Internet essentials

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • help you understand what the internet is and how it is regulated
  • explain the basics of cyber security.

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • implement strategies to protect your identity in an online environment
  • identify the elements of uniform resource locators (URLS)
  • resolve common issues with your web browser.

3. URLs and domains

Uniform Resource Locators

A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address you use to locate websites or other documents on the web. URLs have three component parts: protocol, domain, and path. Looking at the example URL (, we can see its component parts in the table below: 



The first component of the URL is the protocol. The most common protocol is http://, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A variation of Hypertext Transfer Protocol is https:// (HTTP Secure). The additional ‘s’ on the end of the protocol indicates that the website has been encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).

    After ensuring that the domain looks legitimate, check for the https:// protocol before giving any personal information to a website or starting a transaction. 


    The domain is the name of the website homepage or the information that appears after the @ in an email address. Using our example above, the domain name is The domain name is made up of a mixture of top level domains (TLDs), second level domains (SLDs), and subdomains. 

    Watch a short video on Domain names (LinkedIn Learning, 5m14s) for further information on the domain name system and internet protocol addresses.

    A first step to creating a website is identifying, purchasing/registering and hosting a domain. Business Queensland has some good advice on registering a domain name.

    Top level domains

    There are hundreds of TLDs, and these domains appear on the right-most side of the domain.

    While you do not necessarily need to identify all domains, recognising common TLDs is helpful. Google allows users to search within specific domains. For example, if you add your keywords and, you will search for results across Australian educational websites.


    The path component of the URL is generally everything after the forward slash (/) symbol. In our example /library-services/copyright-advice. This is the file path to the exact web page or resource you are looking for.

    Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes

    Graduate attributes

    Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

     Critical judgement

     Ethical and social understanding

    Check your knowledge

    Check what you know about this topic:

    Take the quiz

    Support at UQ

    Access UQ services to assist you with personal or study-related issues.