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WebsiteCompass Your Guide to Understanding and Using the Internet
 

  
FAQ's: Browsers
 

       
 

How do I transfer sites listed within my browser’s “favorites” so I can use them with a different browser?

How do I list sites I have bookmarked on my browser’s “favorites” list in alphabetical order versus chronologically?

How do you look at more than one web page at the same time when you are online?

Sometimes I attempt to access a web page and I get an error message that asks me "Do you want to continue to run scripts on this page?" Is there something wrong with my browser?

What does the "History" button on my browser's toolbar do?

The size of the type is too small when I attempt to read some web pages. Is there a way to make the text larger?

Netscape is set-up as my default browser but I want to use Internet Explorer instead. How do I switch this over?

What is the difference between a search engine and a web browser?

I just typed in a website address and it sent me to an entirely different page than the one I typed in. What's going on?

What is the "refresh" button on My browser's toolbar?

I would like to do side by side comparisons when I am shopping online. Is there anyway I can look at one website and put another website up right next to it?

Why does the address in my web browser sometimes have an "s" in it - like "https"?

Why is it that some websites pop up on my screen very quickly, and others seem to take forever to show up?

Why can I get to some websites without typing in "www.", while other sites require the three w's?

How do you delete some URL's from the drop down arrow on the right hand side of my address bar? I have Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Express.

I am having trouble figuring out how to restore my Toolbar in Microsoft Outlook Express. I have tried dragging from both sides but nothing happens. I can receive my mail but can't send, delete, etc. How do I restore it?

Once I have conducted a search and gotten to the right web page, is there a quick way to find the exact word or words I am looking for without having to read through pages and pages of text?

The graphics are showing up so small in my browser. Isn't there a way to make them appear larger?

If wanted to see a new web page my friend put up on the Internet, but when I did a search for it, it didn't show up in the results. What's wrong?

What exactly is the "Refresh" button used for?

I used to have an address bar and somehow it disappeared. I was told to search under the back and forth arrows to bring it down but I can't find it there either. I use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

How do you get rid of pop-up windows? I am using Internet Explorer and Windows 98.

How do you clear your Internet cache in Windows XP?

Where do I find cookies and how do I know which ones to delete? I use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I tried to download the new Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack and it made my entire desktop disappear. The repair shop said that some computers are affected this way by Internet Explorer 6. Is this common?

Often, when either visiting a website or reading forwarded emails from friends, I get only a box with a small red "x" in it and I cannot open it. What do I need to do, or is there no solution?

I keep getting these annoying “pop-ups” and “pop-unders” that appear when I access certain websites. Is there a way of quickly getting rid of these?

simple method for checking to make sure my children are not visiting any “inappropriate” sites?

Is there anything I can do to increase the viewing size of my browser? I use Internet Explorer 6.

How do I allow the pop-up windows to appear when using Firefox?

What is tabbed browsing?

I like the Do Not Call list and what it did to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls. Is there something like that in the works for Internet advertising?

It seems like there's a new Internet term every day. What is crowdsourcing and how does it work?

Sometimes when I try to visit a website, I get a message that says something like, "404 Page Not Found." What does this mean and what should I do next?

Many websites ask me to answer "secret" questions to verify who I am in case I later forget my password. To improve my security, how should I go about answering them?

I've been seeing ads online for unbelievable bargains on electronics like iPads. Is there a catch?

Q: How do I easily transfer the sites listed within my browser’s “favorites” to another file so I can use them with a different browser? I currently use Internet Explorer.

A: To export Internet Explorer Favorites into a form usable by almost any HTML browser, go to the “File” menu on your Internet Explorer Tool Bar. Select “Import/ Export” from the drop down menu. The “Import/Export” Wizard will launch. Click “Next” on the “Welcome” window. When the “Import/Export” window opens, select “Export Favorites” and click “Next.” When the “Export Favorites Source Folder” window opens, select “Favorites” from the folder list and click “Next.” The “Export Favorites Destinations” window will open. If you want the favorites to go to a specific application, select “Export to an Application.” If you want to export to a file or address, select that option and click the “Browse” button. Navigate to the desktop to give your file a name and click “Save.” When the “Completing the Import/Export Wizard” page opens, click the “Finish” button. A dialog box will appear that says “successfully exported favorites,” click “OK,” You’ll now find your bookmarked sites on your desktop. To export Netscape Navigator Bookmarks, click “Bookmarks” and then “Edit Bookmarks.” In the Edit Bookmarks window, click “File,” then “Save As.” Choose a location for the Book- marks file and give it a name. Netscape will export your list of Bookmarks to a single HTML file viewable in any Web browser.

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Q: I want to list the sites I have bookmarked on my browser’s “favorites” list in alphabetical order versus chronologically. Is there a way to do this? I use Internet Explorer 5.

A: If you like things filed A to Z, try the following trick: Click the Favorites menu on your browser’s toolbar (not the “Favorites” button). Right-click on a favorite site then chose “Sort By Name.” All your favorite sites should now be alphabetical. You’ll need to repeat the process periodically as you add new favorites to your list to keep them in alphabetical order as well.

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Q: I've heard you can look at more than one web page at the same time when you are online. How is this done?

A: Using Internet Explorer (or Netscape Navigator with some variation), click your cursor arrow on the “File” menu. A drop down menu will appear. Select NEW and then NEW WINDOW from the resulting sub menu. (You can also use the keyboard command, Control + N) and a duplicate web page will now be displayed within a new window. Use the same commands in this new window that you would normally use to find a new web destination. You can now toggle back and forth between the windows by pressing ALT-TAB on your keyboard or by clicking on the page names shown on the Windows Taskbar (usually found at the bottom of your screen).

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Q: Sometimes I attempt to access a web page and I get an error message that asks me "Do you want to continue to run scripts on this page?" Is there something wrong with my browser?

A: Probably not. The error is a scripting mistake (probably a Java Script) found within the web page you are attempting to access. Your browser is expecting to find something that it did not find, so it gave you an error message. When you receive an error message like this, click on the "no" option to see if the page loads anyway. Sometimes it works. You can also try clicking your cursor arrow on the "Refresh" button located on the toolbar of your browser. Possibly the page simply did not load correctly the first time and loading the page again may correct the problem. If the problem persists, you may want to email the webmaster of this website to advise him/her that there is a problem.

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Q: What does the "History" button on my browser's toolbar do?

A: Each time you visit a web page, your browser stores the visited website's address in a History file. This comes in handy when you want to return to a site you've previously visited.

To access your browser's History file using Internet Explorer, click on the "History" button found at the top of your browser's toolbar and a list of recently visited sites will appear within a smaller window on the right side of your browser's main window. This "History" window will contain folders for the sites you visited in the past two to three weeks, depending on how your preferences were setup Clicking on one of the sites listed in the "History" window will launch the page within your web browser for viewing. To close the "History" window, click on the "History" button again.

To open your History file when using Netscape's Communicator, go to the "Communicator" file menu located at the top of your browser and drop down to "Tools." Select "History" from the resulting sub menu. The "History" window will appear. Once you find the site you wish to revisit, double click your cursor arrow on it. The "History" window will be minimized and the web page will load into a new window.

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Q: The size of the type is too small when I attempt to read some web pages. Is there a way to make the text larger?

A: Yes. To increase (or decrease) the font size on either Outlook Express or Internet Explorer, click your cursor arrow on "View" located on the menu bar then drop down and select "Text Size." You can now choose a larger font size from the resulting submenu. If you are using Netscape's Communicator, click your cursor arrow on "View" located on the menu bar then drop down and select "Increase font." This will automatically increase the font size. If the resulting size of font is still too small, repeat the procedure again to further increase the text size. You can also decrease the font size by utilizing the same procedure.

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Q: Netscape is setup as my default browser but I want to use Internet Explorer instead. How do I switch this over?

A: First, download the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. Open Internet Explorer by clicking on the corresponding icon now located on your desktop. Click on "Tools" located on the menu bar and then select "Internet Options." Next, click your cursor arrow on the "Programs" tab and then select the "Reset Internet Options" button. (You may be asked if you want to reset your start page. We suggest you type in your Internet Service Provider's home page here.) That should be all there is to it!

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Q:What is the difference between a search engine and a web browser?

A: A search engine is a software program that searches indexes of web pages and gives a list of resulting matches. Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape's Navigator are the two most common types of web browsers and although each provides searching tools, their main function is to provide Internet access to Web surfers and to provide the information in an understandable and orderly fashion.

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Q: I just typed in a website address and it sent me to an entirely different page than the one I typed in. What's going on?

A: More than likely, this happened because the web address you typed in is actually owned by the site you ended up with. For example, at the date of this writing, if you typed in www.Grandma.com, you would expect to go to a site that maybe focuses on gardening, quilting or cooking – something related to grandmothers, right? Instead, you end up at the 1-800-Car-Loan website. That's because the company that owns the 1-800-Car-Loan site, also owns the www.Grandma.com web address. They have "directed" their grandma.com address to the CarLoan.com website to hopefully sell you a car loan. Note: The best way for you to find a website about grandmas and grandma-related websites is to conduct a search on one of the search engines (Google.com, Yahoo.com, etc.). The results from these search engines are certain to help you find what you're looking for.

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Q: What is the "refresh" button on My browser's toolbar?

A: Clicking on the refresh bar refreshes the contents of the web page you are viewing at the time. Why would you want to refresh your page, you ask? Well, typically pages are refreshed when you are on a website where the information is changing constantly. Take, for example, a page with stock quotes. You go to the page initially, and a list of stocks and their current trading prices are shown. Well, that was the price at the particular moment that you entered that web page. If you want to see if the stock price has gone up or down, you need to click "Refresh," and the contents of that page, which happen to be stock prices in this example, are refreshed and you are provided with the new, even more current prices.

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Q: I would like to do side by side comparisons when I am shopping online. Is there anyway I can look at one website and put another website up right next to it?

A: Yes there is, and it is pretty easy to do. First click your cursor arrow on "File." A drop down menu will appear. Select NEW WINDOW from the drop down window (or use the keyboard command, Control + N) and a duplicate web page will now be displayed within a new window. Next, simply type in the web address of the site you wanted to compare to the first site, and you're ready for your side by side comparison. You can toggle back and forth between the windows by pressing ALT-TAB on your keyboard or by clicking on the page names shown on the Windows Taskbar (usually found at the bottom of your screen).

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Q: Why does the address in my web browser sometimes have an "s" in it - like "https"?

A: When you see the "s," you know that the site you're at is secure and your information is being shielded from outsiders. How is it shielded? Basically, the Web server hosting the site is using encryption technology to prevent others from reading messages to or from your browser. Many times you will see the "https:" on Web based shopping sites so others cannot intercept credit card ordering information.

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Q: Why is it that some websites pop up on my screen very quickly, and others seem to take forever to show up?

A: Actually, there are a variety of reasons why some sites "load" more quickly than other sites. The most common factor that affects a site's download speed is its size. Websites that are very graphic intensive and contain a lot of "bells and whistles" (motion, sound, large graphic files, etc.) will undoubtedly take longer to download than will a site that is mostly text and very few graphics.

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Q: Why can I get to some websites without typing in "www.", While other sites require the three W's?

A: In the early days of the Internet, "www" was used to show that the computer hosting the website was acting as a server on the World Wide Web. Today, the use of "www" in a domain name is simply a choice made by the owner of the website. Some website owners configure their server (where the website sits) to include the W's and others do not.

As a Web surfer, Website Compass recommends that you always include the "www." just to be safe. You can reach all sites when you include the three W's, whether it was necessary to include it or not. However, not including it will keep you from connecting with sites that have not been appropriately configured. We think you're better off safe than sorry in this case.

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Q: How do you delete some URL's from the drop down arrow on the right hand side of my address bar? I have Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Outlook Express.

A: The addresses in the address bar drop down menu are known as "auto-complete entries." The auto-complete feature saves previous entries you've made for web page addresses, forms and passwords. To delete entries, you must clear your History folder. You cannot clear individual entries from the list. To clear your History folder:

1. Click on "Tools" in the menu bar, and select "Internet Options."
2. When the Internet Options window opens, click on the "General" tab.
3. Under History, click "Clear History."

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Q: I am having trouble figuring out how to restore my Toolbar in Microsoft Outlook Express. I have tried dragging from both sides but nothing happens. I can receive my mail but can't send, delete, etc. How do I restore it?

A: Place your arrow anywhere on the right side of the word "Help" in the menu bar. Right-click your mouse once and select "Toolbar." This should make your toolbar reappear.

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Q: Once I have conducted a search and gotten to the right web page, is there a quick way to find the exact word or words I am looking for without having to read through pages and pages of text?

A: Yes, there is an easy way to find a specific word or words on a full page of text. At the top of your Internet Explorer browser under "Edit," you will find a feature called "Find." Click on or drag down to "Find" and you will be able to type in the word or words and then search the page for them. A shortcut to the clicking and scrolling is to simply hit "Ctrl+F" on your keyboard as long as you are in your browser program. This will come up with the same form for you to enter your keywords into and then search the page.

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Q: The graphics are showing up so small in my browser. Isn't there a way to make them appear larger?

A: The resolution of your monitor will make a difference in the way (size-wise) the graphics are displayed. Look in your system's Control Panels for display or monitor settings. It may be as simple as adjusting the resolution. Keep in mind that changing the setting to a lower number will make the display bigger, and a higher number will make the display smaller.

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Q: If wanted to see a new web page my friend put up on the Internet, but when I did a search for it, it didn't show up in the results. What¹s wrong?

A: Most search engines work in two different ways. Some "crawl" the Web from site to site and index pages as they go. These search engines are called Web crawlers or spiders. Others require the site to go through a submittal process before they are indexed. Some of these types of search engines require a fee. Either way it may take a while for pages to be displayed.

The search engine's database may not have been updated since your friend put his site up, providing he submitted it or if it has been "discovered" by any Web crawlers yet. Google, for example, updates their site once a month. Some update more often than that. Netcurrents.com claims "real time" updating , others not as often.

It may also have something to do with the way you are searching. If you are not using some of the keywords in your search that are used on the site, then your friend's site will probably not show up. Or, his site may actually be listed, but be at the bottom of the list of thousands of web pages.

The best thing to do would be to ask your friend for the web address and go to the site directly.

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Q: What exactly is the "Refresh" button used for?

A: The "Refresh" button in Explorer, (as well as the "Reload" button in Netscape), is used to refresh or "update" the web page you are currently viewing. Many web pages change quite frequently, even second by second sometimes, yet your web page represents only the one moment in time you connected to that particular page. If you are visiting a page that is constantly changing, then hitting the "Refresh" button will give you a new view. Many who watch stock prices, which typically fluctuate throughout the day will use this feature if they don't have streaming data. News sites that are updating their information constantly are also places you might want to "refresh" on occasion.

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Q: I used to have an address bar and somehow it disappeared. I was told to search under the back and forth arrows to bring it down but I can't find it there either. I use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

A: You probably accidentally closed your address bar at some point in the past. Follow these quick steps to reactivate it. Click your cursor arrow on "View" in the menu bar. Select "Toolbars" and then "Address Bar" from the resulting pop-up menus. The address bar should reappear right where it used to be.

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Q: How do you get rid of pop-up windows? I am using Internet Explorer and Windows 98.

A: Some new Web browsers have features that allow users the choice of blocking pop-up ads. For example, in Netscape 7.01 you can turn this on under the "Privacy & Security" settings in your preferences. Other browsers which now have pop-up blocking features are: Opera, Mozilla, and Apple's new browser, Safari.

A second solution is to use a pop-up ad blocking program. Check with your ISP to see if they offer such software. If your ISP doesn't, visit http://www. download.com, perform a search for "block pop-up" and you'll be presented with a list of these programs.

Yet another solution is to turn off the the scripting feature in your browser that allows such pop-ups to activate. The downside of this technique is that many functions of many websites which rely on scripting are disabled as well. This means you probably won't want to turn scripting off unless you are REALLY annoyed by pop-ups and have run out of other solutions. (Note: If you decide to turn the scripting feature off, you'll need to remember to turn it back on if you are experiencing problems while visiting websites that utilize it.)

To turn off Active Scripting in Internet Explorer 5.5:
1. Click on "Tools" in the menu bar, then click on "Internet Options."
2. Click on the ³Security² tab and then click on the "Custom Level" button under the "Security level for this zone" section.
3. Scroll down in the "Security Settings" window until you see the "Scripting" section.
4. Click the "Disable" button under the Scripting section and then click the "OK" button.
5. Click "Yes" in the warning box that says "Are you sure you want to change the security settings for this zone?"
6. Click "OK" to exit the "Internet Options" window.

To turn off JavaScript in Netscape Communicator 4.7:
1. Click on "Edit" in the menu bar, then click on "Preferences."
2. Click on "Advanced" in the "Preferences" window to highlight it.
3. Uncheck the box next to "Enable JavaScript" on the right side of the window in the "Advanced" section.
4. Click the "OK" button.

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Q: How do you clear your Internet cache in Windows XP?

A: To clear your cache–otherwise known as "Temporary Internet Files"—in Internet Explorer for Windows XP follow these steps:

1. Open Internet Explorer.
2. Click on "Tools" in the menu bar and then click on "Internet Options" in the drop-down menu.
3. Under the "General" tab, click the "Delete Files" button. Your Temporary Internet Files should now be empty.

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Q: Where do I find cookies and how do I know which ones to delete? I use Microsoft Internet Explorer.

A: Individual cookies are stored in your "Temporary Internet Files" and it's pretty much up to you to decide which ones to delete or keep. You may want to go by the rule of thumb that if you recognize a site you frequently visit in the cookie's name, keep it. If it's a third-party cookie whose name you don't recognize, delete it. For example, you may want to keep any cookie that has "amazon.com" in its name.

To see a list of every cookie on your computer:
1. With Internet Explorer open, click on "Tools" on the menu bar and select "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu.
2. Once the "Internet Options" window opens, the "General" tab should be active by default. In the section labeled "Temporary Internet Files," click on the "Settings" button."3. Under the "Settings" window, click on the "View Files" button. A list of all your temporary Internet files will open.
4. In the "Temporary Internet Files" window, look under the "Type" category for "Cookie" or "Text Document." Cookies will usually have "Cookie:" in the "Name" or "Internet Address" category. You may have to scroll down to see them.

To delete individual cookies:
1. Follow the previous four steps.
2. Select a cookie you want to delete by clicking on its icon.
3. Click "Delete" under the "File" menu in the menu bar or hit the "Delete" key on your keyboard. 4. Click the "Yes" button in the "Warning" window that will pop up.

Also, under the "Privacy" tab in the "Internet Options" window you can change your privacy settings to block more or less cookies. From there you can further tailor your cookie settings for individual websites.

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Q: I tried to download the new Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack and it made my entire desktop disappear. The repair shop said that some computers are affected this way by Internet Explorer 6. Is this common?

A: Yes. For some reason IE 6 simply will not run on certain PCs. This is apparently caused by some element in certain PCs. Although millions of other Internet users are able to utilize the IE 6 browser on their PC, be comforted by the fact that the problem you are having has occurred with other PC users as well. For now at least, I’d suggest simply ignoring the critical update reminders you are no doubt receiving and continue to use your current older version of Internet Explorer browser. Or you can also try an alternative Web browser such as Mozilla.

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Q: Often, when either visiting a website or reading forwarded emails from friends, I get only a box with a small red "x" in it and I cannot open it. What do I need to do, or is there no solution?

A: It sounds like a broken graphic link. Forwarding email messages will often break links. There isn't much that can be done about that as certain programs don't work well for forwarding HTML messages. Broken links in graphics on web pages can be caused by either errors in the code that won't allow the browser to complete the path to the graphic as it's typed in the HTML code, or there's some interruption in the connection to the server where the graphic is stored. Sometimes the graphic will still show up broken even after connection is re-established because it's cached on your computer wrong. In that case, clearing the browsers cache will usually help.

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Q: I keep getting these annoying “pop-ups” and “pop-unders” that appear when I access certain websites. Is there a way of quickly getting rid of these?

A: Pop-up ads are a marketing technique used by some online advertisers. When a surfer accesses certain websites, a small pop-up window–or sometimes a pop-under window–appears. (Pop-under windows are windows that appear underneath the web page window the user has requested. Many times the user may not even know it is there until he or she is getting ready to close his or her Web surfing session.) Research has shown that most Internet users consider this form of marketing an annoyance. However, this marketing method must be somewhat effective as online advertisers continue to utilize it.

So how do you prevent these pop-ups? There a lot of freeware programs available on the Web that will automatically block pop-up ads. To find a pop-up blocking program, do a Web search for "pop up blocker" and pick and choose from the results. One site you can search and find many different pop-up blocking programs is http://www.download.com. A good pop-up blocker that also has other handy functions is the Google toolbar - http://toolbar.google.com/

Newer Web browsers already allow users the choice of blocking pop-up ads. The latest versions of Mozilla, an open source browser, and Apple's new Safari Web browser for OS X include a "Block Pop-up Windows" feature. (Internet Explorer users will most likely have to wait until Internet Explorer 7 is released for built-in pop-up blocking.) Alternatively, the old-fashioned and easiest way to get rid of pop-ups and pop-unders is to click on the little box with the "X" in it at the top right corner (left corner on a Mac) of the pop-up or pop-under window. An even quicker, shortcut method is to press the "ctrl" key and then the "W" key on your keyboard on the PC or the "Command" key and the "W" key on the Macintosh. This will cause the pop-up window to immediately disappear. Give it a try next time one of these annoying windows appears.

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Q: My kids use our family’s computer for browsing the Internet. Is there a simple method for checking to make sure they are not visiting any “inappropriate” sites?

A: Yes. The “History” feature found on both Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers is a great tool for Internet users who are seeking to find recently visited websites. The feature’s main function is to provide users with a shortcut method of returning to sites they’ve recently been to, rather than users having to attempt to recall a web page’s address by memory.

When a computer has multiple users, the “History” feature can also be used to review a listing of recently visited web pages - no matter the previous user. To locate the listing of recently visited websites, with your browser window open, click your cursor arrow on the “History” button located on your browser’s tool bar. A listing of recently visited web pages will appear. Click on any one of the listed links to view the recently visited sites.

Even semi-experienced Internet users, however, can easily erase their browsing tracks by changing the number of pages stored in “History” or even erase the list of recently visited sites all together. If your situation is a serious concern, invest in web browser monitoring/filtering software. Be sure to discuss with your children what sorts of websites you consider to be inappropriate. Also, make sure the family computer is located in a central location where adult family members are nearby for discretionary supervision.

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Q: When I’m surfing the Web, my browser window seems awfully small for a lot of the pages I visit. Is there anything I can do to increase the viewing size of my browser? I use Internet Explorer 6.

A: The first thing you can do is to maximize your browser window to full screen size by clicking on the maximize button in the title bar of your browser software or by pressing the F11 key on your keyboard.

The next thing you can do is change the size of your toolbar icons. To do this, perform these steps:

1. Click on “View” in Internet Explorer’s menubar.
2. Select “Toolbars” and then “Customize” from the drop-down menu to open the “Customize Toolbar” dialog window.
3. Select “Small icons” from the “Icon options” pop-up menu.
4. Click the “Close” button to close the “Customize Toolbar” window.

If you want to reclaim a bit more screen real estate, you can also turn off Internet Explorer’s “Status bar.”

1. Click on “View” in the menubar.
2. Select “Status Bar” from the drop-down menu and Internet Explorer’s status bar will close.

Your computer may also allow you to change your display settings to increase the resolution of your monitor thereby reducing the size of everything on your screen. Here’s how to increase your monitor’s resolution:

1. Click on Windows “Start” button in the lower left corner of your screen.
2. Select “Control Panels” from the menu.
3. Double click “Display” to open the “Display Properties” dialog box.
4. Click on the “Settings” tab.
5. Drag the “Screen Resolution” slider to the desired monitor setting.
6. Click the “Apply” button.
7. The “Monitor Settings” dialog will appear asking if you want to save the settings. If everything appears OK, click the “Yes” button.
8. Click the “OK” button to close the “Display Properties” window.
9. Close the “Control Panel” window by clicking the “X” on the right side of the window’s title bar.

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Q: I now use Firefox as my browser on my PC. I love Firefox, however, when I go to a certain website to play games, Firefox blocks pop-up windows that should appear. How do I allow the pop-up windows to appear when using Firefox?

A:You can either turn off Firefox’s pop-up ad blocker altogether or allow certain sites the ability to present pop-ups.

Here’s how to do either:
1. Go to the Tools menu and select “Options” from the drop-down menu. (It’s under the “Firefox” and Preferences on a Macintosh.)
2. Click your cursor arrow on the “Web Features” category. You can either uncheck “Block Popup Windows” to allow pop-ups to appear on any future site visited or select allowed sites and add the game’s website here.

By the way, when a pop-up is blocked on other sites you may visit, an icon is displayed in the Firefox status bar. Click there as a shortcut method of adding the website to the list of allowed pop-up websites.

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Q: What is tabbed browsing?

A: Tabbed browsing is a feature most new browsers implement, which is also going to be utilized in the next version of Internet Explorer—Internet Explorer 7.

Instead of opening websites in new windows, you can open “tabs” with webpages in them. This saves room and keeps your open webpages more organized and thus your screen less cluttered.

Since it’s a feature hard to explain without visual aids, visit http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/tabbed-browsing.html for a more in-depth explanation.

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Q: I like the Do Not Call list and what it did to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls. Is there something like that in the works for Internet advertising?

A: Possibly. There's been recent debate in the Senate Commerce Committee over the issue of protecting consumer privacy online. John Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has introduced legislation to create a one-step process for consumers to tell all online companies to stop tracking their information.

The Federal Trade Commission testified that industry stakeholders have made important progress in implementing Do Not Track, a mechanism proposed in the staff's preliminary privacy report that would allow consumers to choose not to have their Internet browsing tracked by third parties. The testimony noted that two of the major Internet browsers — Microsoft and Mozilla — "have recently announced the development of new choice mechanisms for online behavioral advertising that seek to provide increased transparency, greater consumer control, and improved ease of use."

Consumers may want to opt-out of more than targeted ads. They may want to avoid having their browsing habits used for other purposes, including by prospective employers or insurers. To find out more on the topic of Online Behavioral Advertising, visit www.aboutads.info. You'll learn how online advertising supports the free content, products, and services you use online; what choices you have; and how to use browser controls to enhance your privacy.

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Q: It seems like there's a new Internet term every day. What is crowdsourcing and how does it work?

A: Crowdsourcing (a combination of crowd and outsourcing) is a way of completing a task or solving a problem by asking many people or organizations — via the Internet — if they can help. By using the mass collaboration of crowdsourcing, challenges can be met more quickly and easily.

One example of a crowdsourcing tool is www.evly.com. Evly is a free platform designed to simplify the process of tapping into the power of the crowd. Users create a page and then share it with their network of friends or promote it to the general masses on Evly's network. The challenges can be anything from answering a survey to uploading photos or videos.

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Q: Sometimes when I try to visit a website, I get a message that says something like, "404 Page Not Found." What does this mean and what should I do next?

A: This error message means the page corresponding to the URL (Web address) you entered cannot be found on the site's server. It's possible the page no longer exists or that there is an error in the URL you entered. To rule out the second possibility, check the URL carefully to ensure you didn't mistype. If it seems accurate, try these steps:

1. Click the reload button in your browser.

2 Try removing one level of the URL at a time. For example, if you typed in "http://www.abc.com/x/y/z," remove "/z." If you still see nothing, or an error message, remove "/y," and so on. If you finally get to the home page (e.g. "http://www. abc.com"), try browsing or doing a search for the information you're looking for.

3. Test the URL at the site http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com. This site will tell you if just you are unable to access the page or if it's a problem with the site itself.

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Q: Many websites ask me to answer "secret" questions to verify who I am in case I later forget my password. To improve my security, how should I go about answering them?

A: To add an extra layer of online security, many websites require answers to "secret" questions. Obviously, the classic "What's your mother's maiden name?" is a poor choice, since a hacker can find the answer using online birth records and marriage licenses.

But what about other common questions: Your first car? Your favorite color? Your high school's name? Although they may appear harmless, answers to such questions can be easily guessed by hackers or discovered through quick online research. For example, your high school's name could be revealed through a check of registrants on Classmates.com.

How can you strengthen security when a website gives you a menu of weak "secret" questions? It's simple — invent obscure answers. Websites have no way of really knowing your favorite color. So instead of putting down "blue" as your top hue, use "dusty periwinkle" or "summer sky" or some other hacker-resistant response.

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Q: I've been seeing ads online for unbelievable bargains on electronics like iPads. Is there a catch?

A: The ads you're describing are probably from "penny auctions," also known as pay-to-bid auctions. Over the last couple of years, the Better Business Bureau has seen a sharp increase in the number of penny auctions online and has received many complaints about them.

Penny auctions operate very differently from other auction sites such as eBay. With penny auctions, the merchandise is being sold by the owners of the website, not third parties. But the biggest difference is in the bidding process. Potential buyers have to pay a fee, typically between 50 cents and $1, for each bid they make. Auctions start at zero dollars, and each bid bumps the price up by a small amount, usually a penny — hence the name.

Here's how a typical penny auction, say for an iPad, works:
• Bidders buy "bid packages," perhaps 100 bids for $50.
• The auction is announced on the website with terms such as "six-hour auction and each bid adds 1 cent to the price. Each additional bid made in the last 20 seconds of the auction resets the clock to 20 seconds remaining."
• With 20 seconds to go, the top bid might only be $1 or $2. But every time the clock nears zero, another bidder ups the price by a penny.
• Finally, only one bidder remains and he or she wins the iPad, which has a list price of $500, for whatever the final tally is — let's say $25.
• The winning bidder gets the iPad for $25 plus the cost of his/her bids and shipping. The other bidders, some of whom may have spent $100 or more on bids, walk away with nothing.

Penny auctions have been characterized as thinly disguised gambling sites. There have also been allegations that some use shill bidders or automated programs to drive up the bidding. Be aware that you'll probably spend far more in bids over time than you recoup in the value of items you may win occasionally.

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