Q. What terms should I know about the Internet?


Here are some terms and definitions that will help you feel more comfortable on the web:

Internet Provider: Internet providers supply the bandwidth, physical connection and software that your PC uses to connect to the Internet.

Some examples of Internet providers are AOL, Earthlink, and your local cable (cable modems) and telephone (dsl) companies.

While some providers still offer dialup connections, we recommend a high speed service like a cable modem or dsl for your coursework if possible.

Browser: A browser is a piece of software that allows you to view web pages.

Popular browsers are Internet Explorer ("IE"), AOL, Mozilla/Firefox, Netscape, Opera and Safari. All of these browsers are free downloads.

You must take care, however, to download and use the one recommended for your operating system.

If you are currently using AOL or Opera, we recommend you download and use IE or FireFox for your courses.

Pop Up Blocker: Have you ever been reading a web page and gotten an annoying window with an advertisement? 

This is not the ad the appears on the top or the side of the web page, but a smaller window that magically appears on TOP of what you're trying to read.

These are Pop Ups. Web users hate pop ups so much that software companies saw a need to create pop up blockers. These pop up blockers sometimes come with your browser software or are separate programs that you purchase or download separately. 

Spyware: When you visit websites you leave valuable information behind. You might fill out a form with your name and email address or click on an ad to get more information. Companies that specialize in gathering this type of consumer behavior information sometimes place software on your PC's hard drive to capture your web surfing movements. If you have not given them permission to do so, this software is 'spying' on your web surfing and your computer. Hence the term spyware was coined.

Spyware removal software exists to help you get rid of these intruders.

Virus: A virus is a piece of software that you may unknowingly download or receive that ends up maliciously attacking your computer. It can wipe out your files and data and destroy your operating system.

Email: Email is a method of sending short messages from one Internet user to another, or, a group of users.

Your Internet service provider and other popular Internet sites like Yahoo and AOL offer email accounts. A typical email address would look something like john_doe@yahoo.com.

Plug-Ins: Certain software that is used to view various web pages must be downloaded and made available ("plugged-in") to your web browser.

These software plug-ins may be the only way to view certain video, audio or interactive elements of web pages. Some common plug-ins are Shockwave and Java.

URL: A URL is a website address, for example, http://www.rasmussen.edu

IM: "IM". or instant messaging, allows you to send short messages to another IM user over the Internet. Common IM software includes AOL's Instant Messenger, Yahoo's Instant Message and MSN Messenger.

Bookmarks or Favorites: Called bookmarks or favorites, these are websites that you visit often. Placing these websites in your bookmarks or favorites keeps them handy and helps you keep track of websites you need to access often.

Search Engine: Websites that help you find information on the internet are known as search engines. Google, Yahoo, and Dogpile are examples of some of the best known.

  • Last Updated Sep 15, 2015
  • Views 108
  • Answered By Suzanne Schriefer, Education & General Education Librarian

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