by all the Jargon and abbreviations on the Internet? Our glossary will
help you understand what some sites are really trying to tell you! If
you come across an Internet term or word that you don't understand, email
it to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will endeavour to add it to our glossary.
are listed alphabetically, click the relevant letter.
The unique reference to a Web page on the Internet i.e. www.retirement-matters.co.uk
Software programs that monitor the files on your computer for viruses.
Computer viruses can take many forms and can get onto your computer in
many different ways but are generally small programs that manifest
themselves in various ways from harmless messages at certain times of the
day, week, month etc to causing you to lose all your files or programs.
This is another word for a computer program. e.g. 'Click on the application
icon' is the same as saying 'Click on the program icon'.
A file that can be attached to an email message. It could be a word
processed document like a letter or a visual image like digital photos
When you type part of a Web page address in a browser's location bar, the
browser tries to make things easier by guessing or 'auto completing'
the rest of the address for you, it does this by remembering sites you
BCC (BLIND CARBON COPY)
You can use this to send a copy of an email to someone other than the main
recipient, without the main recipient knowing it has been sent to someone
BOOKMARK (See also 'Favourites')
A way of remembering the addresses of the Web pages you like, so you can
return to them at the click of a mouse button, also known as favourites.
You can bookmark a web page or site or add it to a list of favourites
by clicking on the relevant icon at the top of your browser.
this means high speed Internet access; usually when you connect to the
Internet, you cannot use the phone and Internet at the same time. Also
connections can be slow. Broadband allows you to use your home and
business/Internet line at the same time. Your connection and
download times will be so speedy, it is unlikely you would regret using
Broadband! Additionally you are permanently 'on-line' and are charged
one flat fee (per month) for unlimited use. It is more suitable to
be connected via Broadband if you are a frequent user. This connection
will not apply to your laptop as it is not portable - at present!
One source to give advice is BT - take a look at
A link to a website that's not working properly. Broken image links appear
as a broken icon in Netscape Navigator and as a box with a red cross in
Microsoft Internet Explorer.
This is a measurement of computer data (a byte = 8 bits). A Kilobyte (Kb)
equals a thousand bytes, a Megabyte (Mb) is a million bytes and a Gigabyte
(Gb) is a thousand million.
When you access a Web page your browser (i.e. Internet Explorer) may save
its text and graphics in a folder on your computers hard disk, called the cache.
The next time you visit the page, the parts that haven't changed are
loaded from the cache rather than from the Web, making the pages
appear on your screen much quicker.
CC (CARBON COPY)
Like BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) only in this instance the main recipient can
see who else has received the email.
Programs that enable you to talk to other Internet users in real time on
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels. The words you type are instantly
displayed on the screens of other people who are using the same channel.
WSIRC (PC) and Ircle (Mac) are examples of these.
A Web page where you can send text messages to other visitors in real
it's not an American biscuit, rather a special file in your Web browser's
directory on your computer's hard disk which is used by Web sites to store
certain information ,such as when you last visited their website and which
Web pages you've viewed.
This is the imaginary space you're moving through when you're travelling
on the World Wide Web. The term was first coined by the science fiction
writer William Gibson.
The Web browser program your computer automatically runs whenever you
connect to the Net.
Identifies a computer connected to the Net. Domain names typically consist
of a host name followed by a top-level domain category, such as .com, .co.
or .org., and then perhaps a country abbreviation, like .uk.
When you download something from the Internet - a Web page , some software
or pictures etc - you are transferring or downloading it from another
computer to yours.
Short for electronic mail, it enables you to send messages worldwide
across the Internet from one computer to another. A good point to note for
new users is that you have to be connected to the Internet to send and
receive email, but once you have received your emails into your email
program you don't have to be connected to read it. You can attach files
such as letters and pictures to emails.
These programs enable you to send and receive electronic mail messages.
Eudora (Windows and Mac), Netscape Messenger (Windows and Mac) and Outlook
Express (Windows and Mac) are all examples of email programs.
Otherwise known as smileys, these are shorthand ways of expressing
emotion in email messages by using various combinations of punctuation
marks such as colons, semi-colons, brackets etc like :-) for "I am
happy" and :-( for "I am not happy", they look like faces
turned on their side.
A magazine on the Web.
FAVOURITE (usually spelt the American way - favorite)
Internet Explorer's way of telling your Web browser to remember the
address of the Web pages you visit often, so that you can return to them
whenever you want.
Filters are rules which you can set up to automatically handle incoming
email. They can automatically delete or move to a specified folder all the
messages from a certain source or person or perhaps messages containing a
specific words in the subject line.
Send an email on to another Internet user.
GIF (or Graphics Interchange Format) is a file format for saving images so
that they can be viewed by a Web browser.
A record kept by your Web browser of all the sites you have visited within
a specified period. To find it, click on the icon labeled 'History' at
the top of your browser.
This can be either the page your Web browser automatically loads when you
run it, or your own personal page. It can be set or changed to whatever
web page you choose.
HTTP (or Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol or method used to
carry information between a Browser's computer and the Web site. Most
modern browsers already have the 'http://' part of the address
stored so you can start to key in the address starting with 'www'.
a visit to one of these, enjoy a cup of coffee, and ask an assistant to
show you the ropes! Maybe a good idea to visit one of these if you
have an difficulties with Internet access, or find it hard to use a search
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) is a company that provides
access to the Internet. ISPs have permanent connections to the Net
and use fast computers called servers to handle the exchange of data
between you and other computers on the Net.
JPEG (or Joint Photographic Experts Group) is another file format
of images or pictures.
The word, words or phrase you enter into a search engine to try to find
the Web site you want.
A 'hot-spot' on a Web page, indicated by your cursor changing to a
hand or finger symbol. A link connects you to another Web page when you
click on it with your mouse.
The white box at the top of your browser window where you type in the
address of a Web site.
The place on your ISPs computers where your email messages are
saved until you decide to connect and download them. When they arrive on
your computer, they are stored in your email programs In-box.
Subject based forums whose messages are distributed by email. You send
your email address to a central point and then you receive all the
messages that have been sent to that list.
A general etiquette observed when communicating on the Net.
Public discussion groups where people can read messages posted by others,
contribute their own ideas and talk to other users. There are thousands on
the Net, covering a multitude of subjects.
you are not connected to the Internet and therefore no longer incurring
You are online when you are connected to the Internet and therefore
incurring telephone charges.
An ISP that, in addition to providing Internet access, provides its
own online content that is only available to its members.
The person at an ISP, or company in charge of its email. If someone is
constantly sending you email abuse, you can report it to your postmaster.
As it happens.
are programmes which search the Internet to scan the contents of the web
to find the programme etc most relevant to you. They are free and
help you to narrow down your search - for example - if looking for a
camping holiday in Malta, you could enter the word 'Malta' and find there
are literally thousands of websites to assist, so narrow your search down
by entering 'Camping in Malta'. Some search engines to use
www.lycos.com and many more.
This is a computer that handles encrypted data for secure transactions.
For example, when you shop on the Internet, you should usually be
connected to a secure server so that your credit card or payment details
cannot be read by anyone else.
A computer which provides other computers with information. Web sites are
stored on Web servers, email is handled by mail servers and newsgroups are
handled by, not surprisingly, news servers.
A shareware program is one you can try free of charge, though often for a
limited period, or with certain features disabled. A registration fee is
usually payable to continue using it.
A few lines of text that are automatically added to the end of your
messages by your email program. Many email users like to include a
favourite quote, song lyric or suchlike.
Not a popular brand of tinned processed meat but the electronic equivalent
of junk mail. You can install software to block spam emails. If you
receive any unsolicited messages you are unsure of it is a good idea to
delete them immediately.
The opposite of download, when you upload data on the Internet, you
transfer it from your computer to another computer.
URL (or Uniform Resource Locator) is the jargon for a Web site address.
The person responsible for maintaining the information on a Web site.
The space on a ISPs Web server dedicated to hosting Web sites. Many ISPs
give away free Web space so that you can build your own Web site.