Glossary

  • Adware - A form of spyware that collects information about a user's browsing patterns.
  • Blog (weB LOG) - A journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated frequently using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Entries are almost always arranged in chronological order with the most recent additions at the top.
  • Bookmark (Favorite) - A Web site address saved in your browser so you can access it easily later.
  • Browser - Software (Internet Explorer is one) used to look at various kinds of Internet resources.
  • Buddy List - In instant messaging (IM), or on cell phones with text display, a list of people a user wants to keep track of. The list can be used to see who is offline, online, has their phone turned on or off, or who is currently talking on their phone.
  • Bulletin Board (BBS) - A computerized meeting and announcement system that allows people to carry on discussions, upload and download files, and make announcements without the people being connected to the computer at the same time.
  • Chat rooms - An Internet service provided area where users can talk instantly with one another online by sending short messages. Different rooms may be "entered" to discuss specific topics.
  • Cookies - A small file placed on your computer by a Web site you visit that stores information about you. Cookies can be useful because they can allow you to skip entering information on reputable sites every time you visit. While cookies will not act maliciously on your computer system, they can compromise your privacy.
  • Cyberbullying - Sending or posting cruel text or images about an individual using the Internet or other digital devices such as cell phone text messaging.
  • Cyberspace - Used to describe the entire range of Internet resources available through service providers.
  • Domain Name - The unique name that identifies an Internet site. Domain Names have 2 parts, separated by a dot. The part on the left is the most specific, and the part on the right is the most general.
  • Download - to copy a file from a Web site or e-mail attachment onto the computer you are using.
  • E-mail - messages sent from one person to another via computer. Generally text, but can include attached files of documents, graphics, sounds, or videos.
  • Favorite (Bookmark) - A Web site address saved in your browser so you can access it easily later.
  • File sharing - see "Peer to Peer"
  • Filtering - Software that examines incoming data to ensure that only information within certain parameters is allowed.
  • Fishing - see "Phishing"
  • Flaming - Insulting or nasty remarks directed at someone through e-mail or chat rooms. A "flame war" is when an online discussion degenerates into a series of personal attacks.
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol) - Software that will transfer entire files from one computer to another.
  • Hacker - A technically sophisticated computer user who enjoys exploring computer systems and programs. Activities can be benign or malicious.
  • Home page - Usually the first page of a Web site.
  • IM (Instant Messaging) - Technology that notifies a user when a friend is online, allowing them to "converse" by exchanging text messages. IM or text messaging has become a term associated with messaging by cell phone as well.
  • Internet Telephony - see "VoIP" and "Skype"
  • ISP (Internet Service Provider) - a company that provides customers with a connection to the Internet and may provide e-mail services. (See also OSP.)
  • Message Board - A section on some Web sites that displays messages posted by users.
  • Netiquette - The informal rules of online courtesy.
  • OSP (Online Service Provider) - A company that provides Internet access and other services such as shopping, news, chat rooms, and special events. AOL and MSN are OSPs.
  • Peer-to-Peer (or P2P) - Networks used for sharing content such as music, video, data or anything in digital format.
  • Phishing - An identity theft scam in which criminals send out spam that imitates legitimate correspondence. The fake messages often link to Web sites which are faked to look like the sites of respected companies. You are asked to enter personal information for authentication or confirmation purposes but in reality, you are giving personal information to criminals. Be aware that phishers also use the phone to hunt for information.
  • Piracy - The unauthorized copying of software, movies, recorded music, CDs, DVDs, etc.
  • Pop-up - A browser window that opens in addition to the main window. Frequently contain bothersome advertising and may be difficult to get rid of. Pop-ups may open automatically without input from the user and closing one may open several more unwanted windows.
  • Search Engine - A system, such as Google, for searching for information on the Internet.
  • Skype - Software that allows users to make telephone calls over the internet to other Skype users free of charge, or to landlines and cell phones for a fee.
  • Social networking - an online community of people who socialize with each other via a particular Web site. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Craigslist are examples of the variety of networking Web sites available to users.
  • Spam, spamming - Unsolicited and/or inappropriate email.
  • Spoofing - Pretending to be someone else.
  • Spyware - Software that is secretly installed on a computer and monitors use of the computer in some way without the users' consent. Most spyware tries to get the user to view advertising and/or particular web pages. Some spyware also sends information about the user to another machine over the Internet. Spyware is usually installed without a user's knowledge as part of the installation of other software, especially software such as music sharing software obtained via download.
  • Text messaging - see "IM"
  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) - The unique address of an Internet page.
  • Virus - A software program or script designed to destroy, modify, or cause other problems with a computer or software program. Viruses can arrive as e-mail attachments, with software installations or on discs. Installing and keeping current an anti-virus program can greatly reduce the risks to your computer. (see Worm)
  • VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) - Hardware and software that enable people to use the Internet rather than the traditional telephone to transmit voice or fax. In other words, it adds telephone capabilities to a computer.
  • Webcam - An simple video camera that sits near your computer and sends live or recorded video as well as still photos.
  • Wiki - A Web site comprising the perpetual work of many authors. A wiki allows anyone to edit, delete or modify content.
  • Worm - A type of virus that can makes copies of itself and infect additional computers (typically by making use of network connections). Although a worm does not attach itself to additional programs, it might alter, install, or destroy files and programs. (see Virus)

Need more help? There are many great Internet sites with lists of terminology.

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CyberSafe information copied and used with permission from Boise School District

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