not plugged into your telephone connection (see the modem’s manual for instructions), or someone else is currently using the phone (you cannot use the Internet and the telephone at the same time unless you have more than one telephone line or ISDN).

If you are still experiencing difficulties connecting to the net, go back to the dial-up networking window and right-click on the appropriate connection. In the appearing window, switch to the category ‘Server Types’ and check the settings. The dial-up server must be set to ‘PPP: Internet, Windows NT Server, Windows 98’. Of the options listed below, only two should be ticked: ‘enable software compression’ and ‘TCP/IP’. Make sure that they are selected. If any of the other options are ticked, unselect them. Finally, click on the button ‘TCP/IP settings’ and check whether the options ‘server assigned IP address’, ‘server assigned name server address’, ‘use IP header compression’ and ‘use default gateway on remote network’ are selected. If not, make the necessary changes. Close all windows by clicking on the ‘ok’ buttons and try again to establish an Internet connection.
This icon indicates an active Internet connection.

Hopefully, everything went well the first time. In that case, Windows will let you know that it has successfully established an Internet connection, and it will add an icon for the connection to your system tray. As long as this icon is present in the tray, you are connected to the Internet. Just to remind you: the Internet connection we have just set up works like a normal phone call and you are paying some sort of telephone fee for it. 3 Because you are paying for the connection, you should only keep it active as long as you need it. To disconnect from the Internet, rightclick on the icon in the system tray and select ‘disconnect’. In the following, we describe the region-specific details regarding Internet connections. Students living in the Netherlands The University of Maastricht has a contract with Enertel (an ISP) that allows us to offer Internet access all across the Netherlands. There is a common dial-up that enables you to connect to the Internet at the cost of a discounted phone call: you pay 10% less than the cost of a local call, no matter where you are calling from. This keeps your phone bill low. The dial-up number for the Netherlands is (06760) 88029. You will also need a user name and password to identify yourself when dialing in. Your user name is of the format Ixxxxxx@student.unimaas.nl, where ‘xxxxxx’ represents your six-digit ID number. So if your ID number happens to be 1234, your username would be

3

The actual fee depends on where you live and which ISP you use. Usually, the charge should be equal to or less than the normal rate for a local telephone call

12 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

I001234@student.unimaas.nl. Your password is a four-digit code that will be or has been mailed to you together with your student ID card.
Intranet A network that functions like the Internet, but that is accessible only to authorized persons that are directly connected to it.

Obviously, there are other ISPs in the Netherlands that offer the same service. Unfortunately, some of the services of our faculty require that you are directly connected to their network. Geeks say that this information is not available on the Internet, but on the Intranet. To use these services, you need to use Enertel or a PC in the SMR. Students living in Belgium Instead of dialing in to the Dutch phone number (which is rather expensive), you have two options. The UM has a partnership with the Limburgs Universitair Centrum in Diepenbeek to offer our students a local dial-up. However, this service is rather limited and slow, and you need to sign up for it. To learn more, you need to log on to the Internet and fill out the form at „ http://www.ica.unimaas.nl/projecten/dialup/aanvraagbelgie.html The second option is to use another provider. There are quite a number of ISPs available that you can reach throughout Belgium at the cost of a local phone call (or less). However, the quality of each provider is difficult to gauge and their service changes over time. It is therefore best if you take the time to sign up with several ISPs. In all cases, signing up is free and if you have trouble reaching a particular provider, you can always use another one. Each provider will tell you which phone number, user name and password to use once you have signed up. Below, we list some of the most popular ISPs in Belgium, together with their WWW address. Please be aware that the telephone charges can differ between the providers. For the most recent information, see their websites. INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS IN BELGIUM Tiscali Free VT 4.net Tijd.be Planet Freedom Go www.tiscali.be www.vt4.net services.tijd.com www.planetinternet.be

Intranet A network that functions like the Internet, but that is accessible only to authorized persons that are directly connected to it.

Note: unfortunately, some of the services of our faculty require that you are directly connected to their network. Geeks say that this information is not available on the Internet, but on the Intranet. To use these services, you will need to use a PC in the SMR.

General Topics: Getting Hooked Up 13
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Students living in Germany The University of Maastricht does not have any specific arrangements for students living in Germany. However, there is a plethora of ISPs in Germany that are available to the public at very competitive rates.
Least-Cost Router A tool that automatically connects you to the least expensive service currently available.

Probably the best solution is to download the Web.de SmartSurfer. This program is a so-called least-cost router: it finds the cheapest ISP that is currently available and connects you to it. To install SmartSurfer, visit www.web.de, click on ‘SmartSurfer’ and download the program.4 You can then install this program on your computer at home. Note: unfortunately, some of the services of our faculty require that you are directly connected to their network. Geeks say that this information is not available on the Internet, but on the Intranet. To use these services, you will need to use a PC in the SMR. Internet by cable (“Campus@Home”) Finally, if you already know that you will spend a lot of time on the Internet or if you desire a very fast connection (e.g. for viewing multimedia content or to engage in videoconferencing) you can apply for Internet by cable. This is a service offered by the University of Maastricht in cooperation with the local utility Nutsbedrijven Maastricht. Due to the technical requirements, this service is only available to households in Maastricht and a number of other communities in Dutch Limburg. (See the address below for more information.) It is also required that you have a cable TV connection in your household. If that is the case, you can have an Internet connection installed that is always on and rather fast. 5 Beyond the initial installation charge, you pay 23 € per month (including a price subsidy from the university) and you can share your connection with up to three more students. This is a flat rate: no matter how often, how long and how intensively you use the Internet, you will only pay this price. To be able to use this connection, your PC needs a network card, but no modem. If you do not have a network card, you can either buy one in a local store, or buy one from the utility.6 If you plan to use the connection together with other students, they too will need a network card and you will also need a hub, which you will have to buy separately. Please contact the ICT Service Center for additional information. Once everything is set up and your computer is connected to the hub or the cable modem, your Internet connection will be available as soon as you switch on your PC, every time.

Intranet A network that functions like the Internet, but that is accessible only to authorized persons that are directly connected to it.

4 5

The program is small enough to fit on a floppy disk, so you can easily download it elsewhere and transfer it to your PC. For the geeks, the guaranteed minimum speed is 256 kpbs, four times the speed of an ISDN line. 6 Nutsbedrijven Maastricht offers a network card for 24 € (80 € for laptops) and will install the card for you on the day the connection is set up.

14 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

For additional information, please visit the following web site. In order to sign up, you must be connected directly to the university network, either by using a PC in the SMR or by dialing in through Enertel as described under “Connecting over the telephone network: Students living in the Netherlands”. „ http://www.ica.unimaas.nl/projecten/campus/campus.html
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Image: size-isnt-everything.co.uk

THE WORLD WIDE WEB

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
This chapter is a basic introduction to Internet Explorer. If you have already worked with Explorer, you may want to skip ahead to the next chapter.

3. USING THE WWW
What is the WWW? Before we start to use the WWW, let us first discover what the World Wide Web is all about. The World Wide Web is a vast collection of information, which is intriguingly easy to use. In 1990, a computer scientist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Bern thought it would be useful to link documents. Say, you are reading an introductory text on economics on the WWW and you come across the term ‘equilibrium’. The author of the textbook may have anticipated that some of us have not come into contact with economics so far and therefore do not know what the term means. To help these people, he may have established a link between the term and another document that explains it. In a large number of cases, links on the Internet are words that are underlined and colored blue, like this example. If you see such a word, it means that it is linked to another document, and if you use your mouse to click on the word, this linked document will be displayed. So the reader of our introductory economics text could click on the word ‘equilibrium’ and see a short explanation that the author has provided. Once the reader has understood the term, he can then return to the original text. Obviously, links can be used for more than just the explanation of terms, and over the last years, people have come up with a variety of interesting uses. In this chapter, we will learn how to use a browser to read information on the Internet, discuss what an address on the Internet looks like, and discover how you can navigate the Internet using addresses and links. We will also see how we can keep track of the addresses of interesting pages and finally talk about the necessities for experiencing multimedia content on the net. Using a browser To retrieve information from the Internet and to display it on the screen, your computer needs one essential piece of software, a browser. The most popular browser to date is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer7 (a.k.a. IE, or simply Explorer). Internet Explorer is available for free and it is already installed on most Windows PCs, so you do not need to worry about buying or installing the software.

Browser Computer program that allows you to see the world wide web.

7

The three main competitors of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer are Netscape’s Navigator, which was the industry standard during the early years of the WWW, Mozilla Organization’s Mozilla, a direct offspring of Navigator, and Opera Software’s Opera. However, by now the majority of netizens uses Internet Explorer. Since there are (in some cases substantial) differences between the products, we will stick to Microsoft’s product. If you want to learn more about the competitors, visit home.netscape.com, www.mozilla.org and www.opera.com.

18 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

You can open Internet Explorer in a variety of ways. Most probably, there will be an icon on your desktop, which you need to double-click. You can also start Explorer from the ‘Programs’ section of the Start menu and from the quick launch bar. Once you launched Explorer, your ‘Start’ „ ‘Programs’ „ ‘Internet screen will look more or less like this: Explorer’

Note that there are a number of distinct areas on your screen: · The menu bar allows you access to some basic functions, such as saving and retrieving information from your PC, printing documents, changing the settings of Explorer and accessing its manual. · · The standard toolbar helps you in navigating the web. We will discuss the functions of the individual buttons in detail later on. Below that is the address bar, which tells you where you currently are. It also allows you to send Explorer to different locations by entering their address. Next is the most prominent area, which in our case is blank. This is where the actual Internet content will be displayed. Finally, there is a status bar that tells you what IE is doing at the moment.

· ·

The World Wide Web: Using the WWW 19
●●●●●●●●●●●●

The organization of the web Before we can start using Internet Explorer, we need to briefly discuss the structure of the WWW. Information on the world wide web is organized into pages. Each page on the web has an address so that you can find it. This address, also known as URL or Universal Resource URL Univ. Resource Locator The address of pages on the web. Locator, will look something like this: http://www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/ke/index.htm and has several components: The first part – http:// This part tells the computer how to retrieve the information. In this case, it tells him to use the HyperText Transfer Protocol. Other frequently used protocols are https, a more secure variant of http for use in online banking and shopping, and ftp, the File Transfer Protocol for direct access to files. The second part – www.fdewb.unimaas.nl This is the address of the computer. It has several subcomponents, which are always separated by a dot and are read from right to left. In our case, the first part is ‘nl’, which obviously stands for the Netherlands. It is followed by ‘unimaas’, the nickname of our university, ‘fdewb’, the acronym of our faculty, and finally ‘www’, which designates the computer of our faculty that distributes information to the WWW. The first part to the right (‘nl’) is also called the top-level domain. There are two different types of top-level domains: a) top-level domains for categories, and b) top-level domains for countries. The former consist of · .com – originally meant for commercial operations, but now used by almost everyone · .net – originally meant for telecom network operators, but this distinction is moot · .org – for non-profit organizations · .mil –for (American) military units · .edu – for American educational institutions Very recently, a whole new array of new domains has been added because sensible names were becoming scarce. Among the new domains are e.g. .info and .biz. Country-specific domains use two-letter combinations for all countries in the world. Besides .nl, there are .uk for England, .ie for Ireland, .fi for Finland, .se for Sweden, .no for Norway, .dk for Denmark, .de for Germany, .be for Belgium, .lu for Luxemburg, .fr for France, .at for Austria, .ch for Switzerland, .es for Spain, .pt for Portugal, .it for Italy, .gr for Greece, .pl for Poland, .ca for Canada, .au for Australia, .nz for

20 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

New Zealand and so forth.8 Some countries were pretty fortunate when they got their domains, such as Tuvalu, a tiny island nation in the south pacific that sold its .tv domain name to an American business that promotes TV shows.9 Also, in some cases domain names are given to non-state actors. Palestinians obtained the domain .ps and the European Union is currently trying to get their hands on .eu. To further confuse matters, some countries combine both types, e.g. Great Britain. These countries have addresses such as .co.uk for commercial activities in England, or .ac.uk for academic web pages. The remainder of the address, i.e. www.fdewb.unimaas in our example, can be freely chosen by the organization that is maintaining the website. Domain names are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. The third part – /ke/index.htm The last part of the address designates the exact page on the computer of our faculty. It consists of the directory name ‘/ke’ and the filename ‘index.htm’. Luckily, you will not need to remember all this when you surf the web. First of all, the first part can be discarded when it says ‘http://’. If you enter ‘www.unimaas.nl’ instead of ‘http://www.unimaas.nl’, your computer will add the ‘http://’ for you. Also, if the address ends with ‘index.htm’ or ‘index.html’, you usually can discard that, too. You will need to enter the beginning and end only if they differ from these values. This way, our original address shrinks to www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/ke. ‘Surfing’ to a page on the web So, how do you go about entering a web address? The most obvious way is to move your mouse pointer up to the address bar and click once. The current address will be highlighted, and if you start typing, it will be automatically erased and replaced with the new address you are entering. If you want to save yourself the effort of moving the mouse, you can just press c + O for ‘open’ and start typing away. Or you can use the T key. This will not always work, but in most of the cases, you will be able to enter the address after pressing the tab key once. At this point, we feel that we need to remind you that computers are ‘stupid’: they do what you tell them. This means that you will have to make sure you enter the address correctly. If just one letter or number is wrong, the computer will not be able to find the page you are looking for.

c + O

8 9

There is a domain for the U.S.A., .us, but it is almost never used. They can use the money: if global warming does happen, Tuvalu will be among the first island nations to be submerged by the rising oceans. The government is currently trying to buy land in Fiji and New Zealand for their inhabitants.

The World Wide Web: Using the WWW 21
●●●●●●●●●●●●

However, this is not the only thing that can go wrong. Sometimes, the remote computer to which you are surfing has been disconnected for some reason. There may be a power failure, or its line to the Internet was severed, or something else has gone wrong. Alternatively, someone may have deleted the page from that particular computer. In the former case, you can still hope to get your information when the computer has been reconnected to the net. In the latter case, your only hope is to find the same document elsewhere. Does this all sound really complicated? Well, don’t worry: in most cases you will not have to enter an address; instead you will be using links. We talked about them before: they make navigating the net very easy. Most commonly, a link will be a word or phrase, and when you click on it, it will most likely take you directly to another page. This saves you from actually entering the address of the next page. Links can be many things: words or phrases, a picture or a part of a picture, or a button. If they are a word or phrase, they are usually highlighted in some way. Traditionally, the way to indicate a link was to underline word and print it in blue color, like this phrase here.

Tons of links: the homepage of Yahoo!

Your mouse pointer turns into a hand when it is above a link.

However, some web pages prefer to give their links another appearance so that they are more pleasing to the eye. In the vast majority of the cases, you will be able to intuitively recognize the links on a page. It may be a bit more difficult with pictures. Almost always, clickable pictures will look just like ordinary pictures. However, there is another telltale sign which indicates that you have found a link: your mouse pointer changes its shape so that it looks like a hand.

22 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Why don’t you go and try it: 1) open the Internet Explorer, 2) click on the address bar and 3) enter www.yahoo.com.10 This will take you to Yahoo!, a famous directory of web sites. Here, millions of pages on the WWW are sorted according to their category. If you e.g. want to find out about a country, you would go to Yahoo, click on ‘countries’ under the category ‘regional’, then select the country you are interested in and take it from there. Useful buttons Internet Explorer has a number of functions to help you navigate the Internet: The ‘back’ and ‘forward’ button let you revisit pages that you just left. Let’s say you read an interesting article a couple of minutes ago, and you want to go back to it to write down some information. You do not need to remember the address; you can use the ‘back’ button to chronologically revisit all the sites that you have just visited. You can then use the ‘forward’ button to go back to the page that you are currently reading.11 The ‘reload’ button causes Internet Explorer to download the current page again. This is useful when you suspect that the page has changed in the meantime (e.g. because it contains news), or when the page did not load appropriately (e.g. some of the images are not displayed correctly etc.). It is also useful if your computer uses its cached copy of the page, i.e. if he has archived the page and is using this archived copy instead of the real page. Clicking ‘reload’ will cause your PC to forget the archived copy and display the current page from the Internet. Not surprisingly, the ‘stop’ button forces IE to stop whatever it is currently doing. Downloading information from the web Links can do a number of things: besides taking you to a new page, their second most frequent use is to transfer a file to your computer. This is called downloading. Let’s assume that your statistics lecturer put the slides from his last lecture “on the net”. In that case, you will be able to get hold of them by visiting the course homepage and clicking on the appropriate link. For most file types, your computer will ask you whether you want to open the file or save it to a disk, and if you choose the latter, it will also ask you where to save it.
10

The ‘back’ and ‘forward’ buttons.

The ‘reload’ button Cache An archive of recently information, so that the information does not need to be downloaded from the net again. Pro: fast access to information, con: may yield outdated information. The ‘stop’ button

If you are reading the electronic version of this document, you can simply click on the blue, underlined link. This will accomplish all three steps for you without the need to lift another finger. 11 This will not work for sites that rely on your interaction. You will see an appropriate error message in such cases.

The World Wide Web: Using the WWW 23
●●●●●●●●●●●●

In some cases, your computer may be a bit eager to open the file. This is frequently the case with Microsoft Office files, such as Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. For these files, simply clicking on their link will not allow you to save the file. Instead, you need to right-click on the link. A small menu will appear that features a ‘Save target as’ option. A collection of your favorite websites Now, let’s assume that you like a certain page a lot – you visit it regularly to see if new content has been added, or you would like to keep its address safe for future reference. In that case, you could obviously write down its address (which you will find in the address bar) on a sheet of paper and keep it in a safe place. However, some web addresses are extremely long, and as we mentioned earlier, you must get them exactly right. Physically writing them down may not be the most reliable way to archive such addresses. Fortunately, there is a better way: you can bookmark the page. To do so, go to the page that you want to bookmark and use your mouse to click on ‘Favorites’ „‘Add to favorites’ on the menu bar. You will then have the opportunity to enter a description for the page. Once you click ‘ok’, Internet Explorer will save both your description and the address of your web page for future reference.

‘Favorites’ „ ‘Add to favorites…’

You can always come back to it by clicking on ‘Favorites’ again, locating the appropriate description and – you guessed it! – clicking on it. Voilà! There is only one caveat: because bookmarks are stored locally on the PC that you are working on, you will only be able to use them reliably on your own PC at home. If you create bookmarks on a PC in the SMR, you would need to return to the same computer to retrieve them – and even that does not guarantee success as all information on SMR PCs is regularly deleted.

24 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

A record of your recent discoveries Finally, your browser also keeps a log of the websites that you visited. You can access your browser’s history in two different ways. When you start typing an address, a list of pages with similar addresses will be displayed.

c + H

If you recognize the page you want, you do not need to type the whole address: once the page shows up in the list, click on its name. If you no longer remember the address, but do remember the day you saw the page, you can still find the page. Click on the ‘history’ button on the toolbar, select the day you last visited that page, and Internet Explorer will give you a complete list of all pages you saw that day. Getting at the good stuff Originally, web pages were rather boring things: they could include text, pictures and links, but that was it. However, their advantage is that they can also be a container for other types of media, such as animated movies, live sound, interactive text or games. It is as if you could insert a small TV screen into a book. However, your browser will not understand these things on its own – you need to teach him how to use it by ‘plugging-in’ (or installing) the appropriate software. Below, we provide you with a list of plug-ins that you can install from the Internet for free. While the majority of web pages does not require any of these goodies to be installed, it is usually the most entertaining and informative websites that rely on them. If you want to do some serious surfing on the net, be sure to install all of the following. Shockwave & Flash Both are tools that allow your computer to display interactive menus, animated shows, and games. But be warned: if a web site offers you the choice between HTML (regular Internet style) or Flash (interactive geewhiz style), the latter will usually take longer to download – if you are in a hurry or have a slow connection to the Internet, you may want to opt for HTML. Both Shockwave and Flash are definite must-haves, and on some computers they are already preinstalled. Visit Macromedia’s website to download the newest Shockwave player, which also includes the most recent Flash player. „ http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/

The World Wide Web: Using the WWW 25
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Real One Player, Windows Media Player and QuickTime These three competing applications all serve to watch short movies or live TV, listen to the radio over the Internet and play the now omnipresent MP3s. While most of the bigger web sites will allow you to choose which player you would like to use, smaller sites will not give you this option. If you want to be prepared for any eventuality, make sure that you have all three of them ready. Real Player (choose the free ‘real one’ player) „ www.real.com

Windows Media Player „ www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/en/download/ Apple Quicktime „ www.apple.com/quicktime/download

By the way, do not get your hopes up with regard to the quality of Internet audio and video, especially if you connect to the Internet over a phone line. Usually, the video that you will see will be small, rather fuzzy and may sometimes look like a series of individual photos instead of a real movie. Adobe Acrobat Reader Many publishers choose to post larger pieces of writing to the web in Adobe’s Portable Document Format (PDF). Not only are these documents small in size and convenient to use, they also allow publishers to safeguard them against improper use. Because it is usually the most interesting documents that are published in PDF format, it pays to install Acrobat Reader, a program that enables you to read these documents. You can download it at „ www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html WinZip Downloads over the Internet take time – the larger the file, the longer you will have to wait. Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the most file’s size for their journey over the Internet. The leading software that allows you to compress files before sending them and uncompress files after receiving them is WinZip. You can download it here: „ www.winzip.com/download.htm
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
In this chapter, we discuss two ways of locating information on the web: directories and search engines.

4. FINDING INFORMATION ON THE WEB
The most obvious advantage of the Internet is that it contains so much useful information. The two most obvious disadvantages are that it contains even more useless information and that it is tricky to get at the good stuff. If you ever hope to find anything on the Internet, you need to know how to search for information efficiently. To find something on the net, you can make use of two different types of services: directories and search engines. Directories A directory works like the Yellow Pages: you browse through the directory to find the category you are looking for. The directory will then give you a listing of web sites with related information. There are a number of different directories. Since their listings overlap only partially, it may be useful to check more than one. The best-known directory is probably Yahoo!, which by now is much more than just a directory. Next to that, there are About.com, the Google Web Directory, the Open Directory Project and the Digital Librarian. There also is a directory aimed especially at the Dutch part of the Internet: NL-Menu. INTERNET DIRECTORIES Yahoo! About.com Google Directory Open Directory Project Digital Librarian NL-Menu www.yahoo.com www.about.com directory.google.com dmoz.org www.digital-librarian.com www.nl-menu.nl

An example: let’s assume you want to plan your vacation to Toulon in the southeast of France. To find more information, you might go to www.yahoo.com and take the following path12: 1. You may start out by clicking on ‘countries’ (under the ‘regional’ heading). 2. You would then select ‘France’. (There will be a number behind each name, indicating the total amount of sites in that category.) 3. Next, you could go for ‘travel’. (The @ behind the keyword tells you that there will be further subcategories.)

@ is used and pronounced like the word ‘at’.

12

There are several equally valid ways to get the information because several paths can lead to the same results.

28 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

4. You could then go on by clicking on ‘regions’ and ‘ProvencesAlpes-Cote-d’Azur’ if that’s where you wanted to go. You would then find information on car rentals, local guides, information on lodging, maps, tour operators and the like. Search Engines There is a huge amount of Information on the WWW, which puts the directories at a disadvantage: to categorize a web page, someone working for Yahoo! or any of the other directories must actually go to the page, read it and classify it. This is a gargantuan task and it is not possible to cover more than a miniscule part of the web. Search engines are better off: a search engine simply stores and indexes the content of each web page that it finds. You can then go to the search engine and type in the term that you look for. The leading search engine is Google. There is competition, but using Google has one huge advantage: Google uses a patented technique that ranks pages according to their popularity on the WWW. In its search results, popular pages will be listed first, which makes their search results more useful. By now, Google provides its search engine to a number of other companies, among them Yahoo! Because Google is by far the most useful search engine, we will focus on it. Once you know how to work with Google, you should have no problems using any of the other search engines, although their results will be structured differently. INTERNET SEARCH ENGINES Google Teoma AltaVista Lycos WebCrawler HotBot FAST www.google.com www.teoma.com www.altavista.com www.lycos.com www.webcrawler.com www.hotbot.com www.alltheweb.com

Continuing our example from above, let’s assume that you are looking for a cheap place to stay in Toulon or its surroundings. To find such information, you would surf to www.google.com and enter an appropriate expression in the text field. You could e.g. search for a ‘youth hostel’, ‘hostel’, ‘lodging’, ‘backpackers’ or ‘bed and breakfast’ in ‘Toulon’, ‘Toulon surrounding’, ‘area Toulon’ or the ‘Cote d’Azur’. You could try any combination of the above, such as ‘youth hostel Toulon’, or ‘lodging Cote d’Azur’, or you could use any other terms you can think of. The effectiveness of your search will vary greatly depending on your choice of words, so you need to use words that are highly likely to show up on the web page that you are looking for. E.g. it is highly likely that a youth hostel in Toulon features the words ‘hostel’ and ‘Toulon’ on its web page. You might

The World Wide Web: Finding Information on the Web 29
●●●●●●●●●●●●

want to include French terms in your search, e.g. ‘auberge de jeunesse’ instead of ‘youth hostel’. Below, we have listed a number of different queries, together with a short overview regarding the quantity and quality of the results.
Query lodging Toulon backpackers Toulon hostel Toulon surrounding youth hostel cote d'azur bed and breakfast southeast France auberge de jeunesse Toulon auberge de jeunesse cote d'azur No. of results 2,310 11 21 201 5,780

Comments
Yields mostly hotels, not hostels Yields mostly travel reports, not hostels Yields mostly travel reports, not hostels Highly effective, yields a number of accommodations in the area Yields hostels, but surprisingly not in France but in the US and Great Britain Highly effective, yields youth hostels in a number of cities called Toulon Highly effective for youth hostels in the whole area, including hostels in Toulon

152 234

As you can see, the difference in results can be quite big. Sometimes, the results are clearly not what you are looking for. E.g. ‘backpackers Toulon’ yields only a handful of web pages, and all of them are pretty much useless for our purposes. ‘Lodging Toulon’ on the other hand yields a large number of pages, and a youth hostel is not among the first ones. It might be among the later entries, but who has the time to check all 5,780 of them? In both cases, you would need to run a new search. In the first case, you simply need to rephrase your search, while in the second case you would have to narrow the results. Now it is time to look at the results in greater detail. Let’s assume we have searched for ‘auberge de jeunesse Toulon’, then the following would have been Google’s reply:

Google Query ‘auberge de jeunesse Toulon’

30 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Google tells you several things. Directly under the header, it tells you that “"de" is a very common word and was not included in your search”. This will happen with any words that show up on almost all pages, such as articles (‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’), conjunctions (‘and’, ‘or’) and some of the more common prepositions (such as ‘of’); this is obviously valid for all major Internet languages. Try searching for ‘het’ or ‘und’ and you will have plenty to read.13 Google then repeats what you wanted to search for: “Searched the web for auberge de jeunesse Toulon”. Note that some of the words are links, clicking on them will yield a dictionary definition of the word. Google also tells you how many pages it found and which of them are currently on your screen: “Results 1 - 10 of about 152.” Obviously, Google will always show you the most relevant results first, but after you have clicked on ‘next’ (page) for a couple of times, it may be useful to know if you are looking at results 41-50 or 71-80. Also, the total results may be a bit imprecise. Google usually tries to get the first three digits right and replaces the rest with zeros. Now comes the interesting part, the individual page results:
UNAT - Recherche par région - Bourgogne - [ Translate this page ] ... Beuvray, Yonne. Auberge de Jeunesse, Vezelay, centre vacances d'enfants. Saône-et-Loire. Centre Jean Macé, Serrières, Marcel Poulain - VVL de Pierrefitte, Toulon-sur ... www.unat.asso.fr/f/region/BOURGOGNE/infos.html - 15k - Cached - Similar pages

The blue part is the title of the page, clicking on it will take you to that page. If the page is in French, German, Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, you can request an automated translation. The quality of the translation depends on a number of factors and may vary a great deal, but you should be able to understand what the page is all about. What follows is a short excerpt from the page to show you where your search terms were found. The words you were looking for are printed boldface. Sometimes it is hard to make sense of the excerpt because it is limited to only two lines. But in our case we can fathom that this probably is not what we were looking for: it does not look like the description of a youth hostel. Instead of going to the page, we would check out some of the other results. The address of the page is displayed in green. Finally, there are two more options. If you tried to visit the page, but you cannot get to the page (e.g. because it was deleted or because the server is too slow), you can click on ‘cached’. ‘Cached’ means that Google has kept a copy of the page from its last visit in its archive, the cache. Clicking on ‘cached’ will then get you the (possibly outdated) copy from
13

For the curious: the former yields ca. 18,300,000 while the latter yields approximately 93,100,000 results.

The World Wide Web: Finding Information on the Web 31
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Google’s archive instead of the real page. The other option (‘similar pages’) does exactly what it says. If that page was exactly what you were looking for and you want more results like this, click on ‘similar pages’. Now, if you are not entirely satisfied with the results of your search, you may want to refine your search a bit. Here are a few tricks: · By default, Google looks for each word individually. E.g. if you search for ‘youth hostel’, it may find a document that says ‘youth’ somewhere and ‘hostel’ somewhere else. If you want to force Google to look for ‘youth hostel’, but not for ‘youth’ and ‘hostel’ separately, enclose your search term in quotation marks: "youth hostel". · If Google refuses to search for a word because it is too common, such as ‘de’ in ‘auberge de jeunesse’, you can force it to include the word. To do so, place a plus-sign in front of the word: auberge +de jeunesse. If you want to avoid pages containing a certain word, you can force Google to kick them out. Remember that looking for ‘bed and breakfast southeast France’ resulted in B&Bs in Great Britain? Well, we can try to avoid this by writing bed and breakfast southeast France -uk. Finally, if you want to refine your search further, visit the advanced search page of Google at „ http://www.google.com/advanced_search.html

·

·

Finally, if you are planning on doing some serious research using the Internet, you might want to check out the following (free) tools. The Google Toolbar If you have this toolbar installed, you will not need to visit www.google.com anymore: you can start your search wherever you are. Also, you have easier access to some of their advanced functions. „ www.google.com/options/toolbar.html Copernic 2001 This handy little tool checks 80 different search engines simultaneously, saving you a lot of time and effort. Duplicate results are removed and results are ranked according to relevance. „ http://www.copernic.com/products/copernic/basic/

32 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Cogitum Co-Citer If you plan to use information from the Internet for a paper or essay, you will need to provide accurate references. With this tool, you can keep track of all the pages that you think are interesting and archive their exact content, address, comments etc. „ www.cogitum.com/co-tracker-text/
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
This chapter briefly discusses three common security risks: loopholes in the security of your browser, viruses and deliberate cracking attempts. Unsafe behavior is also discussed. Novices should familiarize themselves with these issues.

5. SECURITY ON THE INTERNET
Security on the Internet is a big issue. A number of people have found clever ways to damage or destroy data on your computer, of spying on you while you surf the net, and of committing various other forms of mischief. First, we discuss three common security problems: loopholes in your browser, viruses and targeted intrusion attempts. We then discuss ‘unsafe’ behavior both at home and when using public Internet access. Browser loopholes Java & JavaScript Java & its small brother JavaScript are programming languages in which some of the interactive features of the Internet are written. Usually, this would not need to concern you – but thanks to some loopholes it is also possible to use these languages to create havoc on your PC. In the worst case, this can affect the operation of your computer. While there is no absolute security, you can avoid unnecessary problems by setting the security settings of Internet Explorer to a high level (see below). ActiveX ActiveX components are basically programs for Microsoft Windows PCs. They are more dangerous than e.g. JavaScript components because they have a lot of rights: an ActiveX program could theoretically erase your entire hard disk. To achieve at least a certain level of security, set Internet Explorer to give you a warning when ActiveX components are activated. This way, you can choose whether to stop the process or not. Usually, sites will warn you if they use an ActiveX component, and they will tell you what it is used for. If you encounter an ActiveX component unexpectedly or if you do not trust the site, you should not run the component. Cookies Cookies are small bits of information saved on your computer to identify you. Usually, when you visit a website you are more or less anonymous – there is no easy or cheap alternative for the other side to find out who you are (unless of course you tell them). But using cookies, they have the opportunity to save an identifying number on your computer. When you visit the website again, the other side still does not know who you are, but they do know that you have been there already and they may still know what you did when you visited the last time. E.g. if you go to an online bookstore, they may use a cookie and keep track of the books that you apparently find interesting. The next time you drop by, they know a little bit about your taste and may be able to give you better advice. Some, however, do not like the idea that companies are “tracking their

34 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

every move”. You can direct Internet Explorer not to use cookies (see below), but some websites depend on them and will not work if you switch them off. Adjusting the Internet Explorer security settings
‘Tools’ „ ‘Internet Options…’

All of the above threats can be limited by making a few adjustments to the security settings of your browser. To do so, select ‘Tools’ from the menu bar, click on ‘Internet Options’ and switch from the ‘General’ tab to the ‘Security’ tab. Now you can change the security settings for sites in the Internet zone. This includes all sites on the Internet.

There are four default levels: high, medium, medium-low, and low. (If you cannot see the slider, click on the ‘default level’ button.) The latter two settings are not recommended under any circumstances; they are meant for web sites that you absolutely trust. You should go either for the medium or high security settings. When choosing your level of security, you need to balance security and functionality: at higher security settings, you will be able to enjoy less interactive features. The medium setting probably offers the best tradeoff. You will still be able to enjoy most of the sites, but you will be asked for permission when any hazardous content is encountered, and ActiveX controls that have not been reviewed by a certified authority will not be executed. The highsecurity setting is usually only necessary when you are on a website which you expect to have harmful content. Viruses Unfortunately, there are more hazards on the Internet. Among them are viruses, which you probably know from the newspapers. Viruses are computer programs that do harm to the data and programs on your computer or abuse your PC in some other way. A typical virus might e.g. delete your hard disk, causing you to lose all you documents and forcing you to reinstall all software on your computer. Obviously, no one would let a virus on his or her computer willingly, so they try to “sneak in”, e.g. by hiding in other, useful computer programs. Particularly when you are downloading data from the Internet, there is no way of knowing whether the programs you are receiving are not possibly infected. So it is crucial that do not simply start or open them once you have finished the download. Instead, you need to check them for viruses.

The World Wide Web: Security on the Internet 35
●●●●●●●●●●●●

To do so, you need to get a virus scanner. Maastricht University has licensed a well-known virus scanner for all its staff and students, so you do not need to buy one. You can download your copy (which is guaranteed to be virus-free) from the Internet. Just follow these steps: 1. Send your browser to http://licentie1.unimaas.nl 2. Read the license agreement and click on ‘I agree’ 3. Select ‘virus detectie’ from the ‘type software’ category 4. In the list that shows up on your screen, select the version of McAfee VirusScan with the highest version number that is available for your operating system and click on the corresponding ‘download’ link. Do be able to do this, you need to be connected directly to the university network: either dial in using Enertel or use a cable modem (see chapter 2). If you cannot do so, you can still obtain a copy of the virus scanner, together with other useful software, on CD-ROM from the ICT service center for 9 €. Once you have installed the scanner, it is important to stay up to date with the recent developments. New viruses are released every day, so to keep protected you need to update your virus scanner regularly. Your new virus scanner will update itself automatically right after the installation, but you may need to update it manually afterwards. To update your scanner, connect to the Internet and then go to ‘Programs’ on your Start menu. From there, select ‘Network Associates’, and then ‘VirusScan Console’. In the window that appears, there is a list of tasks, one of them is labeled ‘AutoUpdate’. You can either update your scanner once by right-clicking on AutoUpdate and then on ‘Start’ in the list that appears, or you can ask it to update itself periodically. To do so, click on AutoUpdate and then on the ‘Properties’ button. Select ‘Schedule’ in the window that appears, make sure that ‘Enable’ is ticked and then select an interval for the periodic update. You should update it at least once a month, but it may be a better idea to update your scanner once a week – especially if you are frequently downloading information from the net. Cracking (more commonly known as hacking) While you are on the Internet, some people may try to electronically ‘enter your computer’ in an effort to do harm. This danger is particularly big for persons whose computer is connected to the Internet via a cable modem, because these computers are always on the Internet and therefore give potential intruders more time. To protect yourself from such attempts, you can install a firewall on your computer. A firewall acts like a guardian: it checks whether information sent to your computer over the Internet is legitimate. It also restrains some forms of viruses or ‘spy software’ that may be trying to send information from your computer without your consent.

36 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Probably the best firewall available can be obtained for free from Zonelabs. You can download it here: „ www.zonelabs.com/products/za/ What can I do when I am not surfing at home? When you are not using the Internet in the relative security of your own home, you need to be aware of some additional risks. First of all, when you happen to use certain email services such as Hotmail, always be sure to ‘sign out’ when you are done reading your mails. After signing out, close all windows Internet Explorer may have opened. The same holds for online banking activities or anything of similar importance. Not signing out and closing Internet Explorer may enable some people to read your email, gain information from your bank account etc. Beyond that, the largest risk comes from more mundane sources: simple spying. Be aware that people may be reading what you are typing on the screen. If you want to enter information that you would not want to be publicly known, you should not use public computers. This holds especially for information that is easily abused, such as credit card numbers and the like. What can I do when I am surfing at home? Surfing at home gives you more privacy, however it does not protect you from more elaborate attempts at spying. Because of the way the Internet is built, information between your computer and e.g. Hotmail or the computer of your bank is highly likely to travel through a number of other computers owned by public and private organizations. When it does, people at these organizations will be theoretically able to read this information. That’s why sensitive information should be encoded. When you are e.g. shopping on the Internet, make sure that you are sending your payment details over an encrypted connection. Usually, Internet shops will automatically switch on encryption, but some will let you choose between unencoded transmission and encrypted transmission. The latter may be referred to as an SSL connection or SSL encryption. You can check whether your information is really going over a secure connection by looking at the status bar of your Internet Explorer. If you find a closed lock symbol displayed there, then your data is being encoded before it is transmitted over the net. Be aware that some forms of encryption are less safe than others, e.g. if they use a rather simple code. You can check what kind of code your Internet Explorer uses by clicking on ‘Help’ in the menu bar and then on ‘About Internet Explorer’.

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) A protocol that protects private information by encrypting it.

The World Wide Web: Security on the Internet 37
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Internet Explorer will reveal the strength of the cipher used in the encoding process in the window that appears. This value should be no less than 128 bit, a reasonably safe value at the time this manual was published (July 2002). If it is less than 128 bit, click on the ‘update information’ link.
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Image: size-isnt-everything.co.uk

EMAIL

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
In this chapter, we will help you set up your PC at home to send and receive emails. If you do not own a PC or if you do not intend to use it for email, you can skip this chapter.

6. SETTING UP YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNT
Long before the WWW existed, people were already sending each other electronic mails, or emails, over the Internet. Besides the world wide web, email is the most useful service on the net. In some ways, it is similar to the normal postal service, with the important difference that it is much faster and decidedly cheaper. In the following, we will first describe how you can enable your computer to send and receive email. This chapter is only relevant for you if you want to use your own computer at home to send emails. Otherwise, you can skip ahead to the next chapter. How does email work? In one way, emails are just like normal letters: they require a mailbox. Your mailman needs a place were he can deposit your mail in your absence and so does the Internet. On the Internet, your mail account has this function. It works very much like a P.O. box at your local post office since your mail account is not on your private computer. Emails can be sent to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, and to receive them, your mail account must be available around the clock. If it were on your own computer, you could not switch your computer off without running the risk of missing a few emails. This is why your mail account, probably with hundreds or thousands of others, is located in a powerful computer (called server) that is always available. The University of Maastricht operates several of these computers to take care of the electronic mail of roughly 10,000 students and approximately 4,000 staff members. The analogy does not end here: every time you feel like it, you can ‘drop by’ your mail account to see if you have new mail, and while you are there you can also mail the letters that you have written. Most of this is completely automated: you only need to tell your computer once where he can find your mail account and where he is supposed to post the emails you have written. Setting your PC up to receive email In the following, we will walk you through the one-time installation necessary to make your PC email-ready. Our university uses Microsoft Outlook, and we will assume that you have Outlook installed on your PC. Since Outlook is a commercial program, you will have to buy a copy. (Unless of course Microsoft Outlook was included when you bought your computer.) You can obtain a copy of Outlook at a steeply

Mail account Your mailbox on the Internet.

Mail server A computer with a permanent internet connection that processes incoming and/or outgoing emails.

42 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

reduced price from the ICT service center. If you do not want to spend money on software, you can use Microsoft Outlook Express, the tiny brother of Microsoft Outlook. Outlook Express is available for free and is automatically installed with any recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer – the overwhelming majority of PCs will already have a copy. And while Outlook Express lacks most of the advanced functions that come with Outlook, all general functions are pretty similar. Pretty much everything that we are about to say about Outlook is also valid for Outlook Express. You can start Outlook by double-clicking on its icon on the desktop, or if the icon was removed you will still be able to find Outlook in the ‘Programs’ section of the Start menu or in Windows’ quick launch bar. If you are starting Outlook the very first time, it will automatically ask you whether you want to set up an email account. If you have used Outlook before, you will need to click on ‘Tools’ on the menu bar, and then click on ‘Accounts’. In the following window, click on ‘Add’, then ‘Mail’. Outlook will then guide you through the process of connecting to your mail account. In the first step, you need to enter your own name.

Launch Microsoft Outlook. ‘Start’ „ ‘Programs’ „ ‘Microsoft Outlook’ ‘Tools’ „ ‘Accounts…’

When you send someone an email, he or she will see the name that you enter here. In the second step, you need to type in your email address.

Your exact email address will be included in the letter that contains your student ID card. Be sure to enter it exactly as it appears on this letter. People that want to reply to your emails will automatically use this address; they will not be able to reach you if it is incorrect. Once you are done with your personal details, you need to tell Outlook where to fetch your incoming mail, and where to post your outgoing messages. This is done in the third step. The first question is what type of server you are using: you will be using an IMAP server, not a POP server. The address for the incoming mail is mail012.unimaas.nl, the address for outgoing mail is mail001.unimaas.nl.

In the fourth step, Outlook wants to know your username and password.

Email: Setting Up Your Email Account 43
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Both are included in the letter that accompanies your student ID card. Keep your password safe to avoid abuse. If you are fairly confident that no one will abuse your PC, tick ‘Remember password’. If you do this, Outlook will be able to automatically collect your mail. In the final step, you need to tell Outlook how you are connecting to the Internet. If you use a modem and a phone line, choose ‘connect using my phone line’; if you use a cable modem, choose ‘connect using my local area network (LAN)’. That’s it, you are done!
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
This chapter tells you everything you need to know about sending emails.

7. SENDING & RECEIVING EMAILS
Sending emails Now it is time to send your first email message. But before we start, a quick warning: almost everything described below will work on almost any PC that has an Internet connection. But there are some small, but significant differences between your PC at home, PCs in the SMR and other computers. These differences are described in the section ‘if you are not using your own PC’ on p. 50. If you are not working on your own PC, be sure to read up on that section. To send your first email, click on the ‘new email’ button in the toolbar, or select ‘File’, ‘New’, ‘Mail message’ from the menu bar. If you are too lazy to use the mouse, you can also press c + N. A new window will open to receive your input. Besides the obligatory toolbar, it features three fields plus a large area for writing your message.

‘File’ „ ‘New’ „ ‘Mail message’ Creates a new message.

c + N

A window for writing new messages

‘To:’, the first field, is supposed to contain the address of the recipient. For now, we assume that you know his email address. Email addresses always have the same form: j.smeets@ke.unimaas.nl You will already be familiar with the latter part, ke.unimaas.nl, from chapter 3. It is some computer on the Internet. The former part then identifies the person you are contacting. The @ is pronounced ‘at’. To translate this computer shorthand: you are writing to J. Smeets at the department of Quantitative Economics (Kwantitatieve Economie = KE), University of Maastricht, the Netherlands. It is crucial that you get the email address right. Computers are not as smart as mailmen: if the address is not exactly correct, the computer will simply return your mail with ‘undeliverable’ stamped all over it. In order to help you avoid mistakes, here are a few rules: · Email addresses never contain any spaces, so it will always be

@ is used and pronounced like the word ‘at’.

46 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

‘someguy@somewhere.com’, instead of ‘some guy@somewhere.com’. · Email addresses contain letters, numbers, dashes (‘-’), underscores (‘_’) and dots (‘.’) – umlauts, accents and the like are not accepted. It would be ‘Mr.Mueller@germany.de’, not ‘Mr.Müller@germany.de’. It does not matter whether the address is in upper- or lowercase. ‘THIS@someplace.net’ is the same as ‘this@someplace.net’. You will always find at least two bits of information after the @, and they are separated by a dot. ‘j.smeets@unimaas.nl’ may be a valid address, but ‘j.smeets@unimaas’, ‘j.smeets@nl’ and ‘j.smeets@unimaas_nl’ are not.

· ·

We will defer discussion of the ‘cc’-line for later and directly turn to the ‘subject’-line. In emails, just like in business letters, it is custom to inform the recipient of the subject of the message before going into detail. But this line is much more important when writing emails than when writing letters: when the recipient gets your email, the only thing he will see at first will be your name, the subject of your email and when you wrote it. Based on this information, he will decide whether to open it immediately, read it later or even delete it unread. If you want your message to be treated well, make up a sensible subject-line. The actual email goes into the big white space that covers most of the window. Once you are done writing your mail, clicking on the ‘send’ button will, well, send the email. Actually, it will send the email if you are connected to the Internet. If not, the email will be placed in the outbox, where it will stay peacefully until you are hooked up to the net again. Some advanced concepts Sending email to multiple recipients If you want to send the message to more than one person, you have two choices. You can either enter all of the addresses in the ‘to’-line, in which case you would need to separate them with a semicolon (‘;’). To illustrate: ‘jan@hotmail.com; anneke@hotmail.com’.
CC (Carbon Copy) Persons in this field get a copy of the email, but are not the actual addressees of an email.

Alternatively, you can enter some of the addresses in the ‘cc’-line. Technically, it does not make a difference where you put the addresses. The two lines are mainly used to differentiate between persons to whom the email is addressed and any other persons that receive a copy for their information only. So if you want to write an email to your tutor to complain about unfair grading and you want your classmates to have a copy, you would put your tutor’s address in the ‘to’-line and your classmates’ addresses in the ‘cc’-line.

Email: Sending & Receiving Emails 47
●●●●●●●●●●●●

BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) In function just like the CC-field, but the addresses listed here will not be visible in the email. ‘View’ „ ‘BCC field’

What most probably is not in your window is the ‘bcc’-line. You can get it by selecting ‘View’ in your email window, and then clicking on ‘BCC Field’. The ‘bcc’-line has a special function: it creates blind copies. People in this line will receive a copy, but their addresses will show up nowhere. In our previous example: if you put the tutor’s address in the ‘to’-line and your classmates’ addresses in the ‘bcc’-line, then your tutor will never know that everyone else in the group got a copy. To him, it will look as if he was the only recipient. Sneaky! Message sensitivity and priority

When you send an email, you may want to give the recipient some additional information on how to deal with it. You can obviously mention in the email that you urgently await a reply, but that presupposes that the recipient reads to that point. What if she simply puts your email aside, thinking that she will read it over the weekend? You can avoid this by marking your email as urgent. This will usually ensure that your email is displayed more prominently on the computer of the This button marks your message recipient. The opposite is also possible: you can let the recipient know as urgent. that she can take her time. Marking the importance of your email is simple: click on the button for low or high importance in the toolbar of This button turns your email into your email. High importance is represented by a red exclamation mark while a blue, downward-pointing arrow represents low importance. a low priority-message. A similar mechanism exists for the sensitivity of a message. If you click on the ‘options’ button on the toolbar of your email, you can place your email in one of four categories: ‘normal’, ‘personal’, ‘private’ or ‘confidential’. However, you should not rely on this tool too much: some email applications do not display this information on the screen, or they display it in such a way that the recipient may not see or recognize it. If you feel that the information you are sending is confidential, you may want to take other precautions as well. Further delivery options Let’s turn to the message options of your email again. (You can get there by clicking the ‘options’ button in your email window.) One option reads ‘have replies sent to’. You can use this e.g. if you are writing from one email address, but the recipient should use another email address to contact you.

The advanced message settings can be found here…

Another option allows you to time the delivery of messages. You may e.g. prepare a birthday email to a friend and ask the computer not to mail it before the actual birth date.

48 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

The next option conveys additional information to the recipient: if the message contains information about a meeting on Wednesday evening, the information will be useless by Thursday morning. In that case, you can cause the message to expire on Thursday. Depending on the computer of the recipient, the message may be automatically deleted on Thursday, or it may be marked as being of low importance.

Finally, you may request a ‘read receipt’ for the message. In this case, you ask the computer of the recipient to send you a confirmation when your email has been opened. However, you should not expect too much from this: most of the computers do not process such requests. Those computers that do process the request usually ask their user if he actually wants to send this receipt. (Most people do not.) All in all, you will get a receipt in 5% of the cases when the mail has been opened. Not getting a receipt therefore does not imply that your email was not read. Conversely, getting a read receipt only means that your email has been opened, but it does not guarantee that the recipient actually read it. Including files in your email You may want to include files when you send an email, e.g. when you email the minutes from the last group session to the rest of the group. This is called ‘sending an attachment’, or ‘attaching’. To attach a file to your email, click on the paperclip button. You will then be able to select the file or files that you want to send. Before you start emailing files, consider this: the recipient will spend considerable time downloading the files that you send him. Please make sure that it is worth it by 1. keeping files as small as possible. If possible, compress files by using WinZip (see p. 25) before sending them. 2. sending files only when necessary. Do not just send everything that you like to all of your friends. Also, you should describe what it is that you are sending. Many people send emails saying “here’s the file” or “found something funny – have a look!” This practice is not only annoying, it can also be dangerous.14 Receiving emails Receiving emails is easy. Outlook will check your email account for new messages in regular intervals (every 15 minutes by default; if you want to speed up the process, click on the ‘send/receive’ button). If there are
14

Insert files into your email using this button.

There are viruses that spread themselves by sending equally non-committal emails. By sending files without a clear description, make the viruses’ job easier.

Email: Sending & Receiving Emails 49
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Click on this icon to see a list with your emails.

new messages, Outlook will notify you by making a sound and by placing an icon depicting a letter in the system tray. To read such messages, click on the ‘mail012.unimaas.nl - Inbox’ button in the Outlook bar to go to your inbox. You will then be presented with a list of all messages. This list contains several bits of information:

·

The importance of the message is indicated in the first column. A red exclamation mark indicates important messages, a blue arrow represents unimportant messages, all other messages are rated ‘normal’. The second column tells you whether you already read that particular message: if the envelope is closed, then this message is new. Such messages will be displayed in bold in the list. Next is the download status of the message: has it already been transferred to your hard drive? An icon displaying a full page indicates that a copy of the message has been archived on your computer. You do not need to be connected to the Internet to read such messages. If the page is only partially visible in the icon, then the message has not yet been transferred from your mailbox. To read such messages, you need to connect to the Internet. Two further icons follow: the first one, a red flag , tells you that a follow-up is required for that message. This feature is mostly used by advanced users. The second icon, a paperclip , indicates messages with attachments. Finally, the sender, subject and time of receipt are given for each message.

·

·

·

·

To read messages, double-click on their listing. This will produce a window with the message. Once you are done reading the email, there are a number of things you could do: ·
Sends a reply only to the author of the message.

Reply to a message. Clicking on the ‘reply’ or ‘reply to all’ buttons will open a new window where you can enter your response. This window already contains the necessary email address(es), the same subject line as the original message as well

50 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Sends a reply to the author and all recipients of the original message.

as a copy of the old message. The only difference between the two options is that ‘reply’ will generate a reply only to the author of the original message, while ‘reply to all’ generates a message to the author and to everyone else who received the original message. You should only use ‘reply to all’ when you are completely certain that you want to send the message to everyone. · Forward the message. If you think that the message is interesting, important or funny enough to share it with others, then you can forward the message to them. Clicking on the ‘forward’ button will open a window for a new message and will insert the original subject line and text. You can then enter the appropriate email addresses and make any changes or additions to the subject line and message. Delete the message. In this case, the email will be stricken from the message list. Contrary to intuition, it will not actually delete the message in your mail account – you will still be able to go back to the message and read it again. To actually delete the message in your mail account, you will need to delete it using a PC in the SMR or the webmail feature (see below). Read another message: you can use the blue arrows to read the previous or next message, saving you the work of manually closing each message and opening the next one.

Allows you to send the current message to further recipients.

·
Press this button to delete the current message.

·
Previous Next

If you are not using your own PC If you do not own a PC or if you are not at home, you can still access your email. Fortunately, almost everything will work in exactly the same way as it does when you are at home. There are however slight differences, which we will describe below. We will distinguish two cases: using a PC in the SMR and using any computer that has access to the world wide web. Using a PC in the SMR
‘Start’ „ ‘MaasNet Services’ „ ‘Student Email’ „ ‘Outlook’ Launch Microsoft Outlook.

Outlook is already installed on all PCs in our computer rooms. You can start it by double-clicking on the Outlook icon on the desktop, or by clicking on ‘MaasNet Services’ „ ‘Student Email’ „ ‘Outlook’ in the Start menu. Outlook automatically knows how to connect to your mailbox, so you can immediately send and receive emails even when you are sitting in front of this particular PC for the very first time. Sending and receiving emails works just like it does at home, but you will find your emails in the ‘inbox’, not listed under ‘mail012.unimaas.nl’. Also, deleting emails on a PC in the SMR will have the effect you expect it to have: it will delete the messages. You can still retrieve them from the deleted items

Email: Sending & Receiving Emails 51
●●●●●●●●●●●●

folder until you close Outlook – then they are deleted for good. Using a computer that is hooked up to the WWW If you are at a friend’s place or traveling and you would like to check your emails, you can surf to mail.unimaas.nl. Once you are there, you will need to enter your ID number using the Ixxxxxx format. (xxxxxx represents your ID number, so if your ID number is 1234, you need to enter I001234.) You will then be asked for your ID number (again) and for your password. Both your ID number and your password are listed on the letter that accompanies your student ID card. Once you have successfully logged in, you will be able to send and receive emails right away. Be aware that the system does not automatically tell you when you have new emails. To check, press the ‘collect new mail’ button every once in a while. Deleting messages will result in the message being transferred to the deleted messages folder. If you want to delete a message from the list, you need to tick the box next to it and then click on ‘delete marked items’. You can select several messages at the same time. Deleted messages will stay in the recycle bin until you remove them by clicking on ‘empty deleted items folder’. Once you are done, make sure that you click on ‘log off’ and close all windows of the browser you are using (probably Internet Explorer). A general remark regarding your student account Your student mail account can only hold a certain amount of messages. Currently, the limit is set to 40 MB, which should last you a long time. Still, you should clean up your mailbox every once in a while. Remember that deleting messages from your home computer will not have the desired effect. Instead, use a PC in the SMR or log on over the WWW as described above.
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Check for new mail.

Delete marked messages.

Empty the recycle bin.

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

COMING UP…
In this chapter we learn how to find and keep email addresses, talk about internet etiquette and discuss some email-related security issues.

8. ADVANCED TOPICS
This chapter rounds up our discussion of email with a number of loosely related topics. First, we will see how you can keep track of your friends’ email addresses and how you can find the email address of Maastricht University staff and students. We will then briefly discuss what internet citizens consider to be proper behavior and finish with a short discussion of security issues. Keeping track of email addresses Remembering email addresses is like remembering phone numbers: some people have a knack for it while others fail miserably. Some email addresses are easy to remember, others you will have to look up every time. The best solution is to keep a list of all your friends and of their email addresses. Outlook enables you to do so. No matter whether you are at home, in the SMR or logged on through the WWW, you can get started by clicking on the ‘contact’ icon in the Outlook bar. Once you are there, you can enter new acquaintances by clicking on the ‘new contact’ button. You will then be able to enter information on any person, such as their mailing address, phone number, or email address. The advantage: when you write an email to such a person, you do not need to enter their email address in the address line. Simply writing their name will be sufficient; Outlook will check your contacts and will fill in the necessary information automatically. Please be aware that contact information entered on your own PC will not be available when you are in the SMR or logged on via the WWW, and vice versa, contacts entered through the WWW or in the SMR will not be available on your home PC. Finding people on the Internet Sending emails is straightforward enough, but what do you do when you do not know the recipient’s email address? Unfortunately, the best way to get an email address still is asking the owner of the address. But at least for students and staff at our university, there is a second way: the UM directory server has a list of all email addresses in use at our university. You can access it when you are connected to your email account through the WWW (click on ‘find names’), when you surf to the faculty website (click on ‘search for UM-mail addresses’ on the students’ page) or on your home computer (select ‘Find’ and ‘People’ from the Start menu). If you use the directory on the faculty website or the directory in your email account on the web, you only need to enter the name of the person you are looking for in the ‘screen name’ field.15

‘Start’ „ ‘Find’ „ ‘People…’

15

Do not use the ‘first name’ or ‘last name’ fields, they do not work.

54 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Click on ‘find’, and you will be presented with a list of people with that name. For each person, you will also learn with which institution he or she is affiliated. For students, the faculty acronym will be listed, while the department acronym is used for staff. Click on any of the persons to learn more about them. In the window that opens, their email address will be listed in the email addresses-section after ‘smtp:’.
‘Tools’ „ ‘Accounts’ „ ‘Add’ „ ‘Directory Service’

If you want to access the directory from your home PC, you will need to set it up once. In Outlook, click on ‘Tools’, ‘Accounts’, then on ‘Add’ and finally on ‘Directory service’. In the first step, you will need to enter the address of the LDAP server, which is ‘mail001.unimaas.nl’. You are not required to log on to this server, so make sure that the appropriate box is not ticked. In the second step, enter that you do not want to check addresses using this service. (This would cause your computer to check all email addresses, even when you know them for sure.)

That’s it!
‘Start’ „ ‘Find’ „ ‘People…’

You will then be able to click on ‘Find’, ‘People’ in the Start menu. Before you start your search, ensure that a) you are connected to the Internet, and b) that the field ‘Look in:’ actually says ‘mail001.unimaas.nl’. Then fill in the name to find the person you are looking for.

Once you have located the correct recipient, right-clicking on their name will allow you to directly send an email to them: select ‘Action’ „ ‘Send mail’ from the list that appears.

Netiquette Everywhere, there is a certain standard of socially accepted behavior.

Email: Advanced Topics 55
●●●●●●●●●●●●

This is also true for the Internet. Here it is called network etiquette or simply netiquette. Knowing about it may keep you from offending someone unwittingly, or from taking offence when none was intended. Below, we have summarized the netiquette in a few brief rules. For more information, turn to Virginia Shea’s excellent guide Netiquette at „ www.albion.com/netiquette/ · Remember that there is a human being at the other end. Also remember that you cannot use the tone of your voice or mimic and gestures to convey your message. Written words usually sound much harsher than they were intended to be – what may be meant as an ironic pun may come across as an insult. Take care in choosing your words and use every courtesy that you would use when talking to that individual in person. Respect everyone else’s time. With every email that you send, you take up someone’s time – please make sure that it is worth it. This is particularly true when forwarding funny emails and the like: are you sure that the recipient is really interested in the information that you are forwarding? Respect everyone else’s download time. If you are sending files, make them as small as possible, e.g. use WinZip, and make sure that the file needs to be sent. Remember that the other person may spend significant time downloading the file from the Internet. Forgive other people’s mistakes. Remember, everyone was new to the Internet once.

·

·

·

The cardinal rule, as in any social environment, is to “do unto others as you have them do unto you”. Security issues Just as for the WWW, using email is not entirely harmless. Probably the largest danger stems from viruses that are sent to you as attachments. This does not imply that the sender is actually trying to infect you on purpose. Instead, it is usually the case that a virus has infected his or her computer and that this virus is sending out infected emails without the knowledge of the PC’s owner. So if you did not expect to receive an attachment from a particular person, you should be suspicious and inspect the file before using it. Doing so is pretty easy, presuming you have the university’s virus scanner installed (see chapter 5). Instead of opening the attachment by double-clicking on it, save it to your desktop (or another place on your hard drive) by right-clicking on the attachment and selecting ‘Save as’ from the menu that appears. Then right-click on the file on your desktop and select ‘Scan for viruses’ – the rest will happen automatically.

56 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Another problem are fake virus warnings. Here is an authentic example of such a message:
From: [DELETED] Sent: May 14, 2001 16:31

VIRUS COULD BE IN YOUR COMPUTER! It will become activate on June 1st and will delete all files and folders on the hard drive. No anti-virus software can detect it because it doesn't become a VIRUS until 1/6/2001. It travels through the e-mail and migrate to your computer. To find it please follow the following directions: Go to "START" button Go to "Find" or "Search" Go to files and folders Make sure to search in drive C (or all your fixed drives) Type in: [DELETED] Begin Search If it finds it, highlight it and delete it Close the dialogue box Open the Recycle Bin Find the file and delete it from the Recycle Bin You should be safe. The bad part is you need to contact everyone you sent ANY e-mail to in the past few months. Many Major companies have found this VIRUS on their computers. Whatever you do, DO NOT open the file.

The problem with this message: it is a complete fabrication! Still, hardly anyone knows enough about the intricate workings of PCs to verify whether this is a genuine warning or not. For fear of the virus, most recipients deleted the file specified in the email with possibly dire consequences: the file was a part of Microsoft Windows! The person that sent this email was tricking people into deleting important files on their computer, and was thereby doing just as much damage as a regular computer virus. To protect yourself from similar mistakes, you should consult an expert before committing any such action. The two leading producers of antivirus software, McAfee and Symantec, have information about almost every virus on their website. If you get an email making claims about a virus, visit www.mcafee.com or www.symantec.com to find out whether those claims are true. Also, please remember that virus scanners are able to detect (and in most cases eradicate) viruses before they can do any harm! (Contrary to what is claimed in these fake virus warnings.) The only thing you need to do is keep your virus-scanner up to date. (See chapter 5 for instructions.)
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Image: size-isnt-everything.co.uk

APPENDIX

●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

A. USEFUL WEBSITES
Official University & Faculty Sites Faculty Homepage for Students „ www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/studenten Eleum The electronic learning environment. „ eleum.unimaas.nl SurfYourself The central information and service website for students. „ www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/surfyourself ISS Premium Registration for courses and information on results. „ www.fdewb.unimaas.nl/infopc/log_on.htm UM Webmail Access to your student email account. „ mail.unimaas.nl University Library Homepage Library catalogue and electronic journals. „ www.ub.unimaas.nl/fdewb/e-library/ ICT Service Center Support for software & Internet facilities, sale of academic software licenses. „ www.icts.unimaas.nl Student Services Center General administration, student support and career advice. „ www.ssc.unimaas.nl Study Associations AIESEC Global organization for international work exchanges. „ www.aiesec.nl Argyris Study association for organizational sciences, IT management and consultancy. „ www.argyris.nl Criticonomics Discussion forum for economics and ethics. „ www.studver.unimaas.nl/critics/ COMAX Study association for accountancy and controlling. „ www.comax.nl

60 Introduction to the Internet
●●●●●●●●●●●●

Eloquent Popular student magazine. „ www.eloquent.nl ESN Maastricht – Erasmus Student Network Support for incoming exchange students. „ www.esn-maastricht.nl FIRST Maastricht Study association for fiscal economics. „ www.studver.unimaas.nl/first/ Integrand Non-profit internship agency. „ www.integrand.nl Maastricht Marketing Association Study association for marketing. „ www.mma.nl Ragweek Maastricht Fun for a charitable purpose. „ www.ragweek.unimaas.nl Research Project Maastricht Annual international research initiative for graduate students. „ www.studver.unimaas.nl/research.project/ UniPartners Maastricht Academic consultancy projects for graduate students. „ www.studver.unimaas.nl/upm/ Vectum For econometrics students. „ www.vectum.nl
●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●●

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful