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Jargon Buster

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AccountAn account allows the user to be authenticated and authorised to access system services, such as e-mail or instant messaging.
Algorithm/Algorithmic SearchAlgorithm search refers to set of rules applied to the search engine’s database which determines the order in which websites are listed in search results.
Anti Virus SoftwareA software program that can be installed to scan and protect files from computer viruses.
AOLAOL is the global internet services and media company best known for its online software suite; also called "AOL".
AttachmentAn attachment is a computer file which is sent along with an e-mail message. It can be any type of software file, and can be opened by the receiver if the appropriate software to view the file attachment is installed or available.
AUP/TOS/COS (Acceptable Use Policy/Terms and conditions/Conditions of Service)An acceptable use policy is a set of rules applied by many transit networks which restrict the ways in which the network may be used. AUPs are used by entities with a large user base and multiple computers, delimiting what is and is not permitted for use of the computers.Most providers of services on the internet include an AUP as one of the key provisions of their terms and conditions.
Authoring toolAn authoring tool is a software package that is used by developers to create and package content deliverable to end users. Such tools are commonly used to create e-learning modules.

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Back-endIn software design, the front-end is the part of a software system that interacts directly with the user, and the back-end comprises the components that process the output from the front-end.
BeboBebo is a social networking service where members can stay in touch with friends, share photos, discover new interests and just hang out.
BECTaBecta is the UK government's leading agency for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education in the United Kingdom. Becta leads the national drive to inspire and lead the effective and innovative use of technology in learning.
BlockOn the internet, a block is a technical measure intended to restrict access to information or resources. Users may have their access blocked, preventing them from publishing content or communicating with other users.
BlogBlog is short for weblog. A weblog is a journal (or newsletter) that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption.
BloggingBlogging means to maintain or add content to a blog.
BluejackingBluejacking is a term which refers to sending unsolicited messages over Bluetooth to Bluetooth-enabled devices.
BluetoothBluetooth is a service that allows users to connect and exchange information between devices over a secure, globally unlicensed short-range radio frequency.
BookmarksA collection of personal websites of interest to the user. Bookmarks operate in the same way as putting a marker in a book, making it quick and easy to navigate the World Wide Web.
BrowserBrowser is a program that allows users to find, view and interact with material on the world wide web. Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox are examples of popular browsers.
Browser HistoryA folder, stored by the browser, which contains details of recently visited websites.
Buddy listA buddy List is a window that shows all friends, family, co-workers, and others who are signed on to AOL, CompuServe (CS2000), or AIM.

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CacheA cache is a special high-speed storage mechanism. It can be either a reserved section of main memory or an independent high-speed storage device.
CEIRThe Central Equipment Identity Register is a database of the IMEI numbers of blacklisted handsets. If a device's IMEI number is listed on CEIR, it is not supposed to work on any service provider.
CEOP Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre – Primary law enforcement authority in the UK for child protection on the internet.
Chat Chat is the synchronous communication over the internet through written messages, by using chat and instant messenger applications.
ChatroomChatrooms are virtual environments that allow users to share information via text with a group of other users. Generally chatrooms allow chat in “real time”, i.e. when you type in a line of conversation the other person sees it immediately and can reply straight away.
CommunityIn the context of the Internet, a community is a group of people that primarily interact via communication media rather than face to face.
ContentContent refers to the ideas, information, images, sounds, videos, animation, etc encountered on websites.
Content control/ filterContent-control software determines what content is available on a particular machine or network to prevent persons from viewing content restricted for various reasons.
ConvergenceConvergence is the synergistic combination of voice, data and video onto a single network. These previously separate technologies are now able to share resources and interact with each other to improve efficiency.
CookieA cookie is a piece of information sent to a user’s computer by a website. The computer then returns that information to the website. This is how some websites “remember” your previous visits. Cookies may contain information such as user preferences, registration or login details relevant to a particular website.
CopyrightCopyright is a legal concept that gives the author a set of exclusive rights regulating the use of an idea, work or information. Copyright is represented by the symbol “”.
CrawlersCrawlers are computer robot programs used by search engines to roam the world wide web via the internet, visiting websites and databases, and updating the search engine’s database of web pages. (Synonym for Spider)
Creative commonsCreative Commons licenses are copyright licences that give users specified rights e.g. to distribute the copyrighted work without changes, at no charge.
Cyber-bullyingCyber-bullying refers to bullying, harassing, humiliating, threatening, embarrassing or targeting another person in some way over electronic media, usually through social networking sites, instant messaging, e-mail or via mobile phone.
Cyber caf A cyber caf or internet caf is a place where one can use a computer with internet access, usually for a per-minute or hourly rate.
CyberstalkingCyberstalking refers to the use of information and communications technology, particularly the internet, to harass an individual, group of individuals, or organisation.

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A database is an electronic store of information usually categorised and ordered into a holding structure.
Discussion boardA discussion board or internet forum is a web application for holding discussions and posting user-generated content.
Domain nameA unique name that identifies a website. Separated by dots, domain names have two or more parts, for example,
DownloadingDownloading refers to the process of transferring internet content from an online service to a user's local computer.

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ECPATEnd Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes. ECPAT is a network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
E-mailE-mail (abbreviation of “electronic mail”) is a method of composing, sending, receiving and storing messages over electronic communication systems. Is frequently contrasted with traditional mail “snailmail” sent via letter post.
E-mail addressAn e-mail address is the virtual location to which e-mail messages are delivered.
ESN (electronic serial number)The Electronic Serial Number is a unique number used to identify mobile devices. An ESN is 32 bits long.
European SchoolnetEuropean Schoolnet (EUN) is a unique not-for-profit consortium of 28 ministries of education in Europe that provides major education portals for teaching, learning and collaboration and leads the way in bringing about change in schooling through the use of new technology.

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FacebookFacebook is a social networking free-access website that allows users to join one or more social networks.
FAQsFrequently Asked Questions or FAQs refer to a list of questions and answers frequently asked in a specific context and pertaining to a particular topic.
File sharingFile sharing refers to the online exchange of files between computer users. Most users who engage in file sharing on the internet both provide (upload) files and receive files (download).
Filtering softwareA program developed to sort and block access to undesirable material on the Internet. Normally operates using a list of banned sites and approved sites which has been compiled by the software company.
FirewallA hardware or software system that seeks to prevent unauthorised access to or from a private computer or network.
FlamingFlaming is the hostile and insulting interaction between internet users. Flaming usually occurs in the social context of a discussion board, internet Relay Chat (IRC) or even through e-mail.
FlickrFlickr is a platform that offers users photo sharing tools and online community access.
FriendsterFriendster is an internet social networking service mostly used in Asia and based on the Circle of Friends and Web of Friends techniques for networking individuals in virtual communities.
FTPAbbreviation of File Transfer Protocol. A method of transferring hypertext files from one computer to another over a network.

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GameA game is an activity usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool.
GoogleGoogle is an internet company and brand that offers a variety of services such as online and mobile advertising related to its internet search, web-based e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing as well as selling advertising-free versions of the same technologies.
GPRSGeneral Packet Radio Service (GPRS) is a data transfer service available to users of mobile phones.
GroomingGrooming refers to actions undertaken by paedophiles of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for sexual abuse or rape.
GSMEGSM Europe (GSME) is the European premier global body behind the world's leading wireless communications standard, representing around 147 operators in 50 countries/areas in Europe.

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Habbo HotelHabbo is a social networking website aimed at teenagers. Habbo features chat rooms that allow users to share content and create groups with discussion forums.
Happy SlappingHappy slapping is a term used to refer to a situation in which an unsuspecting victim is attacked while the perpetrator or an accomplice records the assault (commonly with a camera phone). The name can refer to any type of violent assault.
HarassmentHarassment is defined as physical, verbal and psychological offensive behavior perpetrated against an individual, by one or more persons.
Hate siteA hate site is a website that promotes hatred by criticising a specific race, religion, sexual behavior, gender or nationality.
HostingHosting on internet means to run servers that allow organizations and individuals to serve content to the Internet. There are various kinds and levels of services offered, the most basic being webpage and small-scale file hosting, where files can be uploaded via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or a Web interface,
HTTPAbbreviation of HyperText Transfer Protocol. A protocol for transferring hypertext files to the Internet.
HypertextHypertext is text that appears on a web page and which, when clicked on, will take the user to a different area or website. A hypertext link (hyperlink) is the point of access to additional information on a webpage or CDROM.

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ICQ (“I Seek You”)A commonly used instant messaging program that is downloaded onto a computer. It enables users to chat, email, perform file transfers and play games.
Identity theftIdentity theft is a relatively new term used to describe the practice of stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be a different person.
IMEIThe IMEI number is a unique number on every mobile phone used by the GSM network to identify valid devices.
ImpersonationImpersonation is the act of imitating or copying the behavior or actions of another person.
IP AddressAn IP address (Internet Protocol address) is a unique address that certain electronic devices use in order to identify and communicate with each other on a computer network utilizing the internet Protocol standard – in simpler terms, a computer address.
Instant MessagingInstant messaging or IM is a form of real-time communication between two or more people and is based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers connected over a network such as the internet.
InternetInternet is a worldwide, publicly accessible network made up of interconnected computer networks through which data transmission and exchange takes place.
Internet Advisory Board (IAB)The Internet Advisory Board was established in Ireland in 2000 to promote awareness of Internet downside issues and monitor the progress of self-regulation in relation to illegal and harmful content by the Internet Service Provider Industry. The functions of the IAB have been subsumed into the Office for Internet Safety.
Internet Service Provider “ISP”An internet service provider is a company or business that provides access to the internet and related services, usually email accounts and website space.
Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI)ISPAI is the representative organisation for a substantial proportion of ISPs in Ireland. ISPAI operates and financially supports the Irish hotline ( the service for reporting illegal content on the internet.

In choosing an ISP, parents may wish to check if they are an ISPAI member and therefore signed up to the Industry Code of Practice and Ethics which has child protection concerns as a key element of its approach.
IRC (Internet Relay Chat)A commonly used instant messaging program.
IWFThe Internet Watch Foundation is the recognised non statutory organisation in the UK which operates an internet ‘Hotline’ for the public and IT professionals to report their exposure to potentially illegal content online.

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Link/hyperlinkA hyperlink (often referred to as simply a link) is a reference or navigation element in a document to another section of the same document, another document, or a specified section of another document, that automatically brings the referred information to the user when the navigation element is selected by the user.
Log in/Log offTo log in refers to identifying oneself to the system in order to obtain access while to log out is to close off one's access to a computer system after previously having logged in.

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MalwareMalware is software designed to infiltrate or damage a computer system without the owner's informed consent. It is a combination of the words "malicious" and "software".
Meta-tagA meta-tag is a coding statement in HTML that describes some aspects of the contents of a Web page. Meta-tags are used by search engines to index Web pages.
MicrosoftMicrosoft is a multinational computer technology corporation that develops, manufactures, licenses and supports a wide range of software products for computing devices.
MMSMultimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a standard for telephone messaging systems that allows users to send messages that include multimedia objects.
Mobile phoneA mobile phone is an electronic portable telecommunications device that has the same basic capability as a conventional fixed line telephone.
MoblogA moblog is a blog published directly to the web from a phone or other mobile device.
ModerationModeration is the monitoring and filtering of user generated content by human or technical means.
ModeratorA moderator may remove unsuitable contributions from the website, forum or IRC channel they represent in accordance with their moderation policy.
MP3MP3 is an encoding format for consumer digital audio storage.
MSISDNThe Mobile Station Integrated Services Digital Network (MSISDN) is the mobile equivalent of ISDN. MSISDN refers to the fixed number of digits (10 or 15-digits, depending on the service provider) that uniquely identifies a subscription in a GSM or UMTS mobile network.
MSNMSN (The Microsoft Network) is a collection of internet services provided by Microsoft.
MySpaceMySpace is an online community or social networking service that allows users to share photos, journals and interests with a network of friends.

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Navigation refers to the act of moving from one area to another within a website, or between websites, by clicking on links.
NCTE (National Centre for Technology in Education)The NCTE is an Irish Government Agency established to provide advice, support and information on the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in education. NCTE operates which is the Irish Internet Safety Awareness node. See and for further information.
NewsgroupsAn internet facility that allows users with a common interest to exchange information. There are many thousands of newsgroups, often updated several times a day. They may be moderated or unmoderated.
NetworkA network is a group of interconnected computers capable of exchanging information.

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OnlineOnline refers to being connected to a computer service through a modem. Online can also be used to designate the virtual world.
OrangeOrange is the key brand of France Telecom, one of the world's leading telecommunications operators. In 2006, Orange became the group's single brand for internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the company operates.
OutingOuting can broadly mean to publicly disclose personal characteristics, such as political affiliation or religion, that someone may wish to keep secret. Outing can take place offline or online.

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Parental controlsParental controls refer to settings used to customise web tools, television or computer games in view of making them more children friendly by restricting or time-limiting their access.
PasswordA password is a secret combination of signs or symbols used to control access to a resource.
Peer2Peer (P2P) networksPeer-to-peer (P2P) network allows connected users to exchange files by uploading and downloading. This is only one of several ways files are shared on internet.

Some people are using peer-to-peer applications to copy or distribute files including copyrighted material such as music, films and software without paying royalties. People who do this may be breaching copyright legislation and therefore may be committing an offence.
PharmingPharming is the act of redirecting a website's traffic to another site. Currently the most efficient way to prevent pharming is for end users to make sure they are using secure web connections to access sites such as those for banking or taxes.
PhishingPhishing is the attempt to fraudulently acquire personal information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by luring users to give personal details to a fake website.
PiczoPiczo Inc is a privately held blog company that offers services such as online photo website and community builders.
PINA personal identification number (PIN) is a secret code used by users to authenticate to a system.
PodcastA podcast a pre-recorded audio program posted to a website and made available for download.
Pop-up adsPop-up ads are online advertising messages that appear on the screen and that attract web traffic or capture e-mail addresses.
Posting Posting refers to a user’s contribution to a blog, internet forum, e-mail or Usenet message.
Privacy (settings)Privacy refers to the ability to control what information one reveals about oneself over the internet, and to control who can access that information.
ProfileA profile is an easy-to-create webpage which contains personal information a user gives about themselves. It can include all kinds of information, and users can upload their favourite music, pictures and video clips to their profile for other users to view.

Profiles contain personal information users give about themselves on social networking sites and in instant messaging and online chat applications for people to better understand who they are. They can include all kinds of information including some “sensitive” information such as sexual orientation, religion etc.

In terms of internet safety, children and young people are advised to set their profiles to “private” and not to include any personal information in their profiles.
Proxy serverAlso known as cache server. Used by Internet Service Providers to hold cached web pages.
PublishingPublishing is the activity of making information available for public view. With the advent of digital information systems and the internet, the scope of publishing has expanded to include electronic resources.

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RSSRSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content such as blogs, news feeds or podcasts.
RunescapeRuneScape is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game that offers a free-playing option, simple interface and accessibility to most web browsers.

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ScamsScams or confidence tricks are attempts to obtain money dishonestly by deceiving and cheating somebody. Scams are difficult to classify as they keep changing and often contain elements of more than one type.
ScreenshotA screenshot is a digital image taken by the operating system or software running on the computer device, but can also be a capture made by a camera or a device intercepting the video output of the computer.
Searching / search engineA search engine is an internet-based tool used to search for information contained on websites.
Second LifeSecond Life is an internet-based virtual world that enables its users to interact with each other through motional avatars, providing an advanced level of a social network service.
Self-harmSelf-injury or self-harm refers to inflicting deliberate injury upon one’s own body without suicidal intent.
A server is a computer on a network which is dedicated to a particular purpose and which stores all information and performs the critical functions for that purpose.
SMSShort Message Service (SMS) is a communications protocol that allows users to exchange short text messages between mobile telephone devices. Commonly referred to in Ireland as “text messaging” or “texting”.
Social NetworkingSocial networking refers to online communities where people from all over the world can meet and share common interests. There are several hundred social networking websites. Most of them are free to join and allow users to set up their own personalized profile or blog.
Spam (e-mail)Spam refers to unwanted e-mail, usually of a commercial nature, sent out in bulk to an indiscriminate set of recipients.
Spiders Spiders are computer robot programs used by search engines to crawl the world wide web via the internet, visiting websites and databases and updating the search engine’s database of web pages.
Splash PagesSplash pages appear once the user has submitted their search query and is waiting for the results. Can be used as a warning to alert users that they are about to view results which may be considered potentially harmful.
SpywareSpyware is malware secretly attached to files downloaded from the internet. Spyware usually installs itself on the PC and monitors activity in order to send private information to a third party.

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TCP/IPAbbreviation for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The suite of communications protocols used to connect computers on the Internet.
Terms of ServiceTerms of Service are rules that have to be respected in order to use a service. Usually, terms are legally binding.
Text messagingText messaging, or texting, refers to sending "short" text messages from mobile phones using the Short Message Service (SMS).
TrojansIn the context of computer software, a Trojan Horse is a program that contains or installs a malicious program (sometimes called the payload or 'trojan'). Trojan horses may appear to be useful or interesting programs (or at the very least harmless) to an unsuspecting user, but are actually harmful when executed.
Txt spkSMS language (also known as chatspeak, txt, txtspk, texting language or txt talk) is the abbreviated language used in mobile phone SMS. It does not obey or follow standard English grammar.

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UKCGOUK Children Go Online: research conducted by the London School of Economics.
UploadingUploading refers to the process of sending data from a local system to a remote system, FTP server or website.
URLURL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. This is another name for a web address. It indicates where a file, image or document can be accessed via the internet.
UsenetA worldwide system of newsgroups and discussion groups that uses the Internet and other networks.
UsernameA username is a name defined by the user which allows access to a computer system or online service.

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Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)Web-based interfaces that assist learning and teaching through providing and integrating online resources and tools.
VirusA computer virus is a computer program which distributes copies of itself, even without permission or knowledge of the user. To distribute itself, a virus needs to be executed or interpreted. Viruses often hide themselves inside other programs to be executed.
VloggingVlogging is as a video form of blogging and a continuation and expansion of video diaries and bulletins. It usually combines embedded video or a video link with supporting text, images and other metadata.
VodafoneVodafone is a mobile telecommunications network company. It mainly deals with mobile phones, but it is also moving into integrated mobile and PC communication services.

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Walled Garden
A walled garden refers to a selection of sites which have passed through human editorial intervention to ensure that content is handpicked and verified as appropriate for inclusion.
WAPWireless Application Protocol or WAP is an application that uses wireless communication to enable access to the internet from a mobile phone or PDA.
Web 2.0Web 2.0, refers to a perceived or proposed second generation of Web-based services – such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools and folksonomies – that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.
Web browserA software application used to locate and display web pages. Examples include Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
WebcamA webcam is a small digital camera whose images can be accessed using the Web, instant messaging or a PC video conferencing application. Webcam are generally integrated into modern PC and laptop computers.
WebsiteA website is a location on the world wide web, usually containing multiple web pages and normally owned by an individual, group, organisation or business.
Wi-fiWi-Fi is the common name for wireless technology used in home networks, mobile phones, video games, etc. Wi-Fi is supported by nearly every modern personal computer operating system and most advanced game consoles.
WikipediaWikipedia is a multilingual, Web-based, free content encyclopedia project. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the website. The name is a fusion or “portmanteau” of the words wiki (a type of collaborative website) and encyclopedia.
Windows Live SpacesWindows Live Spaces (also known as MSN Spaces) is Microsoft's blogging and social networking platform.
Wireless networkA wireless network is a telecommunications network that interconnects without the use of wires. Wireless devices use radio instead of wires to transmit data back and forth between devices connected to the same network.
World Wide WebAn information search, retrieval and publishing system for the Internet. This system contains a network of servers which support documents that are written in a format known as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).

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XangaXanga is a free Web-based service that hosts weblogs, photoblogs, videoblogs, audioblogs and social networking profiles and is popular among teenagers. Users are allowed to post any number of weblog entries per day. Xanga sites are most commonly used as personal journals.

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YahooYahoo! Inc. is a public corporation that offers global internet services. It provides a wide range of products and services including a Web portal, a search engine, the Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, news and postings.
YouTubeYouTube is a popular free video-sharing website that allows registered users to upload and share video clips online.

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© COPYRIGHT Office for Internet Safety 2008