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Getting to Know Technology: Link

Navigation is important for any computing system–particularly the Internet, where there are countless destinations. The Internet is comprised of various web pages, images, videos, and many other valuable little bits of content that are all connected by a web of links. These links are the cornerstone of the Internet, and we’ll explain the details of how they work and what they are.

Links are often called hyperlinks, and they are calls to specific information that can be discovered by clicking on them with a mouse or tapping them with your finger on a touchscreen. Even if it doesn’t look like it, buttons and other on-screen elements often have a link contained within them so they can be connected to certain information.

Links can be used to provide a direct path to specific information, such as a location on the network or a certain web page. Links can be embedded into text, as well–chances are you’ve seen links in blog articles before, linking to external information on either the same site or elsewhere. Links can even be used to navigate to different parts of a singular web page through anchor text.

An example we like to use is an image on a website. Depending on how it’s set up, you can “navigate” to another page to view the image, or you can just view an enlarged image of it right there. Either way, a link is used to display the image. The same can be said for clicking on a link to a PDF. You either download it by clicking on it, or you open it from its source in the web browser.

Of course, with the ease of sharing information and files that links provide, some choose to use it to disseminate threats across the Internet. You should always hover over a link to see its destination before actually clicking on it. You certainly don’t want to download a dangerous file. This is a tactic used by many malicious websites. They will make a site that looks legitimate and use links to spread threats or convince users to download malicious files. You can basically avoid most of these just by paying attention.

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