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Washington Journal: Internet And Electronic Mail Glossary

  • Julie Moffett

Washington, 30 November 1998 (RFE/RL) -- The following is a brief glossary of some of the most commonly used terms used when referring to the Internet and electronic mail.

Attachment -- a file that is joined to a mail message so that the file is delivered along with the message.

Body -- the main part of the text within an electronic mail message.

Bookmarks -- a permanent list of links chosen by you and available in your Internet web browser.

Browser -- a program used to access the web and other Internet resources.

Cracker -- a person who makes an unauthorized intrusion into another computer or files with the intent to cause damage.

Cyberspace -- a term invented by author William Gibson in his 1984 book "Neuromancer". It refers to the electronic realm of networked computers. Or more commonly -- if you are on the Internet, you are considered in cyberspace.

Data -- any type of information that might be stored or processed by a computer.

Domain Name -- a standard Internet address consisting of two or more names and separated by a "." (i.e.

Download -- to transfer data from a remote computer to your computer.

Electronic Mail (e-mail) -- a system by which computer users can exchange messages with each other via a communication network.

Hacker -- a person who makes an unauthorized intrusion into another computer or files.

Home Page -- the main web page of a person or organization.

Host -- a computer connected to the Internet, or a computer system capable of supporting more than one user.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) -- a set of specifications for embedding instructions within regular text in order to create a web page.

Http (HyperText Transfer Protocol) -- the beginning of most addresses on the web and the set of rules that instructs the transfer of most documents traveling over the web.

Hyperlink -- to link from one web page on the Internet to another.

IP Address -- a standard Internet address using numbers rather than names.

Information Superhighway -- refers to the Internet and other network-based information systems.

Internet -- the world's largest computer network -- sometimes referred to as the 'Net.'

Internet Service Provider -- An organization or business offering public access to the Internet.

Link -- a connection from one Internet web page to another.

Log In -- to initiate a session with a remote computer.

Modem -- a communications device that permits computer uses to transmit information over a standard telephone line. You use your modem to connect to the Internet.

Multimedia -- a computer system suitable for displaying pictures and working with sounds as well as standard computer functions.

Net -- see Internet.

Network -- a group of computers connected together in order to permit them to transfer information to each other.

Phreak -- a person who engages in phone or telecommunications hacking.

Search Engine -- a mechanism for finding documents on the Internet.

Shareware -- a program you can try for free, usually for a limited time period, and pay for only if you want to use it permanently.

Snail Mail -- regular postal mail as opposed to electronic mail.

Spam -- the mailing of a huge number of unwanted and unrequested electronic mail.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) -- the technical name of a world wide web page address. For example, the URL for RFE/RL's home page is:

Web Page -- a specific location on the Internet where you can place, edit, or examine text and graphics.

World Wide Web (www) -- the most popular system on the Internet on which you can create and browse through web pages.