Are You Computer Literate?



We often have clients saying they're "not very good with computers". The real question is: What make someone computer literate? This article is our take on what you need to know when it comes to IT and computers.

Originally Published: 13th of February, 2014
Last Updated: 19th of February, 2014


Why is Being Computer Literate Important?

It's simple - Time! By knowing how to use computers correctly you'll save yourself so much time and sometimes even money. Knowing tricks and being confident in your ability to use a computer means you'll be able to get more done. Most of the basics of computers can learned quickly, even if you have little computer experience. 

Below we've provided information on what we believe all computer users could benefit from knowing. If you know most or all of the key points we've listed below, then you can easily consider yourself computer literate. If not, don't worry, it just means you could benefit from learning more about how to use your computer.


Word Wide Web & Browser Basics

These days it’s rare to use a computer without making use of the internet. It’s important to understand what the internet is and how to use it effectively as this can make everyone's life a little bit easier. Common mistakes we see all the time include users putting website addresses into Google instead of the address bar. While it still works, it’s slower and inefficient. Another is users double clicking on hyperlinks when only a single click is required.

What you need to know:

  • How to clear your browsers cache and internet history.
  • Basic website and connection error messages.
  • How to tell if your connection to a website is secure.
  • The difference between running a search on a web address and going directly to it.


Search Engines:

Using search engines like Google, Bing or Duck Duck Go, is also very important. It’s often less about using the advanced search tool and more about knowing how to pick effective keywords and locate the most qualified information sources for what you need. Finding information is easy, finding the right information can sometimes be hard.

What you need to know:

  • How to search for exact phrases.
  • How to tell Google to find pages without a keyword.
  • How to search a single website for something using Google.
  • Using keywords effectively to locate what you need.
  • Identifying valid informational sources from low quality ones.


Word-processing and Spreadsheets

Your office program skill sets can make a big difference in the work place. If you’re ineffective at word-processing and spreadsheets, it’ll be harder to do many tasks associated with almost all jobs. Having strong skills in this area can easily save you hours of time over the year compared to your less aware co-workers. Not to mention that spreadsheet skills allow you to turn a simple spreadsheet into a powerful automatic calculator.

What you need to know:

  • Adjusting a documents styles and structure.
  • The difference between and how to use a line break, paragraph break and page break.
  • The format painter tool.
  • How to use headers and automatically generate a table of contents.
  • How to create and edit equations in excel.
  • How to properly reference cells (such as use of the $ character).
  • Common useful functions and how to find new functions.


Keyboard Shortcuts

Every operating system has useful keyboard commands that can save your hours of time if used. These make anything from email to word-processing much faster. Instead of having to locate a common function in a program (like "Save"), you can just use your keyboard to do it instantly.

What you need to know:

  • Shortcuts for 'cut', 'copy', 'paste', 'save' and 'select all'.
  • What Num-Lock is and how to turn it on or off.
  • How to use Tab and Shift-Tab to move between input areas.
  • How to find useful shortcuts specific to a program.


Common Terminology

Knowing this from that is important for anyone who wants to be tech savvy. Sadly IT is full of annoying acronyms and terms that overlap in meaning and it doesn’t help that new terms come out every year. It is important to know the most common terms and especially speed and size units for data. How else will you know how many megabits or gigabytes of data you need for your internet or portable hard-drive?

What you need to know:

  • What the basic computer parts are (RAM, CPU, Monitor, Graphics Card, GPU, etc)
  • Network Components ( Router, Modem, Wi-Fi, Switch,Dongle, 3G, 4G).
  • The difference between Wi-Fi, Wireless, 3G & 4G.
  • Different Operating Systems names and who they are made by.
  • Data measurement units such as (KB, MB, GB, TB and the difference between bits and bytes).



More to come soon...


Basic Troubleshooting

More to come soon...