In this chapter, you will: complete these skills.
Computers are such an integral part of our lives; it can be easy to take them for granted. They are found in homes, offices, stores, hospitals, libraries, and many other places. They are a part of our cars and cell phones, allow us to access our bank accounts from home and shop online, and let us easily and quickly communicate with people all over the world by means of e-mail and the Internet. It would be difficult nowadays to find a business or occupation that doesn't rely on computers in some capacity. Whether it's a truck driver who keeps an electronic log of his or her travels or a high-powered stockbroker who needs up-to-the-second market information, computers make these tasks quicker, more efficient, and more accurate.
Computers are all around us, which makes it more important than ever to learn basic computing skills and gain the knowledge that will make you a responsible computer user. This is also known as being computer fluent. Just as you wouldn't drive a car without knowing the rules of the road or how to provide some routine maintenance, you need to know about a computer's capabilities and limitations and the best ways to use it.
This chapter looks at different types of computers and their functions. It discusses computer hardware and software and the benefits of networking. In addition, this chapter also discusses the importance of safe computing practices and the ways you can protect your computer from various threats.
Objective 1 Define Computer and Identify the Four Basic Computing Functions