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Information » Things To Do » Interests » Computers


  • Computers come in many different forms and can be used for a variety of functions
  • The most common functions are word processing, spreadsheets, databases, games, playing and creating music and for access to the internet
  • You may find it useful to use a computer to create and store schoolwork or a project you are working on
  • Many people will use some sort of computer for their jobs
  • Most people learn to use a computer at school, but there are courses you can do if you would like to learn more

The Internet

Internet access is one of the most common uses for personal computers. People use the Internet for a variety of functions including:

  • Finding out information on any subject
  • Learning
  • Getting up to date with the news
  • Making business
  • Buying and selling goods
  • Meeting people and 'chatting'
  • Talking to people
  • Tracking family and friends

Internet access is free in most libraries across Wales

Chat rooms

  • Chat rooms are a great way to share interests and opinions with people but be aware that anything you type into a chat room or message board can be seen by anyone who is logged in and looking at the webpage
  • The best way to use a chat room is to choose one that is moderated. This means there is a moderator who will monitor what is being talked about and issue warnings if someone says something inappropriate or abusive
  • Moderators can also ban people from certain chat rooms

Chat room Risks

Chatting to people over the Internet can be good fun but you must be aware that you never really know whom you are communicating with. Some people can lie and pretend to be someone they are not so it is important to stay safe.

Keeping safe when you're online is simple:

  • Don’t give away any personal or financial details including your age, phone number, bank account, and home address
  • Don’t say which school or university you go to
  • Don’t send any pictures of yourself across the Internet
  • Don’t believe everything people tell you
  • If someone asks you to meet up with them, it's much safer to meet them in the chat room
  • If you do decide to meet up with them, always make sure you decide on a public space and take a friend with you, no matter how old you are
  • If you are under 16, it is best to take an adult with you for your own safety

Shopping over the Internet

  • Buying goods over the Internet is a quick way of shopping - you can search for the item you want and make a payment online
  • Using a debit and credit card to pay for goods carries a risk as other web users can tap into the page and retrieve your card details
  • When shopping online, ensure you only use secure sites. Look out for a padlock logo at the bottom of your screen
  • The padlock logo means other web users cannot see your information you are sending over the Internet
  • If you purchase goods online using your credit or debit card you have the same rights as if you bought them in a shop - see the Office of Fair Trading's website for more information

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