10 Signs You’re Computer Illiterate

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We all like to think we are pretty savvy when it comes to computer technology. Bookmark this article and share with the computer illiterate in your life as necessary!

Computing and the web are changing at a rapid pace. The vast expanse of the digital world can be tough to tackle when there’s so much material to know. Chances are good you might be computer illiterate if you’re not quite familiar with these 10 concepts. Consider this a shortcut to help you on your way!

1. Multifactor authentication sounds like something vaguely related to math courses.

Multifactor authentication is a login method that uses multiple methods to verify the identity of the user before allowing them to access a system. Multifactor authentication is a more secure method of login. Multifactor authentication takes two forms of known authentication and requires a third to allow a user to log in. A password is usually the first step in the login process.

2. You’re still using the term hyperlink to describe links on a website.

A hyperlink is a clickable word or phrase that takes you to another location when tapped or clicked. A hyperlink can be associated with an image, text, or button. While the term hyperlink is an accurate term for linked text on a web page, it has fallen out of use. Hyperlinks are simply referred to as links these days.

3. You think all website addresses are required to begin with WWW.

When the World Wide Web was first created, the use of WWW wasn’t intended to become a standard feature of domain names. Instead, it was an accidental setting that became a fixture of website addresses. Modern web browsers can take visitors to the right location (in most cases) without the need for WWW in a domain name. For example, techopedia.com resolves to the same location as www.techopedia.com. Unfortunately, there are still instances where companies do not set up website addresses to resolve to the correct location without typing WWW. But as a general rule, every website address does not need to begin with WWW.

4. Your idea of a strong password is adding a number or symbol to your favorite p@ssw0rd.

Strong, unique passwords are essential to keeping your data secure. Adding numbers or symbols to a password you use most isn’t the best way to secure your accounts. Password cracking is typically automated, so you need to rethink your password creation strategy. Consider using a password manager app to generate and securely store passwords.

5. You scan any QR code you encounter because it’s faster than typing.

Quick response (QR) codes are commonly used to make it easier to open websites or get other information about a business. They can save keystrokes and get you to the web page or form you need in fewer keystrokes, but they can also be used for other less helpful activities.


Malicious QR code usage is gaining popularity as scammers seek to take advantage of its convenience. Consider the source of the QR code before scanning. (Read also: The Dangers of QR Codes.)

6. You believe your personal data isn’t valuable enough to be stolen by cybercriminals.

Access to your personal data is valuable because it can be used for identity theft, to gain access to accounts that require answers to security questions, and to conduct financial transactions in your name. Though individual records may not fetch a high price, getting your identity back can take a lot of time and effort.

7. You don’t think of your router as a household device that needs any attention.

If you haven’t updated the name and password for your wifi network or logged into your router’s administrative dashboard, you should consider getting to it soon. Techrepublic reports on how using default home router information can leave your network open to attack. Consider changing your network name (SSID) and password as well as the password associated with your router’s administrative dashboard.

8. You’ve been ignoring notifications to update software you use every day.

Do you find yourself hitting remind me later or snooze for a really long time?

Keeping software up-to-date is an important part of protecting your data and, by extension, your network. Unpatched software is a prime target for exploitation. Check for updates and install them regularly to avoid trouble in the future.

9. You think keyboard shortcuts are like hidden levels on a video game you’ve never played.

While they can seem like mysterious button combinations that require a lot of concerted effort to master, they’re easy to learn with a few repetitions. Microsoft and Apple provide extensive listings for all available keyboard shortcuts. Other popular software makers, like Adobe, also provide handy lists of keyboard shortcuts for each of their programs.

10. You think it’s better to leave your computer on all the time.

While it may be more convenient to leave your machine on, it can result in slower responses from applications and hardware. There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should reboot or shut down your computer. It’s a good idea to reboot regularly – some recommend doing so weekly.


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Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in international business and marketing. She started her career overseas for one of the leading computer security software companies. Then, she returned to the United States and worked with a cloud collaboration startup firm. Now, she works as a writer offering important information for people in IT on the most current trends and how they can employ those trends to give their business legs to succeed.