The first step to navigating your way around the internet is to understand the lingo.

Internet Terminology

The first step to navigating your way around the internet is to understand the lingo. The first time I used the internet I was mystified. I thought 'are all these people speaking Greek or gibberish?' I soon learned that the internet is a separate culture with it's own language. Listed below are common internet terms and their definitions.

Address: The location of an Internet resource such as a web site or e-mail. An internet address (also known as a URL) example is and an e-mail address example is

Banner: An image usually created for advertising displayed on a web site.

Blog: Blog (or weblog) is a form of web page containing a collection of links mixed in with commentary. Similar to a diary.

Bookmark or Favorites: A list of intenet web sites selected by you in either Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Browser: A program on your computer that allows you to view internet pages. The three most popular browers are Netscape, Internet Explorer and Mosaic.

Cache: A portion of memory either on your computer or your internet provider's computer where data can be stored for rapid access.

Client: A program such as a Web browser or e-mail program that connects to and requests information from a server.

Cookies: Files stored on your hard drive by your web browser that holds information about your viewing habits on the internet. Information stored may include web sites visited, passwords and user names and newsgroups you visit. Web sites you visit can use this information to tailor the type of information they provide to you.

Cyberspace: A term that is used for the everything connected to the internet.

Dial-up Connection: A connection to the internet via phone and modem.

Direct Connection: Fastest internet connection usually through a cable modem or ISDN.

Discussion Group: Also called a newsgroup. Usually accessed via your e-mail program or on a web site server. Normally dedicated to one subject area.

Domain Name: An alphabetical name for a website such as

Domain: The extension after a web name, i.e., .com (business), .gov (government), .edu (educational) and many others.

Download: Copying a file from a remote computer to your local computer.

E-mail: Electronic mail.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions ' a group of commonly asked questions and their answers.

File: Information stored and organized by computer software.

Flame: Insulting someone via e-mail or newsgroups. Do not do this!

Home Page: The very first page or entrance to any web site.

Host: Any computer on a network that is a repository for services available to other computers on the network.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language ' the main programming language used to design web sites.

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol - a set of instructions for communication between a server and a World Wide Web client.

Hyperlink: Any text on a web site that when clicked will take you to another page or another web site.

Hypertext: The text that contains hyperlinks.

Internet: A worldwide network of computers communicating with each other.

IP Address: The Internet Protocol Address that is assigned to every computer.

ISP: Internet Service Provider ' a company that provides internet and e-mail access.

Link: Another name for a hyperlink.

Listserv: An electronic mail list usually delivered by e-mail that concentrates on one topic.

Login: The use of an assigned name and password to access a web site or web page.

Lurking: Reading discussion group or list serv messages before participating. This is recommended behavior so that you can fully understand the topic and the people participating before you join in.

Mail Server: A computer that hold and transmits e-mail messages.

Mailing List: Similar to a Listserv or newsgroup. You give permission to join and will be mailed messages from other members typically concentrating on one topic.

Meta Tags: Special code in the programming of a web site that tells search engines how to index a certain web page. Types of Meta Tags include page name, title, keywords and description.

Network: A system of connected computers exchanging information with each other. A LAN is a local area network that is usually connected together in one office or building and a WAN is a wide area network that is connected in more than one office or building.

Newbie: A new user of any medium such as the internet, newsgroups, e-mail, etc.

Newsgroup: Similar to a discussion group usually concentrating on one topic.

Newsreader: Usually provided with your e-mail program and allows you to view and participate in discussions.

Online: When you are connected to the internet.

Page: A single page on a web site.

Post: To send a message to a mailing list or newsgroup.

Refresh/Reload: Used by your browser to check for updates to a web site page that may be stored on your computer.

Resource Box: A by-line for authors. Usually at the end of an article.

Robot (also Spider): A program that automatically searches the World Wide Web for files.

Search Engine: A tool for finding information on the internet such as Webcrawler.

Shareware: Free software usually downloaded from the internet.

Signature: A file created by you that is added to the end of all your e-mail messages giving information about you and your business. Also know as a 'sig file.'

Site: A single or collection of related Web pages.

SPAM: Unwanted and sometimes illegal messages sent to you usually promoting a get rich quick scheme or pornography. Spider (also Robot): A program that automatically searches the World Wide Web for files.

Subscribe: To become a member of a newsgroup, listserv, internet provider service, etc.

Thread: A group of messages on one topic.

Unsubscribe: To resign as a member of a newsgroup, listserv, internet provider service, etc.

Upload: Copying a file from your local computer to a remote computer.

URL: Uniform Resource Locator - the method by which Internet sites are addressed.

(c) 2001, Davis Virtual Assistance

About the author: Bonnie Jo Davis is a Virtual Assistant working with small businesses to increase efficiency and profits. You can reach Bonnie at http:/ or by calling (949) 709-2670.

Author: Bonnie Jo Davis