Internet Myth, Internet Truth

Internet Myth, Internet Truth
Image: Yongyuan Dai/Taxi/Getty Images

About This Quiz

From Big Brother security myths to the fabrication of what the Internet actually is, cyberspace is full of fictions of its own. Can you call a myth's bluff? Test your knowledge on what's real and what's not in the globe's largest electronic world.
The Internet is the same as:
the World Wide Web
a single server
neither
Though the Internet is commonly confused with the World Wide Web, the two are not the same. The Internet is a large series of networks whereas the Web is a popular system -- one of many, actually -- used to connect with this system of networks. The letters "HTTP" are telltale signs you're using the World Wide Web.

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When was the Internet developed?
in the 1960s
We all remember the days of slow dial-up, but the '80s and '90s aren't responsible for the Internet's first developments. Instead, the technological steps to support this worldwide phenomenon took place in the '60s.
in the 1980s
in the 1990s

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In the early 1990s, the U.S. Postal Service publicly denounced which of the following rumors?
that the Postal Service would charge 5 cents for every e-mail sent over the Internet
Fictitious Congressman Schnell and his legislation Bill 602P proposed the Postal Service place a 5-cent charge on every e-mail.
that the Postal Service would monitor e-mail content
that the Postal Service would buy the Internet

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If a file is on the Internet, it:
must be free
must cost money
can be free or cost money
A well-known myth states that all files on the Internet are free. Some companies, institutions and personal sites offer files for free while others may charge -- it depends.

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According to a popular myth, which politician claimed he invented the Internet?
Bill Clinton
Al Gore
Al Gore landed a spot in the public hot seat for "claiming" he invented the Internet, even though his original quote about developments of the Internet was taken out of context by the media.
Ross Perot

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True or false: The emoticon, or the idea to use text to create facial expressions, was devised first by Scott Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon.
True. He's the only one who used emoticons in the 1980s.
False. He had nothing to do with emoticons.
False -- but he definitely popularized emoticons on the Internet.
The smileys :-) and sad faces :-( rampant on the Internet today were promoted by Fahlman in 1982, but the first use of emoticons was in a 1967 Reader's Digest issue in the form of a tongue-and-cheek expression with dashes and parentheses --)

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Which of the following is true about free speech and the Internet in the United States?
You can say anything you want online.
Internet speech is as free as print, but like print, some areas receive no protection.
Uncle Sam protects most negative speech online, but a few areas, such as the incitement of imminent lawless action and true threats, aren't protected.
You can't criticize the government online.

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With excess bottled water and hopes for the worst, the world survived the hysteria surrounding the "Y2K" Internet scare. Which year was Y2K centered around?
1999
2000
Though Y2K, or the "Year 2000 problem," was less problematic than anticipated, some computers still had issues adjusting from the '90s to the first years of the 2000s.
2001

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A common myth is that you're protected from malicious e-mails as long as you don't open or click which of the following?
e-mail attachments
links
both e-mail attachments and links
As a rule of thumb, you should avoid opening attachments or clicking links in suspicious e-mails. But this isn't entirely true if your e-mail program automatically opens attachments for you.

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Can your Internet Service Provider (ISP) track which Web sites you see on the Internet?
Yes. ISPs do it every day -- and probably at this very moment.
Yes, ISPs are capable of tracking their customers, but they choose not to. In special cases, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may ask ISPs to track the online activities of criminals.
If you're staying out of trouble, chances are your ISP isn't tracking you. The myth that your ISP is tracking you may become a reality, though, as government officials are pushing legislation that would require ISPs to track their customers' activities for certain periods of time.
no

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Censoring users' access to certain content isn't a myth in some countries. Which of the following Web sites is dedicated to this issue?
the Web site CensorChina.com
the Web site Netpolice.com
The Web site GreatFireWallofChina.org
This great wall can't be seen from outer space, but its site -- the GreatFireWallofChina.org -- gives Internet users a look at which sites aren't visible in China because of censorship.

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Which of the following crimes was the Department of Homeland Security falsely accused of?
installing "keyloggers" on Dell keyboards that track computer activity
This myth stated that the government wanted to track users' activities with keyboard loggers that track people's typing. Big Brother, anyone?
trying to buy the Internet
censoring anti-government Web sites

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What would it take for the Internet to collapse?
damage to the handful of Internet powerhouses
too many people accessing one Web site at the same time
We're not exactly sure, but we know that many components (rather than a few) would have to be damaged since the Internet is an enormous, global series of networks.
It's a myth that the Internet is housed in a few large places. Plus, since the Internet is so widespread physically, it would take a lot to completely shut it down -- at that point you'd have a lot more on your mind than the Internet.

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Everything you read on the Internet is:
true
false
Some is true, while some things are false.
The beauty of the Internet is that anyone can contribute to its content, but that also means some information may not be true. Fear not, there are plenty of credible Web sites still out there -- like HowStuffWorks.com.

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One common perception about the Internet is that it's swarming with child predators. True or false?
True. Internet sex crimes most often involve pedophiles.
False. Adults are more often looking for unforced sexual encounters with partners who are underage.
According to a 2008 study published in American Psychologist, Internet sex crimes are more likely to be consensual encounters between an adult and an underage partner (statutory rape).
Both options carry the same risk.

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What is the term used to describe people who use too much bandwidth?
bandwidthers
bandwidth hogs
Accused of possibly shutting down the Internet with large bandwidth traffic, these "hogs" are just heavy users and are unlikely to affect the Internet.
bandwidth experts

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With the touch of a keyboard or click of a mouse, the Internet allows us to send e-mail messages to one another. What exactly does the term "e-mail" stand for?
"Eudora mail" created by Eudora, a company named after a famous American writer
encrypted mail
electronic mail
Though Eudora Welty's Southern charm inspired the name of the Eudora software company, she was not the namesake of e-mail, or electronic mail.

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A common myth states that Internet companies like Google, Inc. can keep track of your individual searches using which of the following?
bandwidth
an Internet Protocol (IP) address
Sure, your searches can be tracked with an IP address, but you should also realize that IP addresses consist of a loose description of your geographic location. IP addresses are difficult to trace back to individuals.
webmasters

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A recent poll showed that people use the Internet how many hours per week, excluding e-mail use?
8 hours
10 hours
13 hours
Your time browsing HowStuffWorks.com certainly adds up! The average U.S. adult spends 13 hours on average per week on the Internet.

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True or false: If you try hard, you'll get rich from using the Internet.
True. All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease.
True, but it takes less work than you'd imagine.
False. Some -- but not all -- hard work pays off.
Don't fall for "strike-it-rich on the Internet" scams. Many people have been successful at creating or selling things on the Internet, but their success is rare.

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You Got:
/20
Yongyuan Dai/Taxi/Getty Images

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