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Internet Basics for Virtual Assistants

Home » Anatomy of a Winning Resume » Become a Virtual Assistant » Internet Basics for Virtual Assistants
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In this lesson you’ll find out how enormously an understanding of the Internet matters, especially if you choose to pursue an online career. You need to understand what the Internet really is and that you have at least some very basic training in how to use it.

If you worked in a restaurant, you’d have to know how to use a knife or a skillet pan, how to turn the oven on, what temperature to set it at, and the like, wouldn’t you? Of course, but anybody who owns a commercial kitchen would know this much.

A true professional needs to know more than the very basics.

For example, as a professional chef, you wouldn’t use just any knife. You would have several graded blades for different food preparation tasks. Also, you would know all about the knife manufacturers, the upsides and the downsides of their different models.

The same goes for prospective online employees who are working online. Your tool is not a knife – one of your basic tools is the Internet. Therefore, you need to learn as much as you can about how it works and what it means to you. In detail!

Admittedly, there is much more to learn about the Internet, than knives. The Internet is a powerful and complex thing and if you waited to learn every little detail about it before you start using it for work – you would never start working.

However, it is important for every online worker to master the Internet basics and get to know the aspects of the Internet that are essential.

That’s exactly why we’re here: to help you realise what skills you need and guide you on your way to honing them.

At the very beginning, we’re going to remind you quickly how powerful the Internet actually is.

So, let’s get started.

Why an Online Employee Needs to Learn the Internet Basics

The Internet plays a huge role in people’s lives. It is growing and developing more and more every day. Nowadays, it is impossible even to imagine living without it. It is an amazingly versatile facility which can help you to do anything you want just with a few clicks.

The Internet has become a working environment and the marketplace of so many businesses and that number is growing. Therefore, if you want to start your Internet-based career, here are the reasons why you need to learn the Internet basics.

Online Employees Need to Understand Their Working Environment

Do you think that any employer would want to pay well a restaurant worker who doesn’t know the very basic skills in a kitchen and its rules, or cooking in general?

Of course not.

Anyway, how would you react if you were told something like this:

You’re going to get a job in a restaurant but you’ll never know what food is, how to prepare it, or what it tastes. You’ll just serve it. It comes in a plastic bag and your task is to put it on a plate and give it to the customer. OK?’

Would you feel comfortable? Would you be confident enough performing your daily tasks, responding to the customer’s queries, or recommending certain dishes to the guests? Would you be able to grow, learn, and perfect your skills? Not likely.

Once you become an online worker, the Internet is your working environment, just like a kitchen is to a chef. That’s why some basic understanding of how the cogs turn the wheel in terms of the Internet is so fundamentally important for you.

Online Employees Need to Understand Their Tools

Let’s expand our story about a professional chef for a moment. It will help you grasp the importance of you learning the basics of the Internet.

Can you imagine a professional cook working in an international restaurant without knowing how to use a set of knives properly? Which one’s for chopping and which one’s for carving food? Actually, not even knowing what the difference is between e.g. chopping, dicing, carving, and slicing. Probably NOT, right?

Then how can anyone imagine becoming a 21st century professional online worker without mastering at least some basic online tools and being familiar with the use of the Internet?

You got it?

Similarly, some people often just fall into an online business environment without REALLY understanding anything at all about how the Internet works. Moreover, they don’t even know e.g. what a web browser is or where it came from, how to insert hyperlinks in the text, or how to use different search engines and so on.

You see how tremendously important it is for you as a future online worker to understand a little bit about the online world? Once you learn about it and see its beauty, you’ll be amazed by the magic and the true power of that incredibly mass communication vehicle.

Online Employees Need to Become Advanced Internet Users

People turn to the Internet in different life situations and different circumstances, and it is a tool that is present and open 24/7. Education, business, entertainment, socialisation, are just some of the areas where the Internet has such a big role.

Just because it’s omnipresent its complexity can easily be masked. Most people think they know a lot about the Internet because it’s ubiquitous. Since you want to get a serious online job and become a professional, you won’t allow yourself to be deceived like that, right?

Most people think that they can cook because they have what almost everyone else has: two hands, a sense of taste, some ingredients, and a kitchen with some basic dishes and a cooker in it. But is it true?

Perhaps it could be compared to a situation when a young inexperienced housewife comes to a well-known restaurant to work as a substitute chef for a while. Can you imagine what difficulties she may and certainly will encounter?

She has cooked numerous times before, but not for so many people, not so many different dishes at once. She hasn’t used the professional equipment and she knows nothing about the kitchen safety rules and regulations.

Are you going to be that housewife or the chef in your online working environment?

It’s your call!

More Knowledgeable Online Workers Can Expect Better Jobs

The better and more skillful the worker – the better the chances for landing a well-paid job. Even though the online job market is relatively new concept, this universal law hasn’t changed.

You cannot expect to be a skillful online employee if you are not working on gaining knowledge and skills that concern one of your basic tools of work – the Internet.

The Internet changes and evolves quickly and you need to keep up with it. However, if you want to keep up with it, you need to know the basics first in order to be able to plan your next step of your education and professional development.

If you were a professional cook, you’d be aware that there are always new cooking techniques, modern kitchen appliances, and many other trends related to your profession. To stay afloat and to get hired by the best restaurants, you would always try and keep up with the latest news.

Let’s say a professional cook gets a new, high-tech cooker that can help them prepare in a quicker and more efficient way than the first. If they don’t know a first thing about their previous cooker, they will not be able to understand how the new one is better.

The same goes for the online workers. Keeping up with the Internet means you will always be able to react to its changes and acquire the skills you need to stay on the top. This, consequently makes you an employee everybody wants in their team.

Simple, in order to be a part of that marvelous online business world, you have to understand its basic elements, what’s behind the machine, what makes it tick.

You’re looking towards this incredibly important invention to change your life, that is to say, to get a prospective online job, right?

Well, understanding this knowledge bank and communication device will give you more depth, so that you can relate to it and fully appreciate its beauty and the opportunity to have a successful online career.

Let’s start with some basics.

Basic Terms of the Internet Use

So far you’ve probably realised why having at least some basic computer knowledge is a MUST nowadays. However, if you want to use the Internet properly and effectively there are several things that you want to pay attention to.

In the lessons that follow, here’s what you’ll learn as a part of the Internet basics course:


What is it? What can you do with it? It’s crucial to be familiar with HTML because it’s the language of the Internet.If you were a professional cook, you’d know technical terms denoting various cooking techniques. Similarly, you’d make a difference between baking, roasting, grilling, frying, boiling.

Moreover, you’d certainly know the meaning of ‘au gratin’, ‘bouquet garni’, ‘foie gras’ etc. Or, have you met a serious chef who’s never heard of a ‘kissing crust’?HTML is exactly the same.

It tells you the technical terms involved in your industry. If you don’t know those technical terms, you’re NOT a professional in that industry.


Understanding the meaning and purpose of URLs is so important if you want to use the Internet productively. Think of it as a street address – every piece of URL represents a different part of the address and each part gives you a different piece of information.

It’s important to understand them so that you can control them much better.You can learn more about the history of the URL to understand it better.

Web Browsers

It’s one of the primary tools of every online worker to learn how to really use that tool to your best advantage.

There are many different web browsers, and you will have several of them installed on your computer. Think about your needs, the type of your PC and what you actually want to get from your browser.


Links are used to navigate the web. What you should learn here is – how to recognise if the link leads to a different web page or downloading a file, how to create them and use them.

Search Engines

Learn what they are, how they differ, what search options they offer, and which one will suit you best. Some of the most popular search engines are Google and Yahoo, but there are many more, with their different specifics.

You need to understand the relations of these things, as well. You need to be aware that a search engine is not the same as a web browser and that every hyperlink has to contain a URL. All these will be covered in the future lessons in a much more detailed way.

Basic Skills for an Online Worker

Due to the fast growth of the Internet, the opportunities for working online are growing too. Many people miss those opportunities because they lack some computer skills. It is never too late to gain new knowledge, so here are some required skills for online work.

In the following lessons of this course you’ll also learn:

  • Word processing. Many of online jobs cannot be imagined without online tools such as Google Docs. You may use it for writing, editing and formatting documents, inserting tables and graphics, etc. eCommerce employees, especially those that decide to specialise in copywriting, need to learn how to use this software in depth.
  • Data entry. When it comes to data entry jobs there is a demand for knowledge of Google Sheets. The specifics, popularity and the convenience of this software toolapp make using it an essential part of your eCommerce skills.
  • Email sending and receiving. Business communication today occurs mainly over email so you have to be very good at sending and receiving emails. But not just that.You should learn about email etiquette, such as how to write in the appropriate and extremely polite tone, when to and when NOT to send an attachment, etc.

In all the lessons that follow as a part of this course, we’re going to teach you how to become a true professional, how to develop skills and strategies necessary for the industry of the Internet.

Just like a chef needs to start with the basic cooking classes and work their way to becoming a real professional, you will be able to learn about the aspects of the Internet that concern you, as an online employee and become an online professional.

In Summary

Before you read this lesson you probably thought you knew what the Internet was and how to use it. Do you think the same now?

Hopefully, you’re aware that there’s so much more to it!

Many consider the Internet one of the greatest and most important inventions of our time. There are so many opportunities and everything you want to find out is just a few clicks away. The Internet is all about the unlimited access to any information.

You need to learn Internet basics because the Internet revolutionises the job market and the market in general. As an online worker, the Internet will be your working environment and your working tool.

However, every tool is valuable just if you know how to use it. Completing a basic Internet skills course/training is a must in modern times. In order to enjoy the benefits of the Internet you should know about:

  • HTML
  • URLs
  • Web Browsers
  • Hyperlinks
  • Choosing the best search engine

As the Internet is growing and developing, opportunities for working online are doing that as well. Before you start your online career, make sure you are very good at:

  • Word Processing
  • Data Entry
  • Email Correspondence

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Everybody knows enough about the Internet to be an eCommerce worker

a. Yes. People use the Internet every day, so they know all about it

b. No. eCommerce workers need to be advanced Internet users

2. Every hyperlink contains an URL

a. Yes. URL is a part of a hyperlink

b. No. You can create a hyperlink without an URL

3. Web browsers and search engines are the same

a. Yes

b. No

4. Basic skills of an online worker include?

a. Word processing, data entry, email correspondence

b. Web design, programming, coding

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