Technology

How Much Do You Really Know About the Internet?

By / Sep 6, 2017 (monsitj/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

A recent survey by the Public Interest Registry, a nonprofit domain registry, found that people generally think they know more about the internet than they actually do.

You use it every day. It’s essential to both your work life and your personal life. But do you understand the basics of how the internet works?

Odds are, you don’t have as strong a handle on the ‘net as you think you do. And according to a survey from the Public Interest Registry (PIR)—which manages nonprofit top-level domains such as .org, .ngo, and .ong—you’re far from alone.

In the Internet 101 Survey, which polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults, most respondents (84 percent) were confident about their knowledge of the internet, but most also blew a number of basic questions. Just 20 percent of respondents knew whether the internet was different than the World Wide Web, and just 29 percent were able to properly describe what HTTP meant.

One differentiator was generation. Baby boomers were more likely than millennials to know basic information about the internet, such as what designates a secure site and when the World Wide Web was created.

In a news release, PIR noted that, despite what many respondents believe, the internet is not available everywhere around the globe.

“The survey revealed that 50 percent of U.S. internet users think more people globally are connected to the internet than actually are, which is a reminder of the work that must be done to close the global internet education and the internet access gap,” said Public Interest Registry CEO Brian Cute. PIR “hopes this survey will not only educate but also help spark dialogue around internet issues such as access, cybersecurity threats, and more.”

If you’d like to learn more about the internet (including the answers to all of the questions above), check out PIR’s Internet 101 page, which includes an infographic and a quiz. (Hopefully we didn’t give away any answers.)

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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