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50 Definitions – R U Cyber Savvy??

Can you talk the talk?   Do your kids use terms that sound like a foreign language? With the help of Wikipedia we’ve compiled some terms you may want to know.


Apps – short for applications- can be on social networking sites, cell phones and other digital media – it is usually an add-on. Add-ons can add great functionality (GPS, restaurant finder) to a phone or site, but they can also be just for fun – (send a hug on Facebook, trick out your MySpace page) 


Avatar – a picture or object used to represent oneself in a computer game, online forum, IM program or virtual community like Club Penguin or Teen Second Life.


Bandwidth – the range of transmissions frequencies a network can use. The greater the bandwidth, the more information that can be transferred over that network at one time. And a common term for high-speed or high bandwidth connections to the Internet is Broadband (including DSL and cable).


Bit – shortened from Binary digit, a bit is the smallest unit of information that a computer can hold. Eight bits equal a Byte. The speed that bits are transmitted is usually referred to as bps (bits per second).


Blogs– shortened from the term Web Log, a website of regularly updated journal type entries – can contain pictures, videos, and visitors can usually post comments or link to individual entries. Vlogs – a video blog


Bookmark – just as in the virtual world, this digital tool is used to keep one’s place online, to be able to return to that site with ease. Also called Favorites or Faves


Browser – a software application which enables a user to display and interact with texts, images videos, music, games and other information typically located on a web page or website. Some of the more popular Web browsers are: Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and AOL Explorer.


Bystander – someone who takes part in, shares, forwards or laughs at cyberbullying and does not report it or help the victim.


Chat Rooms or chatroom, is used to describe conversations going on – online. Online chat is a way of communicating by sending messages to others in the chat room in real time. Chat rooms are often like side-bars of games or websites that allow the user to communicate with others on that game or site. Some chat rooms such as Yahoo! use both text and voice. An early chat room service was Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Some visual chat rooms like iChat, also incorporate audio and video components like webcams and microphones. Unfortunately some now use these types of chat rooms to engage in cybersex. Chat rooms can also be used to play games, but most often are used for the instant sharing of information or ‘chatting”.


Cyberbullying – causing harm to others using digital media like email, cell phones, social networking sites, etc. This is one of the most common forms of Internet abuse because of its supposed anonymity and instant power. Users say and do things they would never do in public or real life.


CyberTipline – the 911 of the Internet, the resource to report cybercrimes involving children. or 1-800-THE-LOST


Cyber Trail – the mass of personal data, comments, videos, photos and other information you create as you navigate online.

DownloadIn networks, uploading and downloading refer to the two directions that information can move. Downloading is distinguished from the related concept of streaming, which indicates a download in which the data is  usable as it downloads, or streams, and that (typically) the data is not stored. To download is to receive data to a local system from a remote system. A download is any file that is offered for downloading or that has been downloaded. The inverse operation, uploading, is the sending of data from a local system to a remote system.

File sharingis a method of distributing electronically stored information such as computer programs and digital media (photos, music, games, etc)  Two early examples were Napster (today using a pay system) and eDonkey2000. Another notable instance of peer to peer file sharing, which still has a free version, is Limewire. File sharing has grown in popularity with the proliferation of high-speed Internet connections, and the relatively small file size and high-quality MP3 audio format. File sharing is a legal technology with legal uses, however many users use it to give and accept copyrighted materials without permission or authorization, which makes it copyright infringement.


Filteris a computer program to process a data stream  Filtering software is a term for software designed to control what content is permitted to a reader, especially when it is used to restrict material delivered over the Web. It determines what content will be available on a particular machine or network; the motive is often to prevent persons from viewing content which the computer’s owner(s) or other authorities may consider objectionable. Common use cases of such software include parents who wish to limit what sites their children may view from home computers, schools performing the same function with regard to computers found at school, and employers restricting what content may be viewed by employees while on the job. Filters differ from Monitoring software which serves to record keystrokes and all activities of a user to determine what sites they visit and how they use the Internet. Parents of young children may use monitoring software to check up on their children.


Firewall – the security measures designed to protect a networked system from unauthorized access or unwelcome intruders.

Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular Web site for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository.  A user uploading an image can set privacy controls that determine who can view the image. A photo can be flagged as either public or private. Other similar services are Shutterfly, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish, and Photobucket.

Gaming – websites that offer a mix of intellectual challenge, hand-eye coordination, reasoning and adeptness with a joystick, mouse or commands. Online gaming usually refers to playing games through sites that offer a variety of types and levels of games (arcade, shooting, puzzle, etc) but can also refer to sites that offer just one game or “world”, see virtual world. Games can also be played with the addition of a game console that accesses the Internet (PlayStation, Xbox 360, etc) and gives the gamer other unrestricted communication avenues.


Groomingrefers to actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child’s inhibitions in preparation for sexual abuse. This is a method used in chat rooms and on social networking sites to separate a child from his real world and lure him/her into a virtual world relationship.


History – an application on your computer that allows you to access sites you have visited in recent times. This application might help you find a site you had meant to bookmark. It can also give you indications of the types of sites your children or spouse visits online. The web history can be erased. 


Identity theft – is a crime used to refer to fraud that involves someone pretending to be someone else in order to steal money or get other benefits. Ghosting is a form of identity theft in which someone steals the identity, and sometimes even the role within society, of a specific dead person (the “ghost”) who is not widely known to be deceased.

IM (Instant Messaging)is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via devices connected over a network. IM features immediate acknowledgment or reply. IM has evolved to now include the ability to share files, to see the other party by using web-cams, or to talk directly to anyone for free over the Internet. IM users frequently use text lingo.

IP address An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical identification (logical address) that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network utilizing the Internet Protocol for communication. 


ISPInternet Service Provider is the company that provides you access to the Internet.


Links – the hypertext connections between web pages. This shortened term for Hotlinks or Hyperlinks often appears underlined in blue to indicate that you may click on it and be directed to a different site or page.


Malware from the words malicious and software, is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner’s informed consent or knowledge. The expression is a general term used by computer professionals to mean a variety of forms of hostile, intrusive, or annoying software or program code. The term “computer virus” is sometimes used as a catch-all phrase to include all types of malware, including true viruses.


Mashup – a combination of existing texts, graphics, audio or video files or animations that create a new work.


Peer to Peer (P2P) – a type of ad hoc computer network where users can share information. Often called File sharing – this practice allows users to share what is on their computer with others. This practice also allows sharing of copyrighted material without paying, the danger of underlying content that is inappropriate for the receiver or might normally be blocked and access to files that were not meant to be shared. 


Podcasts – an audio blog. To hear a podcast you must download it to a computer, iPod or MP3 player. To create a podcast, you need a digital recorder, some editing software and a hosting site such as


Phishingis the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by posing as a trusted site. Communications seeming to be from popular social web sites (YouTube, Facebook, MySpace), auction sites (eBay), online banks, online payment processors (PayPal), or IT Administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting. Phishing often directs users to enter details at a fake website that looks almost identical to the legitimate one.


Plug-ins – (also: plugin, addin, add-in, addon, add-on, snap-in or snapin) consists of a computer program that interacts with a host application (a web browser or an email client) to provide a certain, usually very specific, function “on demand”. For instance, graphics software use plug-ins to support file formats and process images (Adobe Photoshop) and  web browsers use plug-ins to play video and presentation formats (Flash, QuickTime).


RSS Feeds(abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication) is a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.  An RSS document, which is called a “feed” includes full or summarized text, plus data such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using software called an RSS reader, feed reader, or aggregator, which can be web-based, desktop-based, on a mobile device or any computerized Internet-connected device.


Search engine is a tool designed to search for information on the World Wide Web. The search results are usually presented in a list and are commonly called hits. The list is ordered by the connection to the search parameters and the popularity of the content. Companies can also pay to have their content ranked higher. The information may consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files. Probably the most popular search engine is Google, but many others exist, including Yahoo!, Magellan, Lycos, and Infoseek. Still others are specifically created to serve a region ( or an age level ( to limit the search by some defined parameters.


Server – the computer system that manages and delivers information for a grouping of computers.


Sexting a combination of sex and texting – is the act of sending sexually explicit photos electronically, primarily between cell phones. It is practiced primarily by young adults, though it is known to occur amongst children as young as middle-school age. This new practice is increasing at an alarming rate, with teens not understanding the impact of the power and reach of the Internet.


Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet. These bookmarks are usually public. Some of the websites that allow users to share and vote for their favorite content are Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, furl, fark,, spurl, and Drudge. The more votes or the more times something is Dugg, StumbleUponed, etc, the higher it’s Page Ranks, and the more chances it will appear in searches allowing web owners to use these applications to drive traffic to their website. 

Social media – The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction and the manner in which information is presented takes place as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM). Social media are distinct from industrial media, such as newspapers, television, and film. Social media are relatively cheap tools and are being used more and more in a non traditional marketing world. Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video. Technologies include: blogs, picture-sharing, vlogs, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, crowdsourcing, and voice over IP. Examples of social media applications are Google Groups (reference, social networking), Wikipedia (reference), MySpace, Facebook, etc (social networking), Youmeo (social network aggregation), (personal music), YouTube (social networking and video sharing), Avatars United (social networking), Second Life (virtual reality), Flickr (photo sharing), Twitter (social networking and microblogging), and other microblogs such as Jaiku and Pownce. Many of these social media services can be integrated via social network aggregation platforms like Mybloglog and Plaxo.

Social Networking – websites that let people discover new friends, reconnect with old friends and share interests, skills, messages, photos and more. This new form of communication is the equivalent of hanging out – electronically. The list of sites is endless but the major players are: MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, MyYearbook, hi5, Xanga, Bebo, Stickam.   (Related terms Friending – those who you allow to communicate on your site, depending on your privacy settings – these can be invited or anyone, defriending– cancelling a friend from your site, tagging photos – a method of sharing photos from one site to another, posting-leaving messages on one another’s sites –there are no restrictions to what can be written and it appears without your permission, privacy settings – all sites have settings that must be approved before creating an account, but these can change – it is always good to review the settings, profile your page on the site which includes as much personal information as you share. Status or Comments – a short phrase that says what you are doing right now. Poke – allows one user to virtually poke another. Some users believe that the poke feature is some sort of Facebook flirting.  Wall – is a space on each user’s profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see while displaying the time and date the message was written. One’s wall is visible to anyone with the ability to see their full profile, and different users’ wall posts show up in an individual’s News Feed. Social networking sites have also been created around interests, family reunions and notably for business use (LinkedIn or Spoke).


Spamis the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. The most common form of spam is e-mail spam


Tags – keywords used to describe a website, photo, blog post or other web based content that allow the user to easily organize and retrieve information. A webmaster adds tags to content on the site so that it is easily searchable.


Texting – or Text messaging is the common term for the sending of “short” (160 characters or fewer, including spaces) messages from mobile phones using the Short Message Service (SMS). It is available on most digital mobile phones and some personal digital assistants with wireless telecommunications. The individual messages which are sent are called text messages or, more colloquially, texts or SMS.


Twitteris a social networking and micro-blogging service. It enables its users to send and read other users’ updates (tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters. Updates are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have signed up to receive them. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends (delivery to everyone being the default). Users can send and receive updates via the Twitter website, SMS, RSS (receive only), or through applications such as Tweetie, Twitterrific, and Feedalizr. The service is free to use over the web, but using SMS may incur phone services provider fees.


URLIn popular language, a URL is also referred to as a Web address


Virtual World Games (MMORPG – Massive Multiplayer online Role Playing Games) is a genre of computer role-playing games (CRPGs) in which a large number of players interact with one another in a virtual world. As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a fictional character (often in a fantasy world), and take control over many of that character’s actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player CRPGs by the number of players, and by the game’s persistent world, usually hosted by the game’s publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game. The development of the player’s character is usually the primary goal, but many games feature a character progression system in which players earn experience points for their actions and use those points to reach character “levels”, which makes them better at whatever they do. MMORPGs almost always allow players to communicate with one another. Depending on the other interactions allowed by the game, other social expectations will be present. Games are usually aimed at age levels, Club Penguin, Webkinz and Woogi World are some games for younger children, Teen Second Life, Runescape and World of Warcraft are games for older teens and Second Life is one of the biggest games for adults.


Web 2.0 – is a term for the next generation of the Internet, which capitalizes on web based multimedia tools and communities to promote interactivity


Webcamsare video capturing devices connected to computers or computer networks, often using a USB cable. They are well-known for their low manufacturing costs and flexible applications. Many new computers now come with factory installed webcams, but many users are not aware that they can be disenabled.


Webmaster – not someone who is a master at the web – well maybe – but technically is the person responsible for designing, developing, marketing, or maintaining a website. On community websites, webmasters are able to change and manipulate any comment that the users make. Other names: web architect, web developer, site author, website administrator, or (informally) the webmeister.


Wiki (Wikipedia) –a site that anyone can edit or add links to is called a wiki. The most popular one is a Wikipedia ( which is an online encyclopedia that anyone can update. Therefore the information is a good as the contributors – very powerful and amazingly useful, if you’re careful.

YouTube is the most popular video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. Unregistered users can watch the videos, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos. Accounts of registered users are called “channels”. Videos that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users over the age of 18. The uploading of videos containing defamation, pornography, copyright violations, and material encouraging criminal conduct is prohibited by YouTube’s terms of service, but very difficult to maintain. There are countless other websites like YouTube, including locally run – a website that is monitored by teachers and carefully filtered for appropriate content.