Online Terminology Every Parent Should Know


online terminologyAre You Sometimes Stumped By An Online Term?  This List of Common Online Terms May Help You Out!



App  App (short for application) is a piece of software used to fulfill a particular purpose, which is downloaded onto a mobile device


AvatarA graphic representation of a video game player or real person in a virtual world.


BlogAn online journal, or web log, that is frequently updated and publicly available on the Web. A “blogger” is someone who keeps an online journal. The universe of all blogs is known as the “blogosphere.”


Catfish – A catfish is someone who attempts to trick someone into believing they are someone they are not by using Facebook or other social media to create fake identities with the desire to begin a romantic relationship.  The person fabricating a false identity could be an online predator.


ChatroomA chatroom is online synchronized conferencing or chatting with other users who meet online in real time.  It can be used for a business meeting or for personal use to chat with anyone across the globe.


Cloud ComputingInternet-based computing accessible through a web browser and that uses data farms to store and make available software and information in real time.


CyberbullyingA form of  bullying that takes place online using electronic devices such as  cell phones, computers, and tablets to attack their victims. It’s different from playground bullying. Read More.


CybercriminalA criminal that uses the internet as a vehicle  for sinister activity, such as identity theft, phishing scams, hacking, online predatation, deploying malware or computer viruses.


CyberspaceA slang term for the World Wide Web, internet or online world!


Digital Footprint What ever is posted online, an image, comment, blog, other content will remain online forever creating an online digital trail.


DoxingThis term refers to the practice of investigating and revealing a target subject’s personally identifiable information, such as home address, workplace information and credit card numbers, without consent.


Geotagging The process in which an electronic tag that includes the geographic location right down to longitude and latitude is attached to a digital photo or video posted on a computer device or social media.


HackerA computer hacker was once considered to be an expert programmer.  Unfortunately, now the term usually applies to a cyber-criminal who gains unauthorized access into other computers without authorization often for nefarious reasons.  They are able to hack their way through the layers of security into a computer system or network.  They may be able to decode a password or write a program (code) to break into the desired computer or break the security software being used.


Hashtag  A hashtag is the symbol # followed by a word that helps categorize, identify key words and search for similar content on sites like Twitter.  For example Twitter followers looking for content about cyberbullying would search for #cyberbullying.


IP AddressAn IP Address, assigned by your ISP provider, is a code made up of numbers separated by three dots that identifies a particular computer on the Internet. Every computer requires an IP address to connect to the Internet. This may be either a static IP address, which is always the same or a dynamic IP address, which may change.  To find out what your IP address is click here:


Identity TheftA criminal action in which someone gains access to and illegally uses someone else’s personal identifying information (such as Social Security number or credit card information) for financial gain. Social media is a source for criminals to obtain this information when users are not careful with their personal information.


InternetThe internet, also known as the World Wide Web and the Online World is a global network connecting millions of computers, allowing millions of people to share information and connect with each other.


MalwareMalware which is short for malicious software are programs that are designed to damage a computer system.


Meta DataMetadata is data that describes other data which helps provide context and additional information about other data such as the title, subject, author, and size of the data file of a document.


MemeA meme is a concept or behavior that spreads from person to person and includes beliefs, fashions, stories, and phrases. Now with the Internet memes can span countries and cultures across the world. A behavioral meme is checking social networking sites several times a day, or using specific teen lingo to communicate.


Pharming – Pharming is another type of phishing scam in which an online criminal attempts to put malicious code onto a victim’s computer device.  The hacker is then able to redirect the user to a fake website that looks like the real one in order to steal personal information.


Phishing  – Phishing is a scam artist’s online sport of fishing for financial information. Scammers attempt to collect personal information from unsuspecting users by posing as a legitimate company. The false e-mails often look legitimate and the Web pages where a person is asked to enter information may look real.


Predator (Online)An online predator is an online criminal who lurks in chat rooms and uses social networking sites for the purpose of grooming unsuspecting young victims for with the desire for a sexual encounter.


Online ScamAn online scam is the use of internet services or software to commit fraud, swindle, cheat, trick a victim online for financial gain.


Script Kiddie – An unskilled often immature person who uses existing  scripts, code or programs developed by others to attack or hack into computer systems and networks, and deface websites.


Sexting –  Sending a semi-nude, nude image or sexually explicit message via electronic device.


SextortionSextortion is the extortion of a person through the use their online actions such as posing nude via webcams or sending nude “selfies” (sexts) via a mobile device.  These images or texts are used to blackmail the victim into sending more images or other acts.


Smart PhoneA mobile phone that is known as a ”computer in your pocket,” because it has the capabilities of a desk top computer and also offers the ability to download APPs, as well as  traditional flip phone functions of texting and phone calls. 


Smishing – A type of phishing scam in which online criminals contact their victims via text message in order to steal personal information.


SpywareA form of malicious software that can gather data from a user’s system without the user knowing it. This can include personal information, such as credit card numbers.


Social Media Forms of digital communication via computer devices on social networking and blogging sites in which users  share information, photos,  comments, messages  and videos.


Social Networking The use of web based social media programs that allow users to be part of a virtual community, to connect with family and friends and also find people with similar interests.  A popular social networking site is Facebook, but there are many others. Users create a custom profile with basic information about the user such as name, birthdate, and a profile image.


Troll – Troll refers to a person who deliberately posts offensive, or provocative comments online. These upsetting comments may be posted on Facebook walls, in the comments section after an article, blog posts or chat-rooms.


TweetTwitter is a micro-blog and users post online messages via a Tweet that is limited to 140 characters.  Tweets may be personal, or they can be provide information and news to other Twitter followers. Hashtags help to identify categories of tweets, such as #online safety, or #GoRedSox.

  • SubtweetA tweet that is used to insult a Twitter user without using the @ symbol so that the person being insulted doesn’t see the negative post in their Twitter feed.

VirusA form of malicious software that can cause damage to a computer including  deleting files or directory information.


Vishing – A type of phishing scam in which the online criminals contact bank or credit card holders via live or automated voice mail in order to steal information.


Video ChatA Video chat is a face-to-face conversation held over the Internet by means of webcams and dedicated software. Skype is en example of a video chat provider. There are also video chatrooms such as Omegle where multiple users and strangers are able to video chat.


WebsiteA Web site is a collection of Web pages provided by a single domain name on the World Wide Web. There are many different types of sites, on every topic you can imagine from sports to pornography and everything in between. The number of websites is almost approaching a billion.


World Wide WebThe World Wide Web is also known as WWWThe World Wide Web comprises pages that can be accessed using a Web browser, which is not the same as the Internet. The Internet is the actual network of networks where all the information resides. Email, for example is part of the Internet but is not part of the web.