Glossary of Terms

The UK Council of Internet Safety (UKCIS) have put together a framework to equip children and young people for digital life. Within this framework they have put together a glossary of terms along with a brief description of what that specific strand of the framework involves. This is so you can understand and identify specific search terms and also language that someone that is using digital platforms and/or devices may use. The categories are 1. Self-image and Identity 2. Online relationships 3. Online reputation 4. Online bullying 5. Managing online information 6. Health, wellbeing and lifestyle 7. Privacy and security 8. Copyright and ownership. Although this has been developed from an educational perspective we have also incorporated it into our ethos to ensure children can be safe online both at school and at home.

We have not included all of the search terms however we have broken them down in to each of the categories that they would like to educate young people about in the online world.  If you would like to find out more about the UKCIS and how they help keep children safe online  press the button below.

Categories

General

+, AND, “ “, NOT, * Wildcard

Additional characters used in online searches to limit, expand or determine the search results returned by a search engine. Sometimes referred to as Boolean operators.

Acronyms

An abbreviation of a sentence using the first letter of each word. Online users may use acronyms as a quick way to convey thoughts, actions or sentiments e.g. LOL (Laugh Out Loud).

AI (artificial intelligence)

The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Anonymous Routes

A mechanism which allows users to report safeguarding issues anonymously, generally though an online facility which offers users the choice to enter contact details or not. Anonymous routes are often effective in engaging wider populations around online incidents and provide support for those who want to report issues but are fearful of possible repercussions.

AR (augmented reality)

A technology which superimposes a computer-generated image over a user’s real view of the world, thus providing a composite view.

Childline

Confidential helpline service for children and young people in the UK managed by the NSPCC.

Connectivity

The capacity for ‘connected’ devices to share data about individuals or groups on-line. Individuals may or may not be aware that this is data is being collected and shared, or how it is being used.

Disinformation

Inaccurate information deliberately distributed and intended to confuse, mislead or influence.

Gamergate

A controversial online movement concerned with ethics in gaming and gaming journalism, born out of heated discussions around game developers, gender and relationships between the game industry and game journalists.

DPA

The Data Protection Act 1998, which governs the collection, processing, storage and distribution of personal data in the UK, overseen by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Soon to be superseded by the EU General Data Protection Regulations or GDPR.

DuckDuckGo

An example of a search engine which does not track users.

Emoji

A small image or icon used to convey an idea or emotion. These are sent instead of or alongside messages written in text on messaging services and social media.

Fake News

A news item which is claimed to have been fabricated. Allegations of ‘fake news’ have been used to discredit accurate news items.

FOMO

An acronym for ‘fear of missing out’, describing a user’s feeling of compulsion to check their phone or social media feed at regular intervals for fear of not staying up to date with conversations or events involving their friends.

Likes

“Like” buttons are often available in social media platforms to signal a response to online content viewed. Users are encouraged to respond to content to build community, but it also serves the social media provider with additional information regarding an individual’s online activity, which often shapes the resultant experience they have and the content they see on that platform.

Misinformation

Inaccurate information distributed by accident.

Profile

The information a user shares on social media presenting some personal details to other users. It may contain images, likes, hobbies, their network of contacts, contact details etc. Profiles can be unrepresentative and misleading.

Screen-grab

Way of capturing screen content on computers and mobile devices that can later be used to support issues and assist reporting.

Search Engine

A programme, script or tool which searches the internet for information, images or material based on keywords or content entered by a user.

Search Engine Rankings

The position at which a particular site appears in the results of a search engine query.

Social Reporting

Reporting inappropriate, unkind or unpleasant content to other friends or users online, garnering support to apply pressure to the individual posting that content.

Spam

Unsolicited messages or content sent online to a large number of users. Spam is usually sent for the purpose of advertising, phishing or spreading virus/malware.

Sitemaps

A list of pages of a website accessible to crawlers or users.

Terms and Conditions

Terms of service (also known as terms of use and terms and conditions, commonly abbreviated as TOS or ToS and ToU) are rules by which one must agree to abide in order to use a service. Many online service providers have complex T&C’s that are difficult for a user to navigate and fully understand. Recent work by the UK Children’s Commissioner has set about simplifying some of the main social media platforms into more accessible formats.

Text Speak

A written language used in text messages and online messages which uses abbreviations for commonly known phrases and does not follow standard conventions of spelling, punctuation or grammar

Voice Activated Search

A programme, script or tool that searches the internet for information, images or material based on words spoken by a user.

VR (Virtual Reality)

The computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a helmet with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.

Webcams

A video camera connected to the internet that allows users to broadcast live video or take and share photographs. Webcams can be used with computers and are often built into laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Whistle-blowing

In the online context, whistle-blowing describes an individual’s act of disseminating data or information online that others such as organisations or governments might wish to suppress.

Self Image & Identity

This strand explores the differences between online and offline identity beginning with self-awareness, shaping online identities and how media impacts on gender and stereotypes. It identifies effective routes for reporting and support and explores the impact of online technologies on self-image and behaviour.

Avatar

An icon or image to represent a user online on social media, in video games or other services.

Coercion

The process by which one person convinces another to engage in behaviour and actions to the benefit of the coercer.

Dark Web

The dark web forms a small part of the deep web. It is heavily encrypted and masks the ISP of its users. The dark web frequently attracts criminal activity. Sometimes the term ‘deep web’ is mistakenly used to refer to the dark web.

Deep Web

The deep web is the part of the Web not indexed by search engines, e.g. online banking pages. These pages are often hidden behind logins and are usually encrypted.

DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service)

A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources

Gas-Lighting

Information and disinformation disseminated in such quantities that people become confused and disempowered and no longer trust their own judgements; they struggle to differentiate between information founded on fact and disinformation. ‘Gas-lighting’ can be a deliberate strategy employed to discredit or disrupt credible sources of information in order to further a particular agenda.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

Helpline Services

Online or telephone-based services providing help and support e.g. Childline, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline.

Hits

Instances in which a webpage or site has been viewed.

Hoax

A fictional story circulated on-line, frequently intended to shape people’s beliefs or opinions. Hoaxes can appear increasingly credible as they are repeatedly forwarded on-line.

HTTPS

The secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

Information Operations

Actions taken on-line by unknown people, organisations and countries to use the media (especially social media) to steer public opinion by targeting and disseminating selective information or disinformation.

Injunction

A form of a court order that compels a party to do or refrain from specific acts. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties, including possible monetary sanctions and even imprisonment.

Profile

The information a user shares on social media presenting some personal details to other users. It may contain images, likes, hobbies, their network of contacts, contact details etc. Profiles can be unrepresentative and misleading.

Sexting

The term ‘sexting’ describes the use of technology to share personal sexual content; it is most commonly used to refer to youth produced sexual imagery. The name comes from a word-mix of ‘sex’ and ‘texting’. Young people tend not to use this term but may use other nicknames such as ‘nudes’, ‘nude selfies’ or imply these through the context of the message.

Trolling

The public sending of malicious, abusive or derogatory messages by one user (a ‘troll’) to another user online with the intention of upsetting or harassing them, or damaging their reputation. Trolling is often anonymous.

Vloggers

A video blog or video log, usually shortened to vlog, is a form of blog for which the medium is video. Vlog entries often combine embedded video (or a video link) with supporting text, images, and other metadata. Entries can be recorded in one take or cut into multiple parts. Vlogs are particularly popular on YouTube. Video logs (vlogs) also often take advantage of web syndication to allow for the distribution of video over the Internet using either the RSS or Atom syndication formats, for automatic aggregation and playback on mobile devices and personal computers.

Online Relationships

This strand explores how technology shapes communication styles and identifies strategies for positive relationships in online communities. It offers opportunities to discuss relationships and behaviours that may lead to harm and how positive online interaction can empower and amplify voice.

Chat

Informal communication via text or messaging platforms which often uses conventions such as emojis, acronyms or text-speak.

Grooming

The process by which an online user gains the trust of another user with the intention of doing them harm or coercing them into engaging in risky or harmful behaviour. This behaviour could occur online (e.g. sending a sexually explicit image) or offline (e.g. agreeing to meet in person).

Radicalisation

The process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Sexting

The term ‘sexting’ describes the use of technology to share personal sexual content; it is most commonly used to refer to youth produced sexual imagery. The name comes from a word-mix of ‘sex’ and ‘texting’. Young people tend not to use this term but may use other nicknames such as ‘nudes’, ‘nude selfies’ or imply these through the context of the message.

Stalking

A persistent and unwanted behaviour that causes another person fear, distress or anxiety. It can occur on and offline and could include sending malicious or unwanted communication, following someone, sending unwanted gifts, damaging property or sexual assault. Under the Protection from Harassment Act and 1997 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, stalking is a criminal offence.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the address of a specific webpage or file on the Internet.

Online Reputation

This strand explores the concept of reputation and how others may use online information to make judgements. It offers opportunities to develop strategies to manage personal digital content effectively and capitalise on technology’s capacity to create effective positive profiles

Digital Personality

Created as individuals’ on-line activity and behaviour is monitored; collected and analysed. A person’s ‘digital personality’ can be used by and possibly sold to unknown others in order to target tailored advertising, information and disinformation specifically intended to be attractive to the individual and to influence their beliefs and choices.

Forums

An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes visible.

Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; example: a single conversation is called a “thread”, or topic.

A discussion forum is hierarchical or tree-like in structure: a forum can contain a number of subforums, each of which may have several topics. Within a forum’s topic, each new discussion started is called a thread, and can be replied to by as many people as so wish.

Satire

Fictional stories circulated online intended to shame individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into improvement. They are intended to be humorous and not as literal accounts of behaviour or events.

Sexting

The term ‘sexting’ describes the use of technology to share personal sexual content; it is most commonly used to refer to youth produced sexual imagery. The name comes from a word-mix of ‘sex’ and ‘texting’. Young people tend not to use this term but may use other nicknames such as ‘nudes’, ‘nude selfies’ or imply these through the context of the message.

Stalking

A persistent and unwanted behaviour that causes another person fear, distress or anxiety. It can occur on and offline and could include sending malicious or unwanted communication, following someone, sending unwanted gifts, damaging property or sexual assault. Under the Protection from Harassment Act and 1997 and the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, stalking is a criminal offence.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is the address of a specific webpage or file on the Internet.

Online Bullying

This strand explores bullying and other online aggression and how technology impacts those issues. It offers strategies for effective reporting and intervention and considers how bullying and other aggressive behaviour relates to legislation.

Banter

Teasing or joking talk. While much banter is good-natured, there is a risk that bullying behaviour can be excused as ‘banter’.

Harassment

Intentional and repetitive behaviour against an individual, which is felt to be threatening or disturbing, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the individual.

Managing Online Information

This strand explores how online information is found, viewed and interpreted. It offers strategies for effective searching, critical evaluation and ethical publishing.

Autocomplete

A feature in which an application predicts the word a user is typing.

Breadcrumbs Trail

A graphical control element used as a navigation aid in user interfaces. It allows users to keep track of their locations within programs, documents, or websites, usually appearing at the top of a webpage.

Cloud Computing

Storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer’s hard drive.

Crowdsourcing

The practice of obtaining information or input into a task or project by enlisting the services of a large number of people, either paid or unpaid, typically via the Internet.

In-app Purchases

The purchase of goods and services from an application on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

Junk Folders

A tool used for filtering electronic junk e-mail out of a user’s inbox within a private or commercial e-mail account.

Kickstarter

A crowdfunding website which enables users to contribute money towards projects such as music, games or technology developments.

Propaganda

The deliberate provision of:

  • information that whilst accurate may be narrowly selected, failing to present other pertinent facts
  • disinformation that is not factually accurate
  • a combination of information and disinformation where the inclusion of valid information is intended to mask or legitimise the disinformation

with the intention of influencing the choices, actions or beliefs of others

Health, Wellbeing & Lifestyle

This strand explores the impact that technology has on health, well-being and lifestyle. It also includes understanding negative behaviours and issues amplified and sustained by online technologies and the strategies for dealing with them.

Age Verification

Age verification mechanisms allow the age of a customer or service user to be checked by the service provider using sources such as credit cards, birth records etc. The UK Digital Economy Act 2017 requires sex, gambling, gaming and alcohol related sites to have age verification systems in place to protect both adults and children.

BBFC (British Board of Film Classification)

UK organisation charged with rating and classifying film and other forms of media in terms of age and content.

Biometrics

Metrics related to human characteristics. Biometric authentication (or realistic authentication) is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups under surveillance.

Echo Chamber

Activity, often on social media, where people of like mind reinforce a single view point to the exclusion of alternatives. An ‘echo chamber’ (or ‘reality bubble’) can create a false impression that an opinion is more widely held in society than it actually is, and can significantly strengthen people’s beliefs.

Fitness Trackers

Wearable multi-sensor devices that can collect data on movement; sleep; heart rate; blood pressure which is then collated and analysed via an associate app. Examples are Fitbit; Apple Watch and Galaxy Gear

Lifestyle Sites

Generic term for sites which reference physical and mental health issues, including anorexia, bulimia, suicide and self-harm. Usually set up by online communities experiencing these issues and often unregulated, unlike established and verified agencies offering online support services.

Night-shift Mode

Changes the colour temperature of the screen to decrease the amount of blue light emitted from the display. It reduces screen brightness and assists with the absorption and release of the sleep hormone Melatonin. It exists on most mobile devices and can be activated automatically during sleeping hours.

Peer Support

Occurs when people provide knowledge, experience, emotional, social or practical help to each other. It commonly refers to an initiative consisting of trained supporters (although it can be provided by peers without training), and can take a number of forms such as peer mentoring, reflective listening (reflecting content and/or feelings), or counselling.

PEGI

Pan-European Game Information. EU classification system that rates games in terms of age suitability and content. Intended to regulate the retail of games to underage purchasers.

Photo-manipulation

Altering a photo so that features are added, removed or appear differently. This may be done through the use of an app e.g. a camera filter or software e.g. Photoshop.

Wellness Apps

Software designed to assist or track mental and physical health. In its simplest form it can be apps that provide the right environment for relaxation or meditation; many provide the ability to be able to record emotions or feelings at key points of the day to form a record of mental health and to assist with forming strategies to support those issues.

Privacy & Security

This strand explores how personal online information can be used, stored, processed and shared. It offers both behavioural and technical strategies to limit impact on privacy and protect data and systems against compromise.

Adware

Software which automatically displays or downloads advertising material such as banners or pop-ups when a user is online.

Autocomplete

A feature in which an application predicts the word a user is typing.

Biometrics

Metrics related to human characteristics. Biometric authentication (or realistic authentication) is used in computer science as a form of identification and access control. It is also used to identify individuals in groups under surveillance.

Captcha

A computer programme designed to tell the difference between a human and an automated programme. It is often used to prevent spam messages or fraudulent activity.

Closed Peer Sharing

Allows users to access media files such as books, music, movies, and games using software which locates content by searching other devices on a peer-to-peer network.

Cookies

Text files retained on computers by browsers, containing information on user activity on specific websites.

Do-Not-Track-Me

An app or browser extension which blocks internet trackers from collecting and subsequently sharing information.

Dual-Factor Authentication

A type of multi-factor authentication, providing an extra layer of security. It requires not only a password and username but also something unique to that user such as personal information, a code sent to a device, or a physical token.

Encryption

The process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encryption does not itself prevent interference, but denies intelligible content to a would-be interceptor.

Find my Phone

An operating system feature provided on mobile devices to allow users to geo-locate their device if lost, misplaced or stolen. Further features allow remote locking and deletion of data, image capture through the camera of the user and messaging. Third party apps such as Prey and Android Lost provide similar functions.

Firewalls

A network security system, either hardware- or software-based, that uses rules to control incoming and outgoing network traffic. A firewall acts as a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

Geolocation

The identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of an object, such as a radar source, mobile phone, or Internet-connected computer terminal.

Guerilla Mail

A temporary email service which does not require registration and which only lasts for 60 minutes.