What you can do online

Becoming confident in using the internet can help you stay in touch with friends and family, manage your bills, go shopping, watch TV, and lots more. We've brought together some tips to help newcomers get the most from the online world.

Once you've got the hang of using an internet browser, there's so much to explore online.

We showed you how to keep in touch with friends and family by email in the last section, but you can also use the internet to pay your bills, do your shopping, watch TV programmes – and much more.

You'll soon discover your own favourite pages to visit, but for now we've put together a guide of some useful websites to get you started.

Using public services online

If you want to find out about the services and benefits available to you, the gov.uk website is a good place to start.

Gov.uk has lots of information on government services, all in one place. You can tax your car, renew your passport, learn more about your rights, pay council bills, apply for benefits and much more.

You can also use gov.uk to find your local Council's website for information about your local area – like council tax or bin collections.

Staying healthy with the NHS online

NHS Choices is the country's biggest health website, with lots of information about the NHS. You can find trustworthy medical advice, advice on healthy living, how to find and choose services and more.

Shopping on the internet

Shopping on the internet can help save you time and money, especially if getting out to the shops is difficult for you.

You can buy pretty much anything online, from bus tickets to books, clothes to cruises. Most supermarkets offer an online service, so you can order your shopping from the comfort of your home and have it delivered when you want.

TV and radio

Did you know you can watch TV programmes and listen to the radio online? There are lots of sites to choose from. For example, you can watch programmes on BBC iPlayer for free.

With BT Broadband you can get on-demand digital TV, with thousands of shows, including sports, kids' channels, music videos, films and more. Find out more about BT TV.

Learn and socialise

The internet is a great way to find out about events and courses in your area, or local groups interested in the same things you are.

Use your internet search engine to find what you're looking for. Search using the name of the hobby or subject you'd like to know more about, or by the title of a nearby community centre or college.

Talking and sharing

Keeping in touch with family and friends using the internet lets you do much more than just write!

If you have a webcam you can download programmes that let you talk over the internet using video. Skype is probably the best known and it's free to download.

You can also view and share photographs online. Picture-sharing sites like Flickr are one way of doing this – or you can use an online file storage service like BT Cloud.

Online safety

You might have heard of computer viruses. Although they can sound scary, there are things you can do that help keep you secure online.

A computer virus is a programme designed to infect your computer and cause damage. But by installing security software on your computer, you can minimise your chances of something going wrong.

There are various types of security software available, and BT Broadband comes with a range of computer security options.

Learn more about how to keep you and your family safe online.


Although shopping over the internet is usually safe, you should only buy things from brands and shops you recognise and be cautious of unknown links. The Get Safe Online site has more helpful advice to help you stay secure online.

Paying by credit card gives you extra protection should anything go wrong, but make sure you know what you're being charged and never give anyone your PIN. Check when you'll get delivery and how you can return the goods if you're not happy. 


The Get IT Together handbook

Welcome to the BT Get IT Together handbook, your printable guide to getting online. It's packed full of hints and tips with lots of space to make your own notes.

Find a free course near you

Find a course near you
See where your nearest UK Online Centre is and get free computer lessons. There are a huge range of venues and courses available, so finding help near you couldn't be easier!

We're here to help

Go to our Help and support section for tips and advice on making this site easier to use, using our services, understanding impairments, and contacting us. To get in touch right now, use the Email, Chat or BSL links.