These notes are intended for those who are relatively new to the Internet and all its wonders but other more experienced users might pick up the odd useful tip.
The World Wide Web
The web provides access to an amazing array of sources of information and useful applications. These range from comprehensive on-line encyclopaedias through very specialised sites covering your specific interests to on-line applications which allow you to perform a variety of tasks. The last include the ability to order almost anything from groceries to train tickets.
There are several internet access systems available with Microsoft's Explorer perhaps the most widely used. They all provide similar functions including the ability to store a list of regularly used sites.
Locating the website that meets your needs is obviously critical but if you do not know its correct address (technically its URL or Uniform Resource Locator, e.g. http://www.denton-norfolk.co.uk/) or do not know what sites are available, Google (http://www.google.co.uk/) and other browsers provide excellent search facilities.
Once you have found the site you need and you think you will be visiting it again, most systems provide a way of storing its address for future use. In Explorer this is the "Favorites" (sorry about the US spelling!) system.
The internet is an amazing resource but it is open to misuse and even criminal activity. All users are recommended to install appropriate security software (Mcaffee, Norton etc.) on their home system and then watch out for "scams", attempts to trick them into giving up personal data etc. Regularly updated security systems will prevent corruption by viruses etc. but it is up to individuals to avoid scams. If in doubt, delete dodgy messages and do not open attachments.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of instances of DentonTalk users finding that their email addresses have been hacked-into and used to distribute advertisements etc. The best way of avoiding this is to use a complex password system (perhaps including a special character like "%", "&" or "$"). This makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your ID. Do not respond to suspicious messages or make use of links that they contain.
The very openness of the internet presents its own problems. Messages can sometimes inadvertently end-up at unintended destinations. Caution should therefore be used and the disclosure of potentially critical information – where you keep your house keys or when you are going away on holiday! – avoided.
A number of systems are also available to handle your internet mail. Microsoft's Outlook is again probably the most popular but everybody has their own favourite. They all provide facilities for sending and receiving messages and setting up an address book to hold details of your regular contacts. They also allow you to attach files, e.g. documents or photographs, to your messages.
The notes below are based on Outlook but similar concepts apply to other systems.
Towards the top left on the standard Outlook Mail display there is a "Send" Button. A single left-click on this will present you with a blank message screen. The first thing you will need to supply, in the "To" field, is the recipient's internet address. This always takes the form of a username and a domain name separated by an @ sign, e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several ways of supplying this address. You could key it in yourself but you really do not want to have to enter this easily mis-typed set of characters every time you want to send Mr Bloggs a note. So you will probably store his address in the Contacts file provided with the system. You can then locate his entry in the directory and right-click on his name and then left-click on "New Message to Contact". This will create a blank message with the address inserted in the "To" field.
Alternatively, you could just enter the first part of his name into the "To" field and Outlook will display a list of matching IDs that you have used before. A left-click on the correct one will inset it into the field.
Note that you can enter more than one address into the "To" field and into the "Cc" (which stands for the old office term "carbon copy") field. Setting up lists of contacts is handled below. NB - A further facility, "Bcc" (blind carbon copy), will send the message to everyone listed but remove their addresses from the message so that recipients will not know else has received the message.
You are now ready to enter the Subject of the message (this can be omitted but it is considered bad practice) and then the message itself before left-clicking on the "Send" button. However, it is recommended that you always check the contents very carefully before actually sending it!
Replying to Messages
Your mail system will normally display all the messages you receive in your "Inbox". If you highlight a message in the list, with a single left-click, or open it up with a double left-click you will be able to generate a reply to the person who sent it by left-clicking on one of the "Reply" buttons at the top of the screen. Note that there are two of them. "Reply" sets up a message to the sender alone while "Reply All" will send it to everybody to whom the original message was sent including the "Cc"s. If you use the latter it is still possible to delete individual addresses from the "To" and "Cc" fields before sending.For messages received via distribution systems like DentonTalk use the Reply button carefully. Do you really want your response to go to everyone on the list or should it be limited to the individual who sent the message? If the latter – open the message and right-click on the sender's address to the right of the "on behalf of" in the "From" field. This will highlight the address. Then right-click on it and left-click on the "Send mail" option. Your response will then be restricted to the person who sent the previous message on Talk.
Note that you can use a similar technique to generate a new entry in your Contacts List. Highlight the address in the "From" field, right-click and then left-click on the "Add to Outlook Contacts" option
Another button provided on the Inbox page is "Forward" which allows you to send a received message on to another person or group with some appropriate comments of your own if necessary.
Before you send your message you can attach to it one or more files that you have stored on your system. These might be text documents, photographs etc. Outlook provides an "Insert file" button, in the form of a paper-clip symbol, next to the "Send" Button. A left-click here will prompt you to browse through any of the folders on your system. Just highlight the required file and left-click on the "Insert" button in the browsing box.
Note that when you forward a message any attachments will go with it, unless you delete them first.
There may be occasions when you might want to send messages to the same group of people, members of your family for example, again and again. Rather than entering each of there addresses in the "To" field each time, you could set up your own distribution list containing their addresses and then place its name in the "To" field.
To construct a new list, open up your Contacts file, in Outlook by left-clicking on the "Contacts" button, bottom left on the screen. Then left-click on the arrow next to the "New" button and choose the "Distribution List" option. You can enter a suitable name for the list and then "Select Members" of the list from all the contacts you have stored previously. You can easily change the contents of the list later if required.
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