This guide is designed to help you get started with your Internet research. Please keep in mind that while the Internet is rich in resources, it offers only a fraction of the information that is available, with a multitude of materials available only in print or other physical formats, and the majority of online information restricted to the deep web or the dark web. Most critical for your research are the many resources the library purchases so that you will have access to the best information - see the University Libraries home page for guidance. This guide focuses on freely available search tools.
Click on the tabs to the left to find lists of search tools and questions to ask as you evaluate web pages and see below for a very brief overview of the Internet.
The Internet is a worldwide system of computer networks. It is a public, cooperative, and self-sustaining system accessible to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The most widely used part of the Internet is the World Wide Web (often abbreviated "WWW" or called "the Web"). The Web offers access to billions of pages of information.
The content of web sites comes from:
Other protocols on the Internet allow for the transfer of email, ftp, messaging, streaming, telnet, and usenet.
The Internet is not private. Governments monitor for surveillance purposes. Companies track your searches and web visits in order to sell to you and to sell your data to others (the product the most popular search engines are selling is you!). Cybercriminals try to extract personally identifying information (PII) in order to steal your identity.
While this is not intended as a guide to safe Internet use, your practices can increase or reduce your privacy. Take the time to learn how you can protect yourself. Set your browser to protect your privacy. Avoid using the same credentials on different web sites. Avoid staying logged into web sites. Avoid opening attachments unless you are sure they are trusted. And consider using some of the resources in this guide designed to protect your privacy.