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Linux Mint Quiana 17 xfce 32 bit - recent update has disabled internet but skype works

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After a recent update from Linux Mint, firefox no longer connects and nor do other things like the updater itself! However, skype still works. After looking on some other forums and asking the same question on the Ubuntu page here I was advised to try the ufw programme - turning it off and on again. What I'd like to ask all of you is if you've come across this problem before and know of a simpler way to fix it. I'm a little out of my depth fiddling with ufw. The computer can connect with ping and dig but failed with wget. Any help would be much appreciated.

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