In a world where more than 4.5 billion people surf more than 1.7 billion websites every day and millions of Google searches are happening every second, imagining a world without the internet is hard, especially for those whose livelihood depends on it.
Indeed, the internet has become a necessity in our lives because it helps us to connect, communicate, manage, educate, earn and entertain, 24X7.
The educated and moneyed section of the society accepts how fundamental the internet is to our lives. For many of us the internet is now the basics to how we do things.
But our dependence on this world wide web isn’t without its issues.
Here are 30 internet hacks that will surely make your digital life better than ever.
1. Use quotes(” “) to Google.
Sometimes we look for articles online that contain an exact keyword or phrase. For example if you want to find an article that contains the phrase “handsome youngman”, simply write the word or phrase within “ “ (“handsome youngman”) and Google will show you only those articles that contain the exact phrase “handsome youngman”.
2. Use Ctrl + S to download a webpage for offline use.
Wi-Fi and cellular networks are not available everywhere. No network or low internet speed may force us to stop working. But if you know how to save an important page for offline use, you will find some relief. You can do it in 4 simple steps:
- When you are online, open the page you want to save for offline use.
- Press Ctrl + S from your keyboard.
- Save the file as .html in any folder you like.
- Click on that saved .html file when you need it.
3. Use your web browser to take notes.
No notepad, no problem. When you have a web browser who needs a notepad?
You can use your browser as a temporary notepad following these simple steps
- In the URL bar type in data:text/html, <html contenteditable> and press Enter.
- Start using the empty white screen to take notes.
4. Ctrl + Shift + T to reopen accidentally closed tab.
Sometimes, while doing important tasks on the computer and multiple tabs are open in the browser, we accidentally close important tabs we were working on. To get back the last tab we closed, you can simply press Ctrl + Shift + T on your keyboard and the tab will reopen for you.
5. Use Google Scholar.
Google Scholar helps you to find the scholarly literature you need. You can search for articles, theses, books, abstracts, court opinions from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. During lockdown when it is not easy to go out and search for the kind of scholarly papers you need, this free service from google will help you to find them sitting at the comfort of your home.
6. Log out of Facebook remotely.
Many times we log on to our facebook account from someone else’s PC or smartphone and forget to log out in a hurry. This is not good if it is important for you to protect your privacy. Don’t panic, there is a solution. Simply log on to facebook from your personal device – go to settings – click on “Security and login” – check where you’re logged in – click on the three dots icon – and log out.
7. Play Movies and Music in Google Chrome.
Google Chrome users don’t need a media player app anymore. Yes, you can play your video and music files on Chrome now. Simply Drag and Drop the file on an open tab and the browser will start playing the file for you.
8. Use “set timer <time> to use Google as a Timer.
Who needs to pull out a smartphone or a stopwatch to track time when you have Google. In the search box, simply type keywords like “set timer for 1 hour 10 minutes and 20 seconds” and Google will start to track time for you. You can also use the “set stopwatch” keyword to use Google as a stopwatch.
9. Use Google Translate to understand an unknown language.
English is the language of business, science and technology in India and many other countries of the world. The reality here, however, is that not everybody can read or understand English, fewer still are able to speak it well enough to communicate effectively. If you, like many of us, struggle to understand a piece of English text, use google translate to get the text translated in your native native. For students this service from Google is priceless.
10. Use Find My Device to track your lost Android.
Track, lock, and erase the data on a lost or stolen phone with Find My Device service from Google. You get to see the battery life remaining on your lost phone and the Wi-Fi network it is connected to. Find My Device is the easiest way to track your phone and it is enabled on all phones out of the box. You can make your lost phone ring even if it is in silent mode. To protect your data you can erase them remotely or lock your phone to secure it. All you need to do is log on to the gmail id your phone is connected to from a PC or other android device and activate the option you want.
11. When you are bored feel free to ask you Google Assistant to do these:
- Can you pass the Turing test?
- Do you want to be human?
- Are you sentient?
- I am your father
- Do you know the Muffin Man?
- Who let the dogs out?
- What am I thinking right now?
- Tell me something funny.
- Give me a random number.
- Talk dirty to me.
- Are you married?
- What is the meaning of life?
- I love you.
- Do you love me?
- Who’s your crush?
- Who’s your first crush?
- Who’s the loneliest number?
- Can you rap? Can you sing?
- up, up, down, down, left, right, B, A.
- What’s cooler than being cool?
- What are the three laws of robotics?
- Are you afraid of something?
- Sing a song.
- Are you there?
- Tell me a joke.
12. Youtube Hotkeys
To pause a video: Press K.
To skip 10 seconds backward press J and to skip forward press L from your keyboard.
13. To close a tab just do a Middle click on it.
14. Open Task Manager in Windows directly Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
15. Use in-built PSR to record exact steps of using an app.
16. Delete word by word by CTRL + Backspace.
17. Some very useful Internet Browser Shortcuts:
- Press F5 or Ctrl+R to refresh or reload a web page.
- Click Ctrl + Shift and R at the same time to view a webpage with a cleared cache.
- Hold down the Ctrl key and press the + or – to increase and decrease the size of text. Ctrl+0 will reset the text.
- Press F11 to make the Internet browser screen full screen. Press F11 again to return to the normal view.
- Press Ctrl+F to open the find box to search for text in the web page you are reading.
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete to open the clear browsing data option.
- Press F6 or Ctrl+L to move the cursor into the address bar.
18. Some very useful PC shortcuts you must know to boost your productivity:
- Ctrl-tab: Switch between a browser and Excel tabs.
- Ctrl-F4: Close a tab.
- Ctrl-Z: Undo.
- Alt-tab: Switch between windows.
- Alt-F4: Close a window.
- Ctrl + Q quits your web browser.
- Ctrl + I turns the text style into italics.
19. You must be aware of data Google collects from your phone and PC:
- Location History – The apps and places where you used Google to do anything.
- Takeout – Export the information Google knows about you.
- Dashboard – See all the Google services you are using.
- YouTube search history – YouTube saves all of your searches.
- Permissions – Permissions you have given to the extensions and sites you use
- History – Your entire Google search history.
- Ads – Google shows ads based on your search pattern.
20. If you notice these signs, your computer has been hacked.
- You try to log in your computer and suddenly your password doesn’t work.
- Anti-virus being turned off.
- Cursor moving and clicking automatically.
- Too much internet data being consumed by PC or smartphone.
21. Personal Information should be used Professionally and Limitedly.
Most websites don’t need to know your mother’s maiden name, personal relationship status or your home address. Don’t hand purely personal information out to websites and apps you don’t genuinely need. This is one of the most important safety tips in using the internet. You must follow the rules to use the internet safely
22 . Always Keep Your Privacy Settings On
Facebook, Google, Bing, Apple and every marketer would love to know all about you, and so do hackers. Your browsing and social media usage tell them about what you like and what you don’t. Take charge of your information and don’t let them brainwash you. Go to the Settings of any app or website and keep your privacy option on and strict all the time.
23. Practice Safe Browsing
Don’t get lured by attractive images, games and offers and don’t search for illegal contents. Hackers use explicit contents as bait as they know that people are ready to let their guard down when searching for illegal contents and attractive offers. Use the internet wisely and don’t click anything on suspicious sites that are dealing with illegal contents.
24. Use Encrypted Internet Connection or a Secure VPN Connection.
Avoid using a public Wi-Fi connection for doing confidential transactions as you don’t have access or control over its security. Provide your banking details only over a secure Wi-Fi network. The best way is to use secure VPN connection (virtual private network). VPN enables you to have a secure connection between your device and an Internet server. No one can monitor or access the data of a VPN user. Follow public wifi security tips religiously.
25. Download only from trusted sites and apps.
Don’t download programs or apps that carry malware or steal your confidential information. This malware can be disguised as a popular game or an app that checks traffic or the weather. One of the best safety tips for using the internet is not to download apps that look suspicious or come from a site you don’t trust.
26. Choose Strong Passwords.
Passwords are the most vulnerable in the whole Internet security structure because people tend to choose easy ones to remember. Don’t use passwords like <your name + year of birth> or <password123456> which are easy for cyber thieves to guess. Select strong passwords that are harder to guess or break. Password manager software can help you to manage multiple passwords so that you don’t forget them. Use passwords that are at least 15 characters long and are a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Don’t use the name of your spouse, children or your date of birth in the password.
27. Make Online Purchases From Secure Sites
You need to provide your credit card or bank account information to online shopping websites to make a purchase. Hackers are most eager to get their hands on these pieces of information. Only supply this information to sites that provide secure, encrypted connections and use secured payment gateways. Look for an address that starts with https:// and not just http://. The S stands for secure. You may identify a secured website by a padlock icon next to the address bar.
28. Post and Share wisely.
The Internet has no delete key. Once you post something it will be there forever. Removing the original (say, from Facebook) does not remove any copies that other people made. There is no way you can “take back” a remark you wish you hadn’t made, or get rid of that embarrassing selfie you took at a party. So post wisely when you are not drunk or high. Post something that you don’t mind your mom or a prospective employer to see.
29. Be Careful Who You Meet Online.
The woman you met online last night on chat is perhaps a man disguised as a woman. Or the handsome, dependable young man who flirted with you on video call is actually a cyber thief who is just trying to get his hands on your banking information. Social media sites are full of fake profiles created by fake people. Be careful and sensible while chatting online and don’t share your personal information with people you don’t know in real life.
30. Keep Your Antivirus Program Up To Date
Internet security software cannot give 100% protection but it can protect you against most threats if you keep it updated. Update your operating system or OS whenever a new version arrives too. If you keep your anti-virus and OS updated and follow all the rules for using the internet safely, you can ensure your internet safety and use the technology securely.