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Adware
Spy ware & Ad ware are files that are installed on your computer without your knowledge. They allow companies to monitor your Internet browsing patterns and even allow companies to inundate you with those annoying "pop up" ads!

If after you've downloaded music, visited a website that uses cookies, or installed anything claiming to be "FREE", you started getting those annoying ads popping up on your screen, you've been infected with Spy Ware and/or Ad Ware!

ASP (Active Server Page)
ASP is a pre-processed page produced by the server. Often, an ASP is generated based on client input. Depending on the user's requests, the server generates a page based on a number of options within the scripts and then sends the page to the user to view.

AOL (America Online)
A worldwide provider of commercial online service, similar to an Internet Service Provider, not the Internet itself. AOL may be used to connect to the internet, but once the computer is connected, a different browser may be used. AOL does, however, have its own browser with which you can access the World Wide Web and provides an e-mail service.

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Bandwidth
The frequency for transmission of information through a line or channel. Bandwidth refers to the amount of information that can travel through that communications path within a certain amount of time, usually measured in seconds. The higher the bandwidth, the more data that can pass in the given time. A 56Kbps modem can transmit 56,000 bits in one second, whereas a 28.8 modem can only transmit 28,800 bits per second.

Bit
The most basic element of all computer information, a bit is a 0 or 1 which, when combined with other bits in a particular order, define a larger piece of information. For example, one character, such as a number or letter, is made up of eight bits.

Bookmark
A method of saving a link to a particular website. The browser will provide an option labeled 'bookmark,' 'favorites,' etc. which will allow you to save the URL, or web address, of a site which you want to return to in the future. This information is stored on your hard drive and may be accessed through either the browser or through the file stored on your desktop while the computer is connected to the Internet.

Browser
Either text- or graphic-based software that allows the transfer of files from the Internet to the desktop. A browser allows web sites to be viewed on the screen by interpreting an HTML code into a viewable page. Two of the most popular browsers are Netscape and Internet Explorer, but other browsers are available, such as Lynx, Mosaic, and NCSA.

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Client
A program, such as a web browser, which connects to a server to obtain information or request a service. The client may loosely be referred to as the specific computer and user running the client software. The client program is designed to work with one or more than one server program.

Cookies
Files stored on your hard drive, which are put in place by certain websites to store personal and customized information about the sites you visit using your browser. Information is sent from the browser to the server about your activities on the browser, and when a website is revisited it may be tailored automatically to the user's preferences. Cookies are not a feature of every website, although some websites require that the browser accept cookies. Cookies may be accepted or not accepted based on your browser's advanced settings. They collect information for the server about the websites visited by your browser, but cannot access any information on your hard drive. Cookies are set to expire after a certain date, and the information on the hard drive about a particular website is lost, although that site may still be accessed.

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DNS (Domain Name Server)
A server that is a part of the Internet and converts domain names, which use words and numbers, to IP Addresses, which contain strictly numbers and are assigned to each website. Domain names are used for convenience.

Domain Name
The 'address' of a website or server, which is composed primarily of words, though sometimes numbers may be included. Each domain name points to one specific website, although each website may have more than one domain name. The domain name is separated into two or more parts, with dots between the sections of the name. The ending section of the domain name refers to the category the website falls into, such as '.com' for company, '.edu' for educational, '.org' for organizations, or '.gov' for government.

Download
To transfer a file or software program from another computer and save it on your own hard drive. Downloading usually occurs through a modem, such as saving programs from an Internet site. It is important to be careful when downloading files from an unfamiliar source, since a virus may be included in the download without your knowledge.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Line)
A line for connecting to the Internet, which does not use an analogue dial-up modem but rather has a dedicated Internet connection. The DSL uses existing copper telephone wires, but the wires are split into voice and data, so the phone line can be used simultaneously with the Internet connection. More than one computer in a household may be connected to the network using the DSL line at the same time. DSL connections are many times faster than dial-up connections, ranging from 256Kbps to 1100Kbps.

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E-mail
Short for electronic mail. E-mail is one of the most cost and time effective methods of communication. Messages, which contain primarily text, may be sent from one user to another through a network. The recipient's e-mail address includes the user ID or nickname, the host name, which is the domain name of the server providing the e-mail service, and the category in which the domain name lies, such as '.com' or '.edu.'

Encryption
Coding or scrambling messages and other information so unintended recipients cannot access it during the transfer of information over a network. Third parties will not be able to read the data because it must be decoded with decryption software specific to the data being sent. Encryption is very important in Internet commerce for security reasons.

Ethernet
A type of linking system used for networking computers using a LAN. Ethernet is available for almost all computers, and may be added by simply inserting an Ethernet network interface card. Ethernet provides very fast transfer of information, usually at 10,000 Kbps.

Extranet
A type of extended intranet which uses the Internet to transmit information being shared between a company and its customers, strategic partners, suppliers, and other relevant businesses. The information is password protected and may only be accessed with the password on internal company servers.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
A list or collection of questions on a particular topic with answers provided. These lists may be found independently on the Internet or may be included in a website. People who find they are repeatedly answering the same questions usually compile FAQ lists. These lists may serve as help menus or guidelines for everything from gardening to pet care to using the Internet.

FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A method of transferring files between computers over a network, usually from an Internet site on a server to another computer. FTP can be used to download, upload, or transfer files between two remote computers. FTP usually requires the use of an account name and password, although Anonymous FTP sites may use the username 'anonymous' with the person's e-mail address as the password. The advent of the World Wide Web and browsers has simplified the use of FTP.

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GIF
A popular type of image file format.

Gopher
A protocol for sorting information on the Internet in a hierarchical system of menus. This system was developed at the University of Minnesota in 1991 and follows the client / server style of sharing information. Gopher was a precursor to the World Wide Web and is still used for some servers.

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HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
A scripting language for formatting text to appear as a document on the World Wide Web. HTML uses a list of tags, or character sequences, to stylize the text, images, and layout of a document on the web. HTML can be used to define background, font, color, links, graphics, and setup of a web page. Some of these settings can be altered by the client's preferences set on the browser.

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) (Hypertext Markup Language)
The main protocol used by the World Wide Web to transfer files between computers. This protocol requires both an HTTP client and an HTTP server. It is the protocol used for HTML.

Hypertext
Any document of text on the World Wide Web that contains links to other documents. Hypertext is arranged in a non-linear fashion so one can explore a topic by association. Documents contain text, sounds, images, and actions, which flow as links between related sources and topics.

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Internet
A system of computers linked worldwide, composed of tens of thousands of smaller networks, online services, and single-user components. The Internet is not a commercial organization and is self-governing, having no central station. It is a global network for communications and research, using the TCP/IP protocol to provide for the transfer of information.

Intranet
An internal and private network within a company, organization, or school. An intranet is limited to a closed-user group. Intranets can host Web and FTP servers and other IP services. Computers on an intranet may be able to access the Internet; however, someone with general Internet access cannot access programs and information located on a private intranet.

IP Address (Internet Protocol Address)
A number assigned by an organization called InterNIC that identifies a specific computer on the Internet. This number is the 'address' for that computer, or server, and corresponds with a particular name address, or domain name. The number has four sections, which are separated by periods, and each section contains numbers from 0 to 255.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network)
Combines voice and digital network services into one line, allowing users to connect to the Internet using a phone line which transmits digital, rather than analog signals. ISDN transmits data faster than a modem, with a possible transmission rate of 128Kbps, although the actual speed for most users is around 56Kbps to 64Kbps due to the current speed of standard phone circuits.

ISP (Internet Service Provider)
A local or national agent that provides access to the Internet, an e-mail address, and browser software for a fee, usually a flat monthly fee or by the number of hours the Internet is accessed each month. An ISP provides either dial-up or other connection to the Internet and provides either a local number or a toll-free 1-800 number for dial-up service. Other agents that provide connection to the Internet include commercial online services, such as AOL, which may be more expensive than a basic ISP and include features such as chat rooms and searchable databases.

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Java
A programming language developed in the early '90's by Sun Microsystems which allows programs to be immediately downloaded from the Internet and run on a client computer without the risk of a virus. Java runs best with high-speed connections. It is used to make small, special programs called applets, which make web pages interactive. Java is already used for such features as animation, scrolling text, games, and sounds, and can be expected to expand in versatility in the future.

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Kbps (Kilobytes per second)
The number, in thousands, of bits of data being transmitted each second. One bit is a single piece of information, with about 8 bits making up one character. A page of text is generally about 30, 000 bits, or 30Kb. This measurement is important in describing the speed of Internet connections, particularly when referring to a modem, and may be simply referred to as 'K.' The bandwidth determines how much information is transmitted at a time and is measured in Kbps.

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LAN (Local Area Network)
A network of at least two computers connected by a cable and usually connected to the Internet. LAN connections are limited to a specific area, and may connect computers on the same floor, in the same building, or in buildings within an area of a few miles. One method of connecting computers in a LAN is to use Ethernet.

Link
On a website document, a link may be either text or a graphic. By clicking on the highlighted text or graphic, the browser jumps to another section of the document or another document on the Internet.

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Modem
Stands for modulator/demodulator. The modem allows computers to communicate over phone lines, sending and receiving information. The speed of the modem's transmissions is measured in bits per second, or, since the number of bits is so large, Kilobytes per second (Kbps). An ISDN line surpasses traditional phone lines in modem speed, and a T1 is even faster.

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Netiquette
Proper but informal code of conduct when using the Internet, especially when speaking in chat rooms, posting messages to a newsgroup, or sending e-mail in general. It is considered bad netiquette to 'shout' or type in all capital letters, to send spam, and to post irrelevant messages to newsgroups, which are mass e-mailings one can sign up to receive on a particular topic.

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Online
May either mean being connected to another computer, to a network, or to the Internet. Online may also be used as slang to refer to having access to e-mail and the Internet.

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Protocol
A set of rules, or a language syntax, which is used for two computers to communicate. Also called a communications or network protocol, this standard assures that programs on a network can work with all computers that use the same protocol. TCP/IP is used for computers communicating on the Internet.

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Query
To search an Internet database using a keyword or phrase. A query sends a request from the client to the server for information. Most Internet users query databases known as search engines to find specific information on a topic and links to relevant websites.

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Router
Computer hardware or software that connects two or more networks and sorts and interprets information. Routers look at the destination address attached to packets of information and send these packets through the proper route, to the proper computer.

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Search Engine
An Internet database or catalogue used on the World Wide Web to find information and websites on a particular topic. Search engines, such as Yahoo, AltaVista, and Excite provide a blank field into which you may type a keyword or phrase to search for. Results are presented in hypertext form to make it easier to jump directly to a website.

Server
A computer, or the software running on a computer, which makes its files available to client computers via the Internet or some other form of network. The server may service requests for file transfers, e-mail, or other data files. If the server machine or any software running on it (multiple software packages may run on one machine simultaneously) are experiencing technical problems, the server is said to be 'down.' One server may hold several websites.

Spam
Refers to the inappropriate e-mail messages sent to mailing lists and newsgroups. Most of the messages are commercial or advertising messages and all are unsolicited and generally unwanted. It is considered bad netiquette to send spam. The name is derived from a Monty Python skit focused on the Hormel processed meat product.

Spyware
Spy ware & Ad ware are files that are installed on your computer without your knowledge. They allow companies to monitor your Internet browsing patterns and even allow companies to inundate you with those annoying "pop up" ads!

If after you've downloaded music, visited a website that uses cookies, or installed anything claiming to be "FREE", you started getting those annoying ads popping up on your screen, you've been infected with Spy Ware and/or Ad Ware!

SSL (Secure Socket Layer)
A protocol for ensuring that information sent over the Internet or across a network is kept secure. SSL encrypts the data being sent, makes sure the server is authentic, and verifies that the information sent to the server was not tampered with.

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T1
The fastest speed connection commonly used. This digital network link can move 1.5 million bits per second and is typically used by companies and educational facilities with lots of Internet use on the networks. The capabilities of a T1 line allow large text files, sounds, graphics, and other downloadable files instantly.

TCP/ IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol)
The protocol used to transfer information on the Internet. A computer must be running TCP/IP to function on the Internet. The Internet Protocol directs packets of information to their proper destination based on address. The Transmission Control Protocol ensures that the packets of information are received in their correct form at the destination address. If information is sent incorrectly, it will be sent again. TCP/IP provides for safe end effective transmission of information over the Internet.

Telnet
A software program and protocol that allows the user to access and work with another, remote computer. Using Telnet, users can download files, conference with other users, and perform all the functions available on that remote computer. An Internet connection is necessary to run Telnet.

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Upload (Uniform Resource Locator)
To send or load a file from one computer to another, remote computer. Uploading is the opposite of downloading, although these words are frequently misused. Sending e-mail is a prime example of uploading a file.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
A standard form for the Internet address of a directory, file, service, or website. Each URL points to only one location. The URL contains the protocol used and the domain name as well as other information about the directory and file name for the information. The URL can be entered into the web browser to find the information on the Internet.

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Virus
A virus is a computer code that has the potential to destroy a computer's files or programs. Viruses are attached to programs that are frequently shared through computer networks or by exchanging disks. A virus may be transferred to your computer through a file downloaded from the Internet, from an 'infected' disk, or from an e-mail attachment. It is best to be careful about the sources you download files from, and do not open attachments you are unsure about. You may wish to ask the sender if they intended to send an attachment, since sometimes a virus attachment is uploaded without the sender's knowledge.

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WAN (Wide Area Network)
A network connecting computers by phone line or satellite over a great distance. Networks for an area larger than a building or a campus are considered Wide Area Networks.

Website
A collection of pages on the World Wide Web that are linked together as network services and headed up by a home page which explains the site. Most pages in a website are HTML documents, and the pages revolve around a particular topic. The website is stored as a whole on a server and can be accessed by entering either the IP Address, URL, or domain name into the browser, or may be found by using a search engine.

World Wide Web
A tool widely used on the Internet to access resources using HTTP. The World Wide Web includes document written in and linked by hypertext. Sources on the World Wide Web provide text, graphics, sound, and other multimedia features. The World Wide Web can be accessed through a browser .

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Zip File
A compressed file, and a form in which many files are downloaded. These files, on the Internet, have the extension '.zip' at the end of the URL.

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