ICT SkillsFile Operations
Care & MaintenanceSecurity & Privacy

What is ICT Skills?

ICT stands for Information and Communication Technology.

ICT refers to all the methods, tools, and concepts related to storing, recording and sending digital information.

Information can be recorded or stored in many ways, handwritten on paper, written using a typewriter and so on. When information is stored and recorded on electronic devices, it takes on a ‘digital’ form. ICT devices are tablets, smartphones and laptops. ICT skills help us to communicate, run our business and stay connected with our family and friends. Hence, every person needs to acquire ICT skills and build them to stay updated with the latest software and applications (apps).

Computer Hardware and Software

A computer system consists of two main parts— the hardware and the software. The physical parts that we can see and touch are called Hardware. Though we cannot see it, it makes the hardware work the way we want i.e., the Software.

Example – The monitor is a physical device or hardware. When we start a program, like a game, it is displayed on the monitor. This is done by the software which displays text, images and videos on the monitor.

The most important software in any computer is the Operating System (OS).


  1. Physical parts of a computer you can touch
  2. Made with electronic and physical materials
  3. Can be replaced if broken
  4. Cannot get viruses
  5. Wears out over time
  6. Example: Hard drive


  1. Programs and data you use on a computer
  2. Created using programming languages
  3. Can be reinstalled if it gets damaged
  4. Can get viruses
  5. Doesn’t wear out but can have bugs
  6. Example: Windows 10

Examples of OS

Some of the most commonly used operating systems for laptops and desktops are:

  1. Ubuntu
  2. Microsoft
  3. Windows
  4. Mac OS, etc.

Some of the mobile operating systems are:

  1. Apple iOS
  2. Google Android, etc.

All the computer applications, such as browsers, games, Office tools, etc., are also software programs that perform particular functions.

Starting a Computer

To start a computer, press the Power button on the CPU. This will start the operating system and display the bootup menu of your OS or the main screen on the monitor.

Basic Functions performed when a computer starts

As soon as the computer is switched on or the power button is pushed on, the computer automatically runs a basic program called BIOS (Basic Input/Output System)

The BIOS first does a self-test. If the self-test shows that the system is fine, the BIOS will load the Operating System. This means that the computer’s operating system, for example, Windows, is now ready to take user inputs.

Login & Logout

We keep our computer locked when we are not working on it. This will ensure that no unauthorised person can see or make changes to our information without taking our permission.

A login and password are like a key to the lock which allows you to use the computer.

When you login to the computer with your login-ID and password, the computer knows that you are an authorised person and allows you to work on the applications in the computer.

Once you finish working, you must log out or sign out so that no one else can see your work.

Shutting down a Computer

When you click Shut down, the Operating System will close all the applications and turn off the computer.

Ways to shutdown Windows computer:

  1. Close all applications, then press Alt+F4
  2. Press on the Windows icon on the taskbar
    • Then click on power button
    • press Shut Down

Keyboard Functions Keys

Parts of Keyboard

Their functions differ from program to program.

Keys labeled from F1 to F12 are function keys.

The function of the F1 key in most programs is to get help on that program.

  1. Control keys: Keys, such as Control (CTRL), SHIFT, SPACEBAR, ALT, CAPS LOCK and TAB, are special control keys that perform special functions depending on when and where they are used.
  2. Enter key: The label on this key can be either ENTER or RETURN, depending on the brand of computer that you are using.
    • You use the ENTER or the RETURN key to move the cursor to the beginning of a new line.
    • In some programs, it is used to send commands and to confirm a task on a computer.
  3. Punctuation keys: Punctuation keys include keys for punctuation marks, such as
    • colon (:),
    • emicolon (;),
    • question mark (?),
    • single quotation marks (‘ ’),
    • double quotation marks (“ ”).
  4. Navigation keys: Keys, such as the arrow keys, HOME, END, PAGE UP, and PAGE DOWN are navigation keys. These are used to move up and down, right and left in a document.
    • The HOME and END keys move the cursor to the left/right end of a line of text, respectively.
    • The PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys are used to move one page up and one page down, respectively.
  5. Command keys: Keys, such as INSERT (INS), DELETE (DEL), and BACKSPACE are command keys.
    • When the INSERT key is turned ON, it helps you overwrite characters to the right of the cursor.
    • The DELETE key and the BACKSPACE key are used to remove typed text, characters and other objects on the right and left side of the cursor, respectively.
  6. Windows key: Pressing this key opens the Start menu

Mouse Operations

A mouse is a small device that you can use to move, select and open items on your computer screen

Application in File Explorer
  1. Roll Over or Hover: Some actions can be done by simply rolling over or hovering over an item. When you bring the mouse over a file in File Explorer, it will show the details of that file.
  2. Point and Click: As you move the mouse on your desk, a pointer moves correspondingly on your screen. The mouse allows you to select an item on the screen. When you click a particular file, it gets selected
  3. Drag and Drop: To move an item, you need to click it, and then holding the mouse button down, move the item to a new location.
    • After you move the item to the new location, you release the mouse button. This is called drag and drop.
    • When you drag a file in File Explorer, you can pick it up from the present location and drop it in a new location where you release the mouse
  4. Double-click: Double-clicking means to quickly click the left mouse button twice. When we double-click on a file, it will open the file.

A shortcut to open file explorer is through pressing Windows Key + E

Basic File Operations

Information on a computer is stored in electronic files, which can be put into separate folders. It is easier to manage electronic files as they can be simply copied, moved, renamed or even deleted.

Files & Folders

All information stored in a computer is kept in files. Different types of files store different types of information.

  • Each file is given a file name and has a file name extension that identifies the file type.
  • The file name and file name extension are separated by a period or a ‘dot’.
    • For example, a document (e.g., Neha) created using Notepad (a type of computer application to create simple text files) will have the extension .txt.
  • There are other types like .doc, .xls, etc.
    • An image file usually has an extension .jpg
    • sound file usually has .mp3

A folder is a location where a group of files can be stored.

Creating a File

Shortcut to open Notepad

  1. Press Windows Key + R
  2. Type “Notepad” and hit enter

Let us create a new file using a text editor in Windows:

  1. Type ‘Editor’/’Notepad’ in the search dialogue box.
  2. Then click the text editor option
    • This will open a blank document.
    • In Windows, you can open Notepad and type in the text.

To Save a text file

  1. Press Ctrl + S
  2. In the Save As dialogue box, browse to the Desktop folder, type the name as ‘Aiforkids’ and click Save.


When a student, Lalit, joins a class, the teacher creates a file on the computer to store Lalit’s information, such as name, address, phone number, etc. Then first:

  1. He presses Windows Key + R, types “Notepad” and hits enter
  2. Here he added text, such as
    • Name:‘Lalit Kumar Bhagel’
    • Address: ‘Shakti Nagar, New Delhi.’
    • Phone Number: ‘1234567890’ etc.
  3. To save the file he presses Ctrl + S
    • Selects the desired Folder in the computer
    • Types the file name “LalitK-Details” and then hits Enter.

Creating a Folder

A folder is a location where a group of files can be stored.

Let us create a new folder in Windows:

Shortcut to open File Explorer

  1. Press Windows Key + E
  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Select your desired location
    • Right-click and choose “New Folder”
    • Then type the name of the folder

Shortcut to create a folder at your desired location: Ctrl + Shift + N

Then type the name of the folder

Computer Care & Maintenance

A computer is a delicate machine with a lot of moving electronic parts. We need to protect it from dust and damage. If we are careless, it will not work efficiently.

Computers and mobiles are very expensive. When we take good care of them regularly, we can use them for a longer time. This will help us save money as we do not need to buy new devices too often.

Keeping a Device Clean

  1. Keyboard: First we should not eat anything over a keyboard. Crumbs can damage the internal parts of a keyboard.
    • You can clean a keyboard with a soft brush to remove crumbs and dust particles.
  2. Screen: You can wipe the screen with a soft cloth to remove any finger marks.
  3. Be careful with food and drinks: Avoid eating and keeping glasses of water or cups of coffee near a computer. Any liquid spilt over an electronic device can spoil it beyond repair.
  4. Handle devices carefully: Handle and move your laptop carefully and avoid dropping or banging it against a hard surface.
    • Even a short fall can damage the screen or the hard disk and make the device useless.
    • Using a cover for your mobile and a padded case for moving your laptop, protects the device from damage.
  5. Keep the computer cool: If a computer, laptop or mobile device gets overheated, the internal parts can be damaged.
    • The CPU has an internal fan to keep it cool. We should make sure the fan is functioning.
    • You can also use an external fan. Avoid leaving a device in the sun or in a closed car.
    • We should be careful when using a laptop while sitting in bed and make sure that the fan is not covered.
  6. Do not overcharge your battery: Sometimes we keep a device plugged in for charging even after it is fully charged.
    • If we leave the device plugged in for a long time, it can overheat the battery.
    • This reduces the battery life. Always unplug the device once it is charged 100%.
  7. Always plug in devices carefully: Any device being connected to a laptop or computer such as a USB drive or headphones, should be done gently.
    • It should not be forced into the port.
    • If you find it difficult to plug in a device, change the direction and try instead of trying to force it in.
  8. Do not run too many programs at a time: When too many programs are running at the same time the computer can become slow and even crash.
    • If a program/app is not being used, it should be closed so that other programs can work smoothly.
    • If a program/app is not being used, it should be closed so that other programs can work smoothly.

Prepare a Maintenance Schedule

We need to prepare a plan or a schedule for maintenance to keep the computer running in perfect condition for a long time. This can include:

  1. Daily Maintenance
    • Clean up your e-mail inbox
    • Download e-mail attachments and save them in proper folders
  2. Weekly Maintenance
    • Clean your keyboard
    • Clean your monitor
    • Dust CPU and printer
    • Backup your data to an external drive
  3. Monthly Maintenance
    • Transfer photographs to the computer and delete them from the drive
    • Organise photos into folders or albums
    • Clean up the ‘Download’ folder
    • Uninstall unused programs and apps
    • Run disk-cleaner software
    • Run a full system virus scan
  4. Yearly/Annual Maintenance
    • Clean up contacts list on social media accounts
    • Clean up e-mail contact list
    • Update your operating system
    • Check for expiry of anti-virus software and renew

Backup Your Data

Backing up data means saving the information present on your computer on another device, such as a CD/DVD, drive or hard disk.

Data can recovered from here in case the computer stops working completely. Computers can crash, humans can make mistakes and natural disasters, such as floods can happen.

So, it is important for companies, hospitals, banks, etc., to keep their information safe — so that their business can continue to function smoothly and their customers do not face problems.

Scanning & Cleaning Viruses

Sometimes computer viruses can enter a computer from such attacks we can install Anti-virus software.

This will prevent any viruses from entering and will also clean any viruses that may enter our system before they affect the data.

Increasing Computer Performance

If we have been using a computer for a long time we have a lot of unnecessary files and data, such as temporary files (Cache) and images. When they use too much hard-disk space, the performance of the computer goes down. It is important that we keep cleaning by removing any extra files. We can use some disk cleaner software, which help us clean up the unnecessary files.

Removing SPAM from Computer

SPAM emails are unwanted messages/emails from companies trying to sell you something or get you to visit their website.

We should never respond to SPAM and delete it on a regular basis.

It is possible to set filters in the settings to prevent SPAM from entering our mail box. Most e-mail software have a SPAM folder and automatically put all such emails into this folder.

Computer Security & Privacy

We store a lot of information on our computers and electronic devices. If any of this information gets lost or leaked and falls into the wrong hands, it can cause a lot of harm to the people.

For example, if information stored in a bank’s computer gets leaked it can cause many people to lose a lot of money. Hence, it is essential to keep computers secure and our data safe.

Reasons for Security Break

Security break is leakage of information stored in a computer. Personal information can be lost or leaked in two ways:

  1. We are not careful in giving out personal information over the Internet.
  2. A person gets unauthorised access to our computer. This can happen in the office if we leave our computer without logging out.

Threats to Computer

Threats are the ways in which personal information can be leaked from a computer without our knowing.

  1. Theft: Theft means stealing of information or hardware. There are three types:
    • Physical: Where a person may steal your desktop computer or laptop.
    • Identity: Where a hacker steals your personal information and assumes your identity. Using this false identity, the hacker can gain access to your account information or perform illegal activity.
    • Software Piracy: This is stealing of software and includes using or distributing unlicensed and unauthorised copies of a computer program or software.
  2. Virus: Viruses are computer programs that can damage the data and software programs or steal the information stored on a computer. Major types of viruses are Worms and Trojan Horse.
    • Worms: These are viruses that replicate the Worm virus themselves and spread to all files once they attack a computer. This makes it very difficult to remove them.
    • Trojan Horse: A Trojan Horse disguises itself i.e., it appears to be a useful software program but once it reaches a computer it starts behaving like a virus and destroying data.
    • Online Predator: Online predators are people who trap you into inappropriate relationships. They may be older people posing to be your age, bullying you into doing illegal activities online and sometimes face to face.
    • Internet Scams: Sometimes you may receive very attractive offers saying you have won a huge money in a lottery and that you can claim the prize by depositing a certain amount of money. When you deposit the money using a credit card or online banking, you not only lose the deposit money but your card/account information may be misused later.

Protecting your Data

To protect our data from theft and viruses we can take the following measures:

  1. Use passwords to login to your computer: Use passwords that are difficult to guess.
    • Passwords are difficult to hack if they are a mix of small (For example ‘a b c d’) and capital letters (For example, ‘H J E R’), numbers (For example ‘8 7 6 5’) and special characters (For example, ’% ^ # $’).
    • This would prevent unauthorised people from using your computer.
  2. Install Anti-virus and Firewall: Anti-viruses and Firewalls monitor the data coming in and out of a computer and prevent viruses from entering.
    • Anti-viruses can also detect and clean viruses that may have entered a computer.
  3. Encrypt Data: This is usually done by banks and companies in which important customer information is stored.
    • They can encrypt their entire hard disk using the encrypting feature in Windows (Bitlocker).
    • This would force users to use a decryption password (or key) before starting the computer thus preventing unauthorised usage.
  4. Secure sites: Give details of your credit card or bank account only on secure sites. See in the address bar of the browser. If the site address starts with “https://“and a lock symbol, then it is safe to give your credit card and bank details.

Visit other chapters of Employability Skills:

Communication Skills

Entrepreneurial Skills

Green Skills

Self-management Skills

Information and Communication Technology Skills