There’s an important need for widespread internet education among internet users of all ages and backgrounds following the findings of a survey to test U.S. consumer knowledge and awareness of the internet by the Public Internet Registry, operator of .org among other gTLDs.
But is it so surprising? Most people don’t know how their motor vehicles operate. They just know, to varying degrees, how to drive them. They know how to fill their fuel tanks and usually put air in the tyres. But under the bonnet, or hood, well, forget about it.
So it’s not surprising that only 31% of users could correctly define a “domain name system”, two-thirds (68%) could not identify the decade when the World Wide Web was invented and only 29% of participants correctly identified the meaning of HTTP, with 31 percent admitting outright they did not know the meaning of the term.
According to the survey results, an overwhelming majority (84%) reported that they believed they were “knowledgeable,” however the survey results painted a different picture. For instance, only 20 % of consumers knew the internet and the World Wide Web are not one and the same!
But there are positives. 59% knew a URL was another term for a web address, two-thirds (66%) could identify an domain name from a browser, email address and social media handle and 80% knew that they could find official information from their Congressman under a .gov domain name.
But more awareness is important so people understand, among other issues, the security risks when entering personal and financial information online for websites that don’t use “https”.
To check how knowledgeable you are, there’s an Internet101 quiz here.