The internet is the biggest world-wide communication network of computers. It has millions of smaller domestic, academic, business, and government networks, which together carry many different kinds of information. The term is sometimes abbreviated as "the net". The World Wide Web is one of its biggest services. It is used by a few billion people all over the world.
The internet was developed in the United States by the "United States Department of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency" (DARPA). It was first connected in October, 1969, and was called ARPANET. The World Wide Web was created at CERN in Switzerland in 1990 by a British (UK) man named Tim Berners-Lee.
Today, people can pay money to access the internet from internet service providers. Some services on the Internet cost nothing to use. Sometimes people who offer these free services use advertising to make money from them. Censorship and freedom of speech on the internet can be controversial.
Services on the internetEdit
The most used service on the internet is the World Wide Web (which is also called the "Web"). The Web contains websites, including blogs and wikis like Wikipedia. Webpages on the internet can be seen and read by anyone (unless the page needs a password, or it is blocked).
The second biggest use of the internet is to send and receive e-mail. E-mail is private and goes from one user to another. Instant messaging (such as AIM or ICQ) is similar to email, but allows two or more people to chat to each other much faster.
Some governments think the Internet is a bad thing, and block all or part of it. For example, the Chinese government thinks that Wikipedia is bad. Many times no one in China can read it or add to it. Some parents block parts of the internet they think are bad for children to see. Well-known examples of the whole internet being blocked are in North Korea.
Dangers on the internetEdit
The internet makes communication easy, and communication can be dangerous. People often send secret information, and sometimes other people can steal that information. They can use the Internet to spread lies or stolen secrets or dangerously bad advice. For example, Facebook has had some problems with privacy settings. A person can post information on the website, but this is often a bad idea unless the person is very sure of what they are doing. One way to check for a secure website is to make sure the URL starts with https:// instead of http://. This means it is secured so other people cannot read information while it is being sent. However, it does not mean the website will do things to keep it safe.
- Some websites may trick people into downloading viruses that can harm a computer or spyware that spies on its users (looks at what they are doing and tells someone else). E-mails can also have harmful files with them as "attachments".
- In internet chatrooms, people might be preying on others or trying to stalk or abuse them.
- The internet contains content that many people find offensive such as pornography, as well as content intended to be offensive.
- Criminals may steal people's personal information or trick people into sending them money.
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- "Internet Safety: Internet 101 - Viruses, worms and Trojans". Wiredsafety.org. Retrieved 2009-10-16.