Glossary of Internet Terms
by: Jeremy Trogg
C-E, F-H, I-K,
L-O, P-R, S-Z
A type of computer program that allows animation and other
interactive functions on a file or Web page.
Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line - A new technology that allows
you to access the Internet over standard
phone lines at very high speeds.
Bit - The
smallest piece of digital information understood by computers.
- The rate information travels from one place to another either
inside a computer or between computers. Bandwidth is usually
measured in bits per second, kilobits (thousands
of bits) per second, or megabits (millions of bits) per second. A
28.8 modem allows for a connection of 28.8 kilobits per second.
software - A computer program that allows parents, teachers, or
guardians to "block" access to certain Web sites and other
information available over the Internet. All
blocking software has filtered the information before blocking
access to it. (See also "filtering
A placeholder for interesting or frequently used Web sites, so that
these sites can be revisited easily without having to remember or
retype the Internet address.
- A software product that lets you find,
see, and hear material on the World Wide Web, including text,
graphics, sound, and video. Popular browsers are Netscape Navigator
and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Bytes are a basic measurement of computer memory. A byte is made up
of eight bits.
- A cache is a place on your hard drive where the Web
browser stores information (text, graphics, sounds, etc.) from
pages or sites that you have visited recently so that returning to
those pages or sites is faster and easier.
A computer disk that can store large amounts of information;
generally used on computers with CD-ROM drives. "CD-ROM"
stands for "Compact Disk Read Only Memory". That means it
can only play back information, not record or save material.
feature of online services or Web sites that allows participants to
"talk" by typing messages that everyone can read at the
Here's how it works: The participant enters the chat
room, types a message on his or her computer, and sends it; and it
is instantly displayed on the screens of the other users in the chat
Admission is generally not restricted. You never know who is
going to be reading your messages or responding to them, so it's
best to be cautious.
- A "place" or page in a Web site or online service where
people can chat, or "talk," with each other by typing
messages. It's "real-time" communication like talking on
the phone, except the "talkers" are typing text as with e-mail.
E-mail, on the other hand, is delayed communication.
filter - A software program that you
install on your own computer to block access to inappropriate
material, prevent kids from accessing the Internet
at certain times, or to prevent kids from revealing personal
information. See also "filtering
software" and "blocking
- A piece of information unique to you that your browser
saves and sends back to a Web server when you revisit a Web site
(the Web server is the computer that
"hosts" a Web site that your browser downloads or
The server "tells" your browser where
to put the cookie on the server. Cookies contain information such as
log-in or registration information, online "shopping cart"
information (your online buying patterns in a certain retail site),
user preferences, what site you came from last, etc.
service - General term for large online services. These services
are like special clubs that require membership dues. Besides
providing access to the Internet, commercial services have lots of
content, games, and chat rooms that are
available only to members.
- A very general term used in a number of ways.
"Cyberspace" can refer to the electronic areas and
communities on the Internet and other
computer networks; the culture developing on (or across) the global
network of phone wires that make up the Internet; a new publishing
or communications medium separate from conventional media; and a
"place" separate from or in addition to physical space.
group - An area online focused on a specific topic where users
can read and add or "post" comments ("post" in
the sense of posting something on a bulletin board). You can find
discussion groups, also referred to as "discussion
boards," for almost any topic. See also "Newsgroups".
- Similar to search engines, directories
are indexes of Web pages organised by subject.
name - A Web site address, usually followed by .com, .org
or.co.uk. See also "URL".
- Copying data from another computer to your computer.
"Download" is also used to mean viewing a Web site, or
material on a Web server, with a Web browser.
See also upload.
Electronic Mail. A way of sending messages electronically from one
computer to another. Users can send memos, letters, and other
word-based messages, as well as multimedia
E-mailing requires having a modem,
connecting a telephone line to your computer, and an e-mail address
(recognisable because of the "@" symbol, such as
the most common technology for connecting computers together in a
A list of "Frequently Asked Questions" about a specific
Web site, mailing list, product, or game. Reading the FAQ first is a
great idea when you are new to a site, mailing list, discussion
group, or product.
ISP - An Internet Service Provider (ISP) that
automatically blocks access to content that is inappropriate for
children. Each filtered ISP uses its own company criteria to decide
which Web sites are inappropriate.
When choosing a filtered ISP,
parents and other caretakers should make sure the company's criteria
are consistent with their own values and judgments.
software - Software that sorts
information on the Internet and classifies it according to content.
Some filtering software allows the user to block certain kinds of
information on the Internet. See also "Blocking
Filtering Software," and "
Server-based Filtering Software."
A security device that places a protective "wall" around a
computer or network of computers, keeping it from being accessible
to the public.
FTP - File
Transfer Protocol - a way to transfer ("download"
or "upload") files from one computer
to another, for example from your hard drive to a Web server in
order to update a Web site.
- Sending a nasty piece of e-mail or posting a
nasty comment in a newsgroup or discussion
group, usually in response to a posting that offended someone.
- Generally any device that provides access to another system. For
example, an ISP might be called a gateway to the Internet;
also a hardwaredevice that connects a local
network to the Internet.
- The nuts, bolts, and wires of a computer and computer-related
equipment, also the actual computer and related machines such as
scanners and printers.
- An image or portion of text on a Web page that is linked to
another Web page (either on the same site or in another Web site).
If it's a word or phrase, you can tell it's a link because it's
another color, it's underlined, or both.
If it's an image, you can
tell it's a hyperlink if you see a border around it, or if the
cursor changes to a little hand when you drag the cursor over the
image with the mouse. You just click on the link to go to another
Web page or another place on the same page. See also links.
Hypertext Markup Language - The standard language used for creating
documents on the World Wide Web.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol - The standard language that computers
connected to the World Wide Web use to
communicate with each other.
- The first page or document Web users see when connecting to a Web
server or when visiting a Web site.
- Internet Content Rating Alliance rating system - a rating system
for Web content (see also RSACi).
Instant Message - A chat-like technology
on an online service that notifies a user when a friend is online,
allowing for simultaneous communication (like talking on the phone,
only with text). See also "Web-based
Referred to as "Net" for short, a collection of thousands
of connected computers and computer networks.
- A private network that works like the Internet,
except that it can only be seen by a select group of people, such as
the employees of a company.
Internet Relay Chat - A part of the Internet
(not on the Web) that allows participants to "chat"
online in a live forum that usually centers around a common
interest. IRC is the earliest form of online chat.
Integrated Services Digital Network - A technology that allows you
to connect to the Internet over standard
phone lines at speeds higher than a 56k modem allows. The technology
is older and the connection speed lower than those of ADSL.
Internet Service Provider - A company that sells access to the Internet,
most often through a local phone number. ISPs are usually
distinguished from commercial services,
which link to the Internet but also offer additional services, such
as content and chat, only available to their subscribers.
Internet Protocol - The computer language that allows computer
programs to communicate over the Internet.
Java - A
computer programming language that allows World Wide
Web pages to have animation, calculators, and other fancy
tricks. See also "applets".
- On Web search engines, these are
words that you type into the search form, or search
"window," to search the Web for pages or sites that
contain your keyword and information related to it.
Local Area Network - A network of connected computers that are
generally located near each other, such as in an office or company.
Highlighted text that is designed so that clicking on it will take
you to another document, Web page, or Web site. See also hypertext.
A hardware device that allows computers to
communicate with each other over telephone lines.
Modems come in
different speeds: The higher the speed, the faster the data are
transmitted. A modem enables what is generally referred to as
"dial-up access." The fastest widely available modems are
"56K" (or 56 kilobits per second).
software - A type of software product
that allows a parent or caretaker to monitor the Web sites or e-mail
messages that a child visits or reads, without necessarily blocking
A small device attached to your computer by a cord, which lets you
give commands to the computer by clicking the device. See also hardware.
A combination of two or more types of information such as text,
audio, video, graphics, and images.
- The rules of cyberspace civility.
Usually applied to the Internet, where
manners are enforced exclusively by fellow users.
or USENET- Discussion groups
on the Internet(not on the Web, which is
only one area of the Internet) that are broken down andcategorised
These discussion groups consist of messages sent by
other Internet users and displayed publicly for everyone in the
group (or under the topic area) to read. The word "news"
in "newsgroups" does not mean they are run by news
services or journalists.
- Platform for Internet Content Selection - PICS is a technology
that allows Web browsers to read content
ratings of Web sites, but it is not a rating system itself.
- A program that works with browsers to play
audio and video.
Scanning- Port Scanning is an activity, which by using a
particular type of software gives the user the ability to scan the
computer system of another Internet user.
The purpose of which can
be (but is not limited to), obtaining passwords and usernames,
remotely controlling that computer or destroying data on that
- Like posting a message on a bulletin board, the sending of a
message to a discussion group or
other public message area on the Internet. The message itself is
called a "post."
Public Switched Telephone Network. A circuit-switched analogue
network which makes connections for the duration of telephone call.
These connections are usually used for voice but can also carry data
between facsimile machines and computers (via a modem).
Recreation Software Advisory Council's Internet rating system - a
rating system for Web content that uses PICS
technology. RSACi was recently renamed the Internet Content Rating
engine - A tool to help people locate information available on
the World Wide Web. By typing in keywords,
users can find numerous Web sites that contain the information
- A host computer that stores information and/or software
programs and makes them available (or "serves" them) to
users of other computers. You download the information on a Web
server with a Web browser.
filter - Unlike client-based
software, which is installed on your own computer, server-based
filters work on a host server (for example, a
Web server) generally located at an Internet Service
Provider or a LAN at a company. Your computer
is connected to this server so that you receive only the Web pages
that are not filtered on the server.
A computer program. Loosely defined, it's made up of a set of
instructions, also called "computer code," to be used on
There is "system software" that operates
the machine itself (such as the Windows and MacOS operating
systems), and there is "application software" for specific
uses, or applications, such as word processing, playing games, or
managing your money.
- A software program that "crawls" the Web,
searching through Web pages and sites and indexing those pages in a
database of Web pages that can then be searched using a search
Unsolicited "junk" e-mail containing
advertising or promotional messages sent to large numbers of people.
Sometimes people or companies send sexually explicit unsolicited
e-mail, known as "porn spam."
Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol - A computer
"language" that allows for transmission, or
"publishing," of information across the Internet.
limiting software - Software that allows
time limits to be set for access to the Internet
or software programs such as games.
(Horse) - A Trojan (horse) is an "apparently useful program
containing hidden functions that can exploit the privileges of the
user [running the program], with a resulting security threat.
Trojan horse does things that the program user did not intend"
Trojan horses rely on users to install them, or they can be
installed by intruders who have gained unauthorized access by other
Then, an intruder attempting to subvert a system using a
Trojan horse relies on other users running the Trojan horse to be
- Copying or sending data or documents from your computer to another
computer, such as the server that hosts your home page. See also download.
Uniform Resource Locator - The World Wide Web
address of a site on the Internet. For example, the URL for this
website is http://www.abuse-guidance.com. See also Domain
Web - The
World Wide Web - What most people think of when they think of the Internet.
The Web is actually just one service on the Internet.
It is a
collection of graphical hyperlinked
documents made publicly available on computers (or Web servers)
around the world.
The information on these servers can be viewed or
accessed with a browser. Other services on
the Internet include Internet Relay Chat and Newsgroups.
chat - As opposed to chat IRC found on
subscriber-only online services, Web-based chat allows people to chat
with each other using a browser. Web-based chat
rooms are found in Web sites.
e-mail - A technology that allows you to send and receive e-mail
using only a browser (as opposed to an e-mail
software program like Eudora).
Instant-Messaging - Instant-Messaging technology that works in
Web sites (as opposed to a commercial online services). See also
- The administrator responsible for the management and often design
of a Web site.
WWW - The
World Wide Web. See "Web".