Common Technology Terms

We are not the digital natives that our children are.  They have grown up in a world of digital TV, iPads and smartphones.  Some of the common technology terms they use go completely over our head but having an understanding of what your kids are talking about will help you navigate and understand their world.  So the next time they tell you that the cache needs to be cleared or they just MMSd a photo to their friends, you will know what they are talking about.

App is a software program typically used on a smartphone or mobile device.

Blog (short for web log) is a web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.  The most recent entries are displayed first. Kind of like a journal or diary on the internet and can be about any topic the author wants to write about.  A blogger is someone that regularly writes or contributes to blogs.

Cache is a way your computer stores information, from either your own hard disk or online, so that it can be accessed more quickly. There is a record of your computers cache and you can delete items from it if they link to objectionable sites. A related term, browser history, refers to a list of all the site youve visited online in a certain time frame. Each we browser lists these differently.

Chat Rooms are websites where people with similar interests can communicate via instant messaging (IM).

Cookies are files that are stored on your computer by websites. They allow the website to identify you the next time you visit so that it might, for example sign you in automatically or bring you to the last page you were on.

Cyberbully is someone who is mean to others, often repeatedly, using online tools like chat rooms, social networking site and smartphones. A related term, trolls, usually refers to people who post objectionable content online designed specifically to provoke. This is also known as flaming.

Digital Footprint is the record of everywhere you’ve been online. This may include your visit to a web page or chat room, emails and uploaded videos Some of this material may be publically available to anyone searching for it and can be used in ways you might not want it to be.

Digital Native is someone who’s always lived in  world with the Internet and other digital systems and devices like smartphones.

Filtering is a way a program can prevent users from seeing certain websites or parts of website.

Instant Messaging (IM) is a way of sending short, real time messages to individuals over the Internet (as opposed to texting from your smartphone). Although chat rooms often utilise IM, Ims most commonly refer to one on one conversations, whereas chat rooms are many to many.

Microbloggging is a combination of blogging and instant messaging that allows users to create a short message that is posted on their profile. Websites such as Twitter also allow these messages to be delivered on cell phones, which allows micro-blogging to provide a quick way to communicate with a group of people.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a service that allows you to send text messages that include multimedia such as photos or videos, through your smartphone.

Parental controls are controls provided by software programs to enable parents to restrict Internet access to their children.

Privacy refers to the privacy settings provided by apps to restrict the content to only the audience of your choosing.  Some apps have better privacy controls that others.  When set correctly, privacy controls can assist in reducing your childs exposure to unsolicited contact or inappropriate content via the internet.

Phishing is an attempt to acquire information and sometimes money, by pretending to be a trustworthy entity online.

Pop-ups are a separate window that appears in front to the main windows. Pop-ups are forms of online advertising intended to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. They generally come in the form on new windows that you enter data or click on them, which send you to an associated site.

Screen shot (aka screen capture, screen dump, screen grab, print screen) is an image taken of what’s on the screen of your computer, mobile phone or smart device.  Different devices have different ways to take screen shots.

Social networking sites
 are websites like Facebook or Twitter, on which people can share their photos and play games together.

SPAM is unsolicited, often intrusive bulk messages generally received via emails or instant messaging.

Texting is a  way for people to send one another short messages by typing on cell phones or smart phones.  Texting can also include video and picture messages.

Troll is someone who uses the power and access the internet provides to create conflict. The end point is not to argue a point of view but rather argue against any point if view posted for the simple objective of creating a confrontation.

Tweeting is using the social media site Twitter to send short messages of 140 characters or less to followers who choose to receive them.

Web Browser is a software application that enables you to interact with resources on the web. Web browsers include chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.