Acceptable use policy

Also known as AUP. This is an agreement that many businesses and educational facilities require employees or students to sign before being granted a network ID. It outlines various stipulations regarding what is acceptable behavior for the internet and/or for cellphones. Same as Responsible use policy (RUP).


Internet acronyms are shorthand ways of communicating that are used specifically on the internet or cell phone texting. They are popular because they save people time in preparing messages. It is quicker, for example, to type in one acronym that is easily understood, than a series of words. Examples: G2G (got to go), LOL (laughing out loud)

Agent of the State

A person who is employed by the state and has the authority to enforce the laws within the jurisdiction of their title.


A file of information that is sent with an email. It may contain text, photos, graphics, sound or video.


An icon or picture that represents a participant in online chat, in forums and in games.

Backing up

Making copies of computer data in case something happens to your machine or operating system and the information is lost.


Making copies of computer data in case something happens to your machine or operating system and the information is lost.


Bandwidth refers to how much data can be sent through an internet connection. It is usually measured in bits-per-second (bps). The higher the bandwidth, the faster users can surf the web or download files.

Blocking software

A program to filter content from the internet and restrict access to sites or content based on specific criteria.


The term ‘blog’ is derived from the combination of the words 'web' and 'log'. Blogs are virtual journals created by individuals and stored on the internet. Blogs generally consist of text and images and tend to appear in a chronological format. Find an excellent video about blogs here:


A wireless networking technology that enables data to easily transfer from one device to another in close range without the use of cords and wires, such as cell phone to laptop computer, or headset to cell phone.


A placeholder that helps you locate a website later. Web browsers let you ‘bookmark’ any site and save these bookmarks in a file to recall at any time. Some browsers use the term ‘favorites’ to describe this function.


Bounce-back refers to the auto-return of an email message because of an error in its address or delivery.


Sometimes referred to as high-speed internet, broadband is an ‘always on’ fast connection to the internet. Broadband can be fiber optic, ADSL, DSL or wireless.


A web browser is a software program that allows you to browse the internet by simple ‘point and click’ navigation. Common browsers are Firefox, Internet Explorer (IE), and Chrome. The world wide web is made up of millions of sites, each of which has its own unique address (URL). The web browser interprets coded language and presents it in an easy-to-view form that allows us to read text, view images, watch movies and listen to sound on a website.

Buddy list

A list of people who you can chat with through an instant messaging program.


A person who observes a scene but is not involved—a spectator or onlooker. For example, someone who knew a friend was victimized by cyber bullying but did not tell an adult or helped the situation in any way.


A cache is a stash of digital files. Web browsers hold copies of recently visited web files in the computer’s memory. This disk memory space is called the cache. It offers the advantage of much quicker loading when files are stored on disk than when they must be transferred from the web every time. Search engines like Google also store caches of websites that preserve the information even if it's deleted.


Acronym for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Provides mental health for children in the UK.

Camtasia recording

The leading software for creating screen capture videos. It allows you to capture the things on your computer screen and put the videos onto CDs or load them to your websites for you and/or customers use.

Case sensitive

Case sensitive means that capitalization matters. Some passwords are ‘case sensitive’ meaning 'ABC' is considered different data from 'abc'. Passwords that are case sensitive need to be typed in exactly the same way each time.


Compact Disk–Read-Only Memory. A compact disk can store large amounts of information and is accessed by being inserted into a computer’s CD-ROM drive. CD-ROM is like DVD but holds much less information.


Online chat is the informal ‘conversational’ communication between users of the internet while they are online. This can be direct one-on-one chat using tools such as instant messaging (IM), chat rooms or SMS. It can also be text-based group chat through mediums such as Internet Relay Chat, online forums and Wikis.

Chat room

An online space where you can meet and exchange information through messages displayed on the screens of others who are in the “room.”


Children's Internet Protection Act. A bill that requires public libraries and schools to use internet filters as a condition for the receipt of certain federal funding. Bill Clinton signed it on December 21, 2000 and the U.S Supreme Court upheld it on June 23, 2003.


Computer cookies are small files placed on your computer when you visit a website. The website saves a complementary file with a matching identification (ID) tag so it can recognize you by matching the cookie with the website’s copy. Cookies keep track of information entered at a site. For example, if you submit a registration form or wish to complete online transactions, the site will match that information to your computer the next time you visit. While cookies can be turned off, they are generally not dangerous to users, and some websites may not operate correctly without the use of cookies.


Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. A law that prohibits websites from collecting personal information children under 13 years of age. This law also encompasses details concerning: what the website operator must include in a privacy policy, what responsibilities an operator has to protect children’s safety and privacy, and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian (children under 13 can legally give out their personal information if they have parent’s permission).


Acronym for Child Protection Services. This organization investigates abuse and neglect of children, places children in foster care and adoptive homes, and provides services to children and families in their own homes.


1. Online harassment, or cyberbullying, involves the use of information and communication technologies, such as email, mobile phone text messages, instant messaging (IM) and defamatory personal websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm or humiliate others.

2. Bullying or harassment that takes place online; includes posting embarrassing pictures or unkind comments on a person’s profile or sending them via instant message or email.


A term used generally to describe where internet transactions take place and the different experiences available through the global online world of computer networks. For example, one might describe sending an email to their friend as sending it ‘through cyberspace’.


A collection of data records. On web databases, records may consist of web pages, graphics, audio files, newspaper files, books, movies or anything from very general to very specific areas of interest. Database records are usually indexed and come with a search interface to find records of interest.

Demo software

Demo software is a trial version of a software program that allows people to use it for free while they decide whether or not to buy it. Generally, demo software can be downloaded directly from the manufacturer's website. The most common ways to offer demo software is to allow customers to download a complete version that will expire in a set period of time. See also, Shareware.

Digital Literacy

The skill set to locate, understand, organize, and evaluate information using digital technology such as computer hardware and software, the internet, PDAs, and cell phones.


To download a file means to transfer it from one computer to your computer. This can refer to a music file, document or photo, transferred from a website or the internet to a computer.

Due Process

This constitutional right guarantees that legal proceedings will be fair. It also promises that before the government takes away one's life, liberty, or property, one will be given notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard before the government. Lastly, it grants that a law shall not be unreasonable, arbitrary, or capricious.


A Digital Versatile Disk (DVD-ROM) is a media or data storage disk that closely resembles a CD or compact disk, but is formatted to hold far more data such as movies or a television series.


Business that is conducted online.


Criminal activity where a computer or other electronic communications device, such as a mobile phone, is used to commit an offense, be the target of an offence, or act as a storage device in an offence. Also referred to as "internet crime."


E-security covers a range of activities to keep electronic information secure. This can include protecting a personal computer as well as protecting personal and sensitive information such as passwords and bank account details.


Email (electronic mail) is a mail message that is sent from one computer to another. Email messages can be sent to anyone with an email address, anywhere in the world.


Emoticons (emotions + icons) are combinations of punctuation marks used to convey facial expressions as a shorthand method of communicating emotions through text. Emoticons can be used in any communication over the internet but are particularly popular in chat rooms and instant messaging. Examples: (view sideways) :-) [smiley face], :( [sad face], ;) [wink]


Electronic Service Provider (ESP)

External (portable) hard disk-drive

An advanced version of the floppy disk, this is a disk drive that is plugged into an external port on a computer such as a USB. A portable hard disk allows the user to back up or store important information separate from the main internal hard drive, which could become compromised by online or offline activities. It is also capable of storing much more information than an internal hard drive.

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

FAQs are documents that list and answer the most common questions on a particular subject.

Faraday Bag

A Faraday bag is a bag in which you can place a cell phone and it will not be able to receive signals. This bag is helpful in investigations to prevent changes from taking place in the phone through receipt of a signal and to ensure the integrity of evidence.


Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Implemented in 1974, this law obligates institutions and educational agencies that receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education to provide students access to their education. It also grants students the opportunity to seek to have the records amended and some control of the disclosure of their records.


A filter manages access to online content. A filter can restrict times when the internet can be accessed and also restrict what is viewed and downloaded, based on certain key words or types of content. Some filters can also be instructed to specifically block information from being displayed. Types of filters range from those on home computers to filters used by a school on its server.


Firewalls are computer systems that limit and stop access to computers by unauthorized people or other computers. A personal firewall can be installed to protect a computer from intruders. Firewalls also help to stop the spread of viruses and spam and can be a valuable tool in protecting children online.


Mean, obscene, or harassing messages sent through online chat, social networking sites, in chat rooms, IM, and cell phone texting.


Sending mean or obscene messages that include bad language or obscene content. Flaming, also known as ‘flame wars’, generally occurs in unmoderated chat rooms. The majority of chat rooms remain ‘open’, where messages are posted automatically with no human intervention.


Software that is offered for free to download.


Playing an animated game. Some games are available on CD-ROM or on video game consoles such as a Wii or Xbox, while others are available directly online and can be played by more than one user, simultaneously. The software is usually based on traditional game categories, such as adventure, role-playing or strategy

Gang Jump In

A rite of passage to join a gang. The inductee must endure an extreme beating by a pre-determined number of members for a pre-determined number of minutes to prove himself/herself. The inductee often suffers cuts, or broken ribs and bones, and sometimes may even suffer permanent injury or death.


A Global Positioning System (GPS) is a global navigation satellite system that is used in cars or phones to determine location and provide directions.


Online grooming occurs when an adult takes deliberate actions to befriend and establish an emotional connection with a child in order to lower the child’s inhibitions with the intent of later having sexual contact. It may include situations where adults pose as children in chat rooms or social networking sites and ‘befriend’ children in order to make arrangements to meet with them in person.


A ‘hacker’ is someone who breaks into computer systems and performs other destructive or illegal acts with computers and networks.


A ‘hacker’ is someone who breaks into computer systems and performs other destructive or illegal acts with computers and networks.


The first web page (or landing page) of a website.


A hyperlink is any text or graphics on a website that, when clicked on, will take you to another web page or another part of the same web page. Hyperlinks usually show up underlined and in blue.


Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers; To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer—a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world so that we can enjoy one global Internet.


Acronym for "Information and Communication Technologies." ICT references various technologies that share information through telecommunications. Although it is similar to Information Technology (IT), it is different in that it focuses mainly on communication technologies including the Internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication mediums.

Identity theft

Identity theft is when personal information is stolen and used for fraudulent purposes.

Information and Communications Technology

Information and communications technology (ICT) is the term used to describe all the hardware (computers, mobile phones, cables, networks) and software (websites, computer programs) that allows data to be digitally processed, stored and communicated.


Used to transmit data, infrared is a wireless technology that uses the range of invisible radiation wavelengths longer than the color red in the visible spectrum. Infrared can be used to transmit files or documents, but the most common infrared technology is used in remote controls for television sets and other electronic devices.

Instant messaging (IM)

Messages sent in rapid succession from one computer to another by means of small ‘pop-up’ windows. They are a form of ‘instant email’ and are very popular with students and adults alike. They are usually a one-to-one communication medium, although some programs allow many people to chat at the same time, like a private chat room.

Intellectual property (IP)

Creative products that have commercial value, including copyrighted property like books, photos, and songs.


An prohibition from an authority such as a court order that prohibits a certain party from doing a certain activity.


The internet is a system of linked computer networks. It facilitates data transfer and communication services across the world. These include email and the World Wide Web.

Internet service provider (ISP)

A company that provides access to the internet for home and business users. For a monthly fee, the service provider enables people to log onto the internet and browse the world wide web and send/receive email.


Internet protocol (IP) provides a standard set of rules for sending and receiving data over the Internet.


Keylogging is the use of either a hardware device installed on a keyboard or spyware software to record every keystroke made on that computer. A keylogger records everything the user types, including emails, log-in names, passwords, credit card numbers and/or bank account websites in order to steal the information.

Leet (Elite + Speak)

Specialized jargon specific to an online community.

Limited user account

An online setting that grants someone access to some of the computer’s functions and programs, but allows only an administrator to make changes that affect the computer.

Log-in (noun or verb)

A log-in (noun) is the account name used to gain access to a computer system, or (verb) the act of connecting to a computer system by entering a username and password.


To lurk is to listen in to a mailing list, chat room or newsgroup without participating. Newcomers are encouraged to lurk for a while as they get the feel of a site and how it operates.


Short for "malicious software"; includes viruses and spyware that steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud. (See Badware.)

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)

Games that can be played over the internet, with multiple players located anywhere in the world. The games allow the user to play a role within the game, usually with an avatar to represent the player. MMORPGs include The Sims Online and World of Warcraft.


Data that discusses data and/or provides information about an item's content. For example, a description of the size, image resolution, and color depth of an image; or, a description about length, author, and summary of a text document.


Blogging or journaling in very small increments, usually less than 150 characters per post. Micro-blogging sites (e.g. are social networking websites where people can send out regular updates about their daily activities. Users of micro-blogging sites can both share their updates and follow others. See an excellent video on micro-blogging here:

Mobile Internet-enabled Devices

Mobile internet-enabled devices include phones and PDAs that are able to access the internet, upload and download information, take photographs and sometimes record sound.


Short for modulator/demodulator. A modem is used between a computer and a phone or coaxial cable line to convert the computer's digital signal to an analog signal for the line and vice versa. A modem is essential for a computer to access the internet.

MP3 Players

MP3 players are used to play MP3 audio files. ‘MP3' is a type of compression technology that minimizes the size of audio files. MP3 players can keep large amounts of music in the one convenient and portable location.

Netiquette (Net + Etiquette)

Netiquette describes ‘the rules’ of common courtesy for how people should act online, especially in forums and chat rooms. Netiquette can also be applied to email and chat.


A newbie is a newcomer to the internet. These people may reveal their inexperience through lack of knowledge of internet conventions such as internet vocabulary, netiquette and general know-how. A common newbie faux pas is THE USE OF ALL CAPS which denotes screaming to experienced users.

Online Forums (Newsgroups)

Online forums are a place where people can contribute to a discussion by leaving a message of interest. Online forums exist on thousands of topics and are useful for building online communities and bringing people together with similar interests. Moderated forums are the safest to use.


Being ‘online’ means being connected to the internet. People communicate online by sending and receiving information via email, instant messaging or chat room. Offline refers to activity when not connected to the internet.

Open Source Software

Open source software is software for which the programming code is available to the users so that they may read it, make changes to it, and build new versions of the software incorporating their changes.


A password is used to gain access to areas on the internet where you may wish to protect or restrict access to personal information. Passwords should be carefully protected. Use long and random passwords for any application that provides access to your personal identity information, including logging onto your computer or your social networking profile. Avoid dictionary words as a password. Ideally, the password should be eight or more characters in length. Passwords should be changed regularly.


Software downloaded to fix or update a computer program.


“Personal Digital Assistant,” can be used as a mobile phone, web browser, or portable media player.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) Networking

P2P is an application that runs on a personal computer; it shares files, such as music and video files, with other users across the internet. P2P networks work by connecting individual computers together to share files instead of having to go through a central server. P2P file-sharing opens your computer to severe security threats to your computer and any networks connected to it. P2P is also

Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

A PDA is a hand-held portable computer. These technologies may contain digital calendars, address books, a memo pad and other accessories for both business and personal use.

Personal information

Data that can be used to identify you, like your name, address, birth date, or Social Security number.


Pharming is the act of redirecting a website’s traffic to an illegitimate site. Hackers establish these fake sites to gain access to personal information, such as bank account details and passwords. Users may be able to avoid pharming by ensuring they use secure web connections to access websites that require personal information, such as your bank’s website.


Phishing is sending email that is specifically designed to trick people into revealing personal information. Many phishing emails claim to be from a bank, online retailer, or credit card company. These email direct recipients to a website that looks like the real website of a retailer or financial institution, which is designed to encourage the visitor to reveal financial details such as credit card numbers, account names and passwords, or other personal information. See an excellent video on phishing here:

Photo Sharing

Photo sharing allows a user to transfer their digital images to a site on the internet so that they are able to share them with others privately or publicly. Common photo sharing sites are: Flikr and PhotoBucket. See an excellent video on photo sharing here:


Add-in hardware that has been designed for users to buy it, bring it home, plug it in and start playing. This is hardware that has been designed to identify itself on most computers, so that installation is less complicated for the user.


A plug-in is a small piece of software that adds features to a larger piece of software, for example an audio plug-in that allows your web browser to play music.

Podcast and Vodcast

A podcast is a digital audio file made available on the internet for downloading to a personal audio player, such as an MP3 player. Podcast files can range from music files to segments of radio broadcasts. Vodcasting is the video version of a podcast. See an excellent video on podcasting here:


Pop-ups are small windows that appear in the foreground of an internet browser. Pop-ups can be integrated into some websites for practical purposes; however they are often used to display advertising or pornography on the screen. Most web browsers have a setting to block pop-ups.

Preservation Letter

Because of the variability in the length of time that digital records are retained by service providers, law enforcement agencies sometimes issue these letters to prevent records from being destroyed. On receipt of the preservation letter, records must be retained by the service provider for 90 days. If more time is needed, additional requests to extend the period in increments of 90 days may be extended.

Privacy Policy

A privacy policy outlines the terms by which a company or website handles personal information from its visitors to the site. Privacy policies can often be found as a text link in the footer section of a web page.

Privacy settings

Controls available on many social networking and other websites that you can set to limit who can access your profile and what information visitors can see.


Information about a user. A profile may contain details such as the user’s name, address, interests and pictures. Profiles are commonly used on social networking websites or when customizing the information received from a website. Children should be careful not to provide information on their profiles that can easily identify them or their location.

Reasonable Suspicion

A legal standard in United States law that implies a person was, is, or will be engaged in criminal activity based on specific facts and inferences.

Responsible Use Policy

Sometimes shortened to RUP; this is an agreement that many businesses and educational facilities require employees or students to sign before being granted a network ID. It lists stipulation that the user must agree to adhere to concerning what they will and will not do on the internet. Same as acceptable use policy (AUP).

Restorative Judgment

A form of criminal justice emphasizing reparation to the victim or the affected members of the community by the offender. Typically reparation takes the form of community service or cash payment.

RSS Feed (RSS)

Really simple syndication (RSS) feeds, also called ‘newsfeeds’, allow web users to keep up to date with news headlines or blogs. With an RSS reader, you can scan hundreds of news headlines from one location. After signing up to a website's RSS feed, users receive notices in their reader anytime that the website is updated. See a video explanation of RSS here:

Safe Zones

Safe zones are an alternative to filtering or labeling. Labeling allows web developers to categorize online content on the basis of language, violence, sexual content etc. Safe zones are services providing access to a range of sites that are suitable for children.

Search Engine

A search engine is a website that searches the information available on the internet. Some search engines work by automatically searching the contents of the web and creating a database of the results. Other search engines contain only material manually approved for inclusion in a database and some combine the two approaches. See an excellent video on Web search strategies:

Security software

Identifies and protects against threats or vulnerabilities that may compromise your computer or your personal information; includes anti-virus and anti-spyware software and firewalls.


Sending or forwarding sexually explicit pictures or messages from a mobile phone.


Shareware is software that is offered for free to download in the hope that the user will decide to keep it and pay a fee for it after trying it out.

Smart phone

A mobile phone that offers advanced capabilities and features like a web connection and a portable media player.


“Short Messaging Service,” technology that allows text messages to be sent from one mobile phone to another.

Social Hacking

Social hacking differs from technical hacking in that instead of using programming to enter a computer system, a person enters the system by using a password that was overheard or found lying on a desk.

Social Networking Websites

A social networking website is an online place where a user can create a profile and build a personal network of online ‘friends’. In the past five years, sites such as MySpace and Facebook have engaged tens of millions of internet users. See a social networking video here:

See a Social Media video here:


Unsolicited commercial, unwanted email messages usually advertising a product or service.


Spyware is a computer program that can be installed on personal computers, usually without the permission of the owner that collects information and sends it back to another source. This can often be an internet marketing, pornographic or gambling website. Spyware can also be used maliciously to steal your log-in and passwords for secure websites, such as online banking.


School Resource Officer (SRO)

Streaming Audio and Video

To ‘stream’ an audio or video file is to listen to or watch audio or video in real-time as the content is downloaded to your computer from a remote website.


To browse or explore the internet with no specific purpose.


A tag is a word, or a group of words, assigned to a piece of information, such as a picture, article or video clip, that allows the user to describe the content of the item and to search and cross-reference information online. For example, users can ‘tag’ an article they read on a newspaper website with ‘news’, ‘funny’ or ‘car’. It is important to note that tagging does not use a centralized vocabulary for classifying information—tags are determined by users.


Sending short messages from one mobile phone to another.


A series of messages with the same subject. It consists of an original message and all the replies that follow. People can both respond to the original message or to each other in a 'threaded discussion'.


An outrageous message posted on a forum, chat site or wiki designed to bait people to answer. Trolling is a form of harassment that can take over a discussion. Well-meaning defenders can create chaos by responding to trolls. The best response is to ignore it.


A child between 8 and 12 years old.


A patch is an update that fixes problems ("patching the holes") within software programs. Programmers design patches to fix small bugs, glitches or operating system compatibility issues. In most cases patches are free and the majority of them are simply downloaded from the internet.


To upload a file is to transfer a file from your computer system to another computer or system via the internet.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)

URL is the address of a website or file. They usually begin with www (World Wide Web), followed by the name of the company or product.


A user of the internet or information and communication technologies and products. For example, people can be described as website users or computer users.


An alias or ‘handle’ used specifically for online interactions. When you sign up for a service such as Hotmail or a chat room, you are required to create a unique identifier—a username—that helps to protect your identity. For example, ‘maz123’.

Video calling

Internet services that allow users to communicate using webcams.

Virtual Reality

A computer simulation of a real three-dimensional world, often supplemented by sound effects. Examples include 3D flight simulators or first-person games where you explore 3D ‘worlds’.

Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds are simulated worlds created on the internet that people can visit from their computer. ’Residents’ can create a new identity known as an avatar and interact with other avatars in real-time in a relatively lifelike social setting. Popular virtual worlds include Second Life (adults) and WoogiWorld and Club Penguin (children).

Virus and Anti-virus

A virus is a computer program designed to cause undesirable effects on computer systems. Viruses are often disguised as something else so that they can be transferred undetected from one computer to another. They can be hidden in emails, on CDs or in files that are shared across the internet. Computer viruses can cause harm to computer systems and need to be avoided. Anti-virus software can be installed on computers to scan for and remove computer viruses.

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol)

VOIP is a technology that allows voice communication to be transmitted via the internet in the same way one might use a telephone to make a phone call. Popular use of VOIP technology is through the software Skype or Google video chat which allows users to make video and phone calls via the internet to anywhere in the world.

Web 2.0 (Two Point Oh)

Web 2.0 is the general term given to describe the second generation of internet communication where users create and upload their own content, rather than simply view (or download) static websites. New web products, such as blogs, wikis, video sharing, RSS feeds, and social networking have created this new environment where people join communities to collaborate and share information online.

Web Page

A file or content accessible on the internet by requesting a single URL.


A camera attached to a computer that transmits real-time still and video images to others via the internet. A webcam may be built into the computer or purchased separately.

Wi-Fi (wireless) Internet Access

Wireless networking technology uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections. Wi-Fi works with no physical wired connection between sender and receiver by using radio frequency technology. In order to connect to an access point and join a wireless network, computers and devices must be equipped with wireless network adapters.


Wikis are an online group of documents/web pages that many different users can add to and edit freely online. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia. However, users of wikis cannot always assume information is correct—there can be errors and bias in the information presented. See an excellent video presentation on wikis here:

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web or ‘web’ as it is more commonly called, is a collection of pages on the internet that can be read accessed with any web enable devise such as mobile phone, PDA and computers. Users need an internet connection, a computer, a web browser, in order to access and interact with the online information that forms part of the web.