Perhaps you don't consider yourself a "techie." Maybe you've never been and never will be interested in learning programming or web development. That's ok, but there are some really basic technical skills that you can and should know, in order to function in the 21st century business world. Here are some of the basics.
E-Mail: You should have at least one e-mail account that you use mostly for "junk," (this is the one you'll use when you're required to provide an e-mail address but you know you're going to get a lot of spam when you do), one that you use for business (either web-based or through your internet service provider) and one web-based e-mail address that you can use for the social networks. You should be able to forward your e-mail, and set up auto-responders and filters. You also need to be able to attach files and photos. Your e-mail provider's "help" functions should be able to provide you with all of the information necessary to learn these basic skills.
Search: You need to know how to find the information you need on internet search engines. Here's a great tutorial for learning to do that, or improving your search techniques.
Reboot and clear your cache: It's amazing how many minor problems can be "magically" cleared up by re-booting (that's shutting down your computer, and turning it back on), or deleting browser cookies / clearing the browser cache (accessible from the "Tools" tab of your browser toolbar). It's a good idea to do this before calling any help desk.
Adjust your privacy settings: This is also done from the "tools" tab of your browser. For some web pages, you'll need to be able to adjust your privacy filter, allow cookies, or allow pop-ups to a lower level for better functionality. Only lower your privacy filter for sites you trust.
Save, copy and move files: This is usually done from the "File" menu of your browser. If you have the file open, you'll click "save" to save your work to the same file, or "save as" to save your work to a new file. If the file is not open, you can go to "my computer," and either copy or move the files (by clicking and dragging) them to where you want them.
Those are some of the basics. Can you think of others that you would recommend adding to this list?
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is a trainer and tech writer in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking. Her weakness is the mocha frappuccino.