When using the internet for research or informational purposes, it is important for parents, teachers, and students to understand some basic information about the URL address. The domain of an address tells the user about the quality or reliability of the information on the page. When researching, the name of the site and the domain should sound familiar. Here is a list of common domain endings that many users encounter surfing the internet: (the ones highlighted are the ones students should use for accuracy and reliability)
.biz--Reserved for businesses
.com--For businesses and commercial enterprises; most companies use this extension.
.edu--For educational institutions and universities
.gov--Reserved for United States government agencies
.info--For informational sites
.jobs--For employment-related sites
.mil--For the United States military
.museum--For use by museums
.name--For use by individuals – try to avoid these!
.net--For networks; usually reserved for organizations such as Internet service providers
.org--For non-commercial organizations
.tel--For services connecting phone networks and the Internet
.travel--For travel-related services, like airlines, hotels and agents
In addition to the domain, students need to understand that the presence of the ~ (tilde) and/or a % (percent) means that it is a personal website. Some web pages that are linked to domain names that end in .edu, or other trusted sites, may have these symbols somewhere in the address. Students need to be cautious when they see these symbols because the information is most likely an opinion and not very reliable.
For more helpful tips and information, please visit these sites:
Alan November’s Information Literacy Resources: http://novemberlearning.com/resources/information-literacy-resources/
The Federal Bureau of Investigations: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide