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Glossary of Terms

Antivirus Software

Computer programs that attempt to identify, thwart and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software (malware).*

Blogs (a combination of web and log)

A website where entries are written in chronological order and commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Many blogs allow readers to leave comments in an interactive format.*

Chat Rooms

A way of communicating by sending text messages to people in the same chat room in real-time.*


Laws that give the person who created an original work the right to be credited for that work and to determine who may adapt it to other forms (like making a movie based on a book), who may perform the work, and who may be paid as a result of the work.*


An individual or group that uses information and communication involving electronic technologies to deliberately and repeatedly harass or threaten an individual or group.


Willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.

  • willful: the actions are deliberate, not accidental
  • repeated: there is a pattern of behavior, not just one isolated incident
  • harm: the target feels hurt or humiliated
  • computer, cell phones, and other electronic devices: this is what makes it cyberbullying and not bullying ††


A virtual space that is synonymous to the Internet and World Wide Web that allows the joining or networking of computers around the globe.*

Drive Scrubber

Software that can permanently erase computer content by eliminating all existing data and erasing all remnants of deleted data, while keeping existing files and operating system intact. It can also be used to clean and restore drives that have been infected or damaged by spyware or viruses.

Emoticons (a combination of emotions and icons)

A symbol or combination of symbols used to convey emotions in written or message form. For example, :(, QQ, 😉 or Λ.*

Evidence Eraser

Software that can be easily downloaded from the Internet and is sometimes free. The software completely removes all traces of Internet activity by quickly removing browser history, cache files, cookies and application logs

Fair Use

A policy that allows limited use of copyrighted material without requiring permission from the author, such as when using information from a book in a research project. The author must be acknowledged, for instance in a bibliography.*

Filter Settings

Email settings that can be customized to filter email messages that appear to be “junk mail.” Suspected junk mail can be placed in a junk mail folder or permanently deleted before it is downloaded into a folder.

Filtering Software

Software, also known as content-control software, designed to control what content a reader is permitted access, especially when it is used to restrict material delivered over the Web. Commonly, this software is used by parents or educators who wish to limit what sites their children or students may view from home or school computers.*


The process a predator uses to build a relationship with a potential victim, with the intent of eventually abusing the victim. The process begins by getting information that can be use to foster feelings of trust, mutual benefit or fear.

Identity Theft

A catch-all term for crimes involving illegal use of another individual’s identity. The most common form of identity theft is credit card fraud.*


An abbreviation for Instant Messaging, which is a form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers, cell phones or other electronic devices that are connected over a network such as the Internet.*

IM Lingo

Slang coined and disseminated by Internet users. Such terms typically originated to save keystrokes and many people use the same abbreviations in text and instant messaging.*

Instant Messaging (IM)

A form of real-time communication between two or more people based on typed text. The text is conveyed via computers, cell phones or other electronic devices that are connected over a network such as the Internet.*

Internet Washer

Software, like Evidence Erasers, that can be easily downloaded from the Internet and is sometimes free. It can permanently delete traces of online activities.


Recombining different texts, graphics, audio, or video files or animations to create new work.†

Media Literacy

The critical thinking and media literacy skills needed to function in the 21st-Century media culture. This includes the ability to access, understand, analyze and evaluate the images, words and sounds that make up mass-media culture.†


Etiquette for the Internet. How to properly behave online.†

Peer-to-Peer Networking

Peer-to-peer or P2P software allows Internet users to share files on their computers with other people on the Internet. These files can contain videos, music, pictures, documents and software. Videos, music, and software are mostly copyrighted materials, so it is illegal to share, copy or use them without the permission of the copyright owner. In its original version, these materials will include the word “copyright” or a © symbol.

Personal Information

Information that is added to online profiles or included in email, IM or chat room discussions that tells others who you are (e.g. your name, age, city, school, and the names of friends and family members). Although many users limit the amount of personal information they add to profiles, website content or text messages, a skilled predator can use any personal information to begin the grooming process.


An audio blog or more simply, an audio recording that is digitized and can be downloaded to an iPod, computer or MP3 player. To record a podcast, a digital recorder, editing software and a hosting site (such as blogger.com) are needed.

Privacy Settings

An option many social networking sites offer to make a social networking site private so only those who are added to a “friends lists” can access the page; however, these settings can be circumvented or “hacked.”


Personal information added to a social networking website or chat room. Users can disclose as much or as little information about themselves as they want. A profile can allow others to find an individual based on the personal information included (e.g., name, gender, age, email address, hobbies and interests, music, photos and friend lists). On social networking sites, users are able to customize their profiles by decorating their space with pictures, background music, graphics, fonts and links. This allows many users to show off their technical sophistication.**


Sending nude or semi-nude photos or videos over a cell phone.  The production, distribution and/or possession of nude or semi-nude photos or videos of anyone under the age of 18 are considered child pornography.  Child pornography is a federal offense, punishable by law and can require the lifelong requirement of registering as a sex offender.*


Software that is installed on a computer to intercept or take partial control of a computer, without the user’s knowledge or consent. Spyware programs can collect your personal information and interfere with your ability to control your computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting your Web browser.*


Small cameras (usually, though not always, video cameras) whose images can be accessed using the Web, instant messaging or a PC video conferencing application. These cameras are often attached to a computer monitor but can also be embedded in the monitor and not easily identifiable.*

*Source: Wikipedia
**Magid, L. and Collier, A. MySpace Unraveled: A Parent’s Guide to Teen Social Networking. Peachpit Press, Berkeley, 2007.
† Ullman, Ellen. An A-to-Z Guide to the WWW. Cable in the Classroom. July/August 2008. www.ciconline.org/.
†† Hinduja, S., Patchin, J.S. (2009).  Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

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