Tips to make your life better

  1. Use your four power keys, they're together on the lower left corner of your keyboard. For most people, using their right hand on the mouse, they are the easiest four keys to hit while holding down the Ctrl key in the lower left corner. They are the most useful keys for most people and thus were picked to be the most easy to use. The most used functions are Undo, Cut, Copy and Paste and it is not a coincidence that they work with the Z X C and V keys.
    • Ctrl + Z - This is the single most useful key combination you can learn, it means "Undo whatever I just did." It should be your first instinct whenever you make a mistake. Did you drag an email somewhere and don't know where it went? Hold down the lower left CTRL key with your left pinky and hit Z with your left index finger. It may not seem intuitive at first, but once you learn it, you'll use it every day you touch a computer from now on. What if you move a file you didn't mean to? Ctrl+Z puts it back. Delete a line you didn't mean to? Ctrl+Z puts it back. Randomly enter keys on a page while chasing a spider across your keyboard? Ctrl+Z removes those. Type a line you regret, Ctrl+Z undoes it.
    • Ctrl+X - is "cut" which means that you want to remove something with the intent to use it later.
    • Ctrl+C - is  "copy" something you intend to use later
    • Ctrl+V - is use that thing you cut or copied earlier.
  2. Learn to open and close tabs and windows with your keyboard
    • Ctrl+W closes the active browser window
    • Ctrl+T opens a new tab in the browser
    • Ctrl+N opens a new window in the browser
    • Ctrl+Click opens a new tab in the browser
    • Alt+F4 closes the active window (or the whole browser window, but this also works with programs and regular windows.)
  3. Become unprivileged
    The reason that Windows has such a terrible security reputation isn't that it is insecure by default nearly so much as because people use it insecurely. You should never use your administrative account for your daily work. When you set up Windows, it sets up your first user with administrative rights. That's why people can get nasty viruses and malware, whatever they run into has the same permissions they do. It is also why Microsoft had to build in that nasty "Do you really want to do this" pop-up. Most people who get a serious problem on their computer while they're using it are using an administrative account. If you're using one, all you need to do is go to Users (maybe User Accounts and Family Safety or Add user accounts) in the control panel and add a normal account. That should be the only account you normally use. When you are intentionally adding software or changing basic computer settings, you'll need to switch to using your Admin account, but that will keep bad things from doing it against your will. (This is why this same advice appears on the How not to get hacked page.

That's it really. I might add more later, but those are nine key combinations and one really important tip that will make your life easier and safer on the computer. Many people that I try to teach these tips to are at first reluctant to learn them because they seem like such small things, but as they realize how much learning just one pays off, they quickly become more interested. Learn just one key combination and you will want to learn the others. Follow just the big third tip and you may not notice how much easier your life is, but you'll avoid some of the most painful lessons that bad internet habits teach.

Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. I have experience, I'm hoping you can have education instead.