This is a collection of terms that have been found during many years of surfing the web
A. Software designed to detect, and potentially eliminate, viruses before they have had a chance to wreak havoc within the system, as well as repairing or quarantining files which have already been infected by virus activity
Q. What is - a bug
A. fault in a computer system, usually associated with software. The term apparently stems from the early (pre-transistor) days of computing when machines used myriad valves and miles of wire. An apocryphal tale has it that one machine refused to work and, on examination of its innards, revealed a moth which had expired across some terminals thereby causing a short circuit. Once 'debugged' the machine worked perfectly - or so it is said.
These days the term is used indiscriminately to describe any situation in which a system behaves differently to expectations, and it is a generally accepted view that ALL commercially available software contains bugs - they just haven't discovered them all yet.
Q. What is - a domain name
A. A unique name that identifies individual computers on the Internet. A domain name is much easier to remember than an IP address. For example, my web site's domain name is www.tee.uk.net.
Every domain name has a suffix based on the type of organization. Common suffixes include:
edu - educational institutions
com - commercial businesses
org - nonprofit organizations
gov - government agencies
mil - military
Q. What is - a driver
A. A driver is a small interface program which allows a computer to communicate with a peripheral device, such as a printer or a scanner. The driver will be automatically installed when you connect the device to the PC; hence the need for a CD-ROM or floppy disk when installing such peripherals.
Q. What is - a firewall
A. Quick definition.
A Firewall is a combination of computer hardware and software used to keep a network secure. The purpose of the Firewall is to prevent computers outside the Corporate Network from accessing computers on the Corporate Networks. Please note that Inscom networks are behind different firewalls.
A. Detailed definition.
Firewalls are security devices used to restrict access in communication networks. They prevent computer access between networks (say from the Internet to your corporate network), and only allow access to services which are expressly registered. They also keep logs of all activity, which may be used in investigations.
With the rapid growth in electronic communications - particularly via the Internet - firewalls, and firewall software, are being installed which will allow remote users to access limited parts of the system but restrict further access without satisfying specific identification and authorisation requirements. For example; an organisations' Web site will contain pages which are available to any Internet 'surfer' but other areas will not be accessible without recognition of authorised user status by the system. See Extranet.
Firewall Machine. A dedicated gateway computer with special security precautions on it, used to service outside network, especially Internet, connections and dial-in lines. The idea is to protect a cluster of more loosely administered machines hidden behind it from intrusion. The typical firewall is an inexpensive microprocessor-based Unix machine with no critical data, with modems and public network ports on it, but just one carefully watched connection back to the rest of the cluster. The special precautions may include threat monitoring, call-back, and even a complete iron box which can be keyed to particular incoming IDs or activity patterns.
Firewall Code. The code put in a system (say, a telephone switch) to make sure that the users can't do any damage. Since users always want to be able to do everything but never want to suffer for any mistakes, the construction of a firewall is a question not only of defensive coding but also of interface presentation, so that users don't even get curious about those corners of a system where they can burn themselves.
Q. What is - a modem
A. A Modem (MOdulator-DEModulator) is a device that allows remote computers to communicate using telephone lines. Computer information is stored digitally, whereas information transmitted over telephone lines is transmitted in the form of analog waves. A modem converts between these two types.
Q. What is - a newsgroup
A. Electronic discussion groups consisting of collections of related postings on a single topic. Messages sent to newsgroups are usually placed under topic list headings. In most cases you can decide which messages to view or download and which to ignore.
A newsreader is required to access newsgroups. Netscape Communicator, Internet Explorer and Pine all provide newsreading capabilities.
Q. What is - a plugin
A. A program module that gives additional capability to a software package. Plug-ins are widely used in image editing programs such as Photoshop to add a filter for some special effect. Plug-ins are added to Web browsers to enable them to support new types of content (audio, video, etc.).
Q. What is - a protocol
A. A protocol is the set of rules that computers use to communicate with each other. The use of protocols assures that different network products or programs can work together. Any product that uses a given protocol should work with any other product using the same protocol.
Q. What is - a proxy
A. A proxy server is a computer server which acts in the place of individual users when connecting to Web sites. The proxy server receives requests from individual workstations and PCs and then sends this request to the Internet. It then delivers the resultant information to the requesting PC on the network.
When used in conjunction with a firewall, a proxy server's identify (and its connected PCs) is completely masked or hidden from other users. This is the manner in which secure sites operate.
What is - a virus
A program, created as a prank or as sabotage, that replicates itself by attaching to other programs and carrying out unwanted and sometimes damaging operations. Some computer viruses can attack your valuable data, important program files, and even the boot sector of the hard disk.
You should always be careful to prevent damage from viruses to your computer and files. Always make a backup copy and be careful whenever you use public microcomputers. Check out any programs you download from the Internet before running them.
What is - a webmaster
The person responsible for maintaining and updating the organisation's Web Site.
What is - a webmistress
A lady Webmaster - obviously !
What is - ADSL
ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) is a relatively new technology for transmitting digital information at high speeds, using existing phone lines (POTS) to homes and business users alike. Unlike the standard dialup phone service, ADSL provides a permanent connection, at no additional cost.
ADSL was specifically designed to exploit
the one-way nature of most multimedia communication in which large amounts of
information flow toward the user and only a small amount of interactive control
information is returned. Several experiments with ADSL to real users began in
1996. In 1998, wide-scale installations began in several parts of the
N.B. The Information Security implications of connecting full time to the Internet should not be underestimated. Anyone connecting their system full time to the Internet, needs a firewall, which does not have to cost $hundreds.
What is - ASP
Active Server Pages. Active Server Pages are Web pages (HTML pages) embedded within which, are (small) programs, or scripts, which run just before the page is delivered to the user.
What is - Authentication
Authentication refers to the verification of the authenticity of either a person or of data, e.g. a message may be authenticated to have been originated by its claimed source. Authentication techniques usually form the basis for all forms of access control to systems and / or data.
What is - BIOS
BIOS, the Basic Input Output System of a personal computer. The BIOS contains the code which results in the loading (booting) of a computer's operating system e.g. Microsoft Windows®. The BIOS also controls the flow of data to/from the operating system and peripheral devices, such as printer, hard disk, keyboard and mouse.
What is - Bottlenecking
Also known as Mail Bombing, and similar in nature to Spamming and Flaming, Bottlenecking involves material being sent electronically to a organisation's access points (typically E-mail servers) in such large quantities that the system becomes blocked, and genuine business material cannot get through - for example sending ten full copies of the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica to all known E-mail addresses at an organisation will choke quite a few LAN servers for a good while. Although the material itself may not be inflammatory or abusive the senders usually have a grudge of some kind, real or imagined, against the organisation, and the end result is a organisation which cannot communicate with the outside world for an unknown period of time.
What is - BSOD
Commonly abbreviated to BSOD, this term is closely related to the older Black Screen of Death but much more common. Due to the extreme fragility or 'bugginess' of the Microsoft Windows® 3.1/3.11 of the early 1990s, and early versions of Windows® 95 / 98, misbehaving applications can crash the system. The Blue Screen of Death, sometimes decorated with hexadecimal error codes, is what you get when this happens. The only solution is to re-boot and hope that it doesn't happen again (but it always does!). Solution: use a more stable operation system. If Microsoft Windows® compliance is key, which it normally is for most Small to Medium Sized Enterprises), consider Windows® 2000 professional or server.
The subject of cryptography is primarily concerned with maintaining the privacy of communications, and modern methods use a number of techniques to achieve this. Encryption is the transformation of data into another usually unrecognisable form. The only means to read the data is to de-crypt the data using a (secret) key, in the form of a secret character string, itself encapsulated within a pre-formatted (computer) file.
What is - Disaster Recovery Plan
The master plan needed by technical and non-technical staff to cope with a major problem. Do not confuse and merge the DRP with the Business Continuity Plan. The DRP is the plan which is activated when there is an emergency. It is the plan which ensures that health and safety come first followed by damage limitation. Having contained the impact of the disaster, and having ensured that the situation is now under control e.g. through the Emergency Services, then the Business Continuity Plan will be activated.
One of the most difficult aspects of a DRP is agreeing when it should be activated. In some circumstances it will be clear. For example, a tornado destroys part of the office block; or a serious fire reduces the premises to ashes. However, on many occasions, disasters have multiple warnings or indicators, and it is these which need to be considered and identified as the triggers to invoke your DRP.
N.B. The skills required to prepare and manage a DRP are not necessarily the same as those required for a Business Continuity Plan.
What is - DMZ
A DMZ - De-Militarised Zone, is a separate part of an organisation's network which is shielded and 'cut off ' from the main corporate network and its systems. The DMZ contains technical equipment to prevent access from external parties (say on the Internet) from gaining access to your main systems.
The term comes from the buffer zone that
was set up between
However, the extent to which you permit corporate data to be accessible from and by external sources will depend upon the value of the Business Assets which could be placed at (additional) risk by allowing access to (even) pre-specified data types.
What is - DNS
DNS (Domain Name System or Service) is an Internet service that translates domain names into the corresponding IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember than IP addresses.
Every time you use a domain name, a DNS service must translate the domain name into the corresponding IP address.
What is - downtime
The amount of time a system is down in a given period. This will include crashes and system problems as well as scheduled maintenance work.
What is - Encryption
The process by which data is temporarily re-arranged into an unreadable or unintelligible form for confidentiality, transmission, or other security purposes.
What is - EULA
The End User License Agreement - or EULA - is a legally binding contract between the developer or publisher of a software program (or application) and the purchaser of that software. However, unlike the purchase of goods or services, the EULA is, as its name implies, a license agreement. In other words, the purchaser does not own the software, they merely have a right to use it in accordance with the licence agreement.
During the install of package software, the purchaser is shown the contents of the EULA and is often required to scroll down through the EULA, at the bottom of which, one may Accept or Refuse the terms of the EULA. By enforcing the need to scroll through the EULA, a user would be unlikely to succeed in any action to deny acceptance of the terms of the EULA.
In some cases, the EULA is written on the outside of the packaging with the breaking of the seal to the CD, indicating acceptance of the EULA.
In all cases, the EULA is the contract which users ignore at their peril; and whilst most EULAs contains broadly similar clauses and restrictions, it is important to confirm these before committing your organisation.
Microsoft has helpfully provided detailed information about its own EULAs at www.microsoft.com/education/license/eula.asp.
What is - feature
Within the IT community, the term 'bug' is frowned upon, and is often replaced with the quaint term 'feature' or, a 'glitch'. Irrespective of how it is described, it remains a Bug !
What is - Firmware
A sort of 'halfway house' between Hardware and Software. Firmware often takes the form of a device which is attached to, or built into, a computer - such as a ROM chip - which performs some software function but is not a program in the sense of being installed and run from the computer's storage media.
What is - Flaming
'Flame' is abusive communication by E-mail or posting to a newsgroup, which attacks an individual or organisation for some real or imagined grievance. The real problem is broader than that of a few rude e-mails: flame represents the anarchistic side of the Internet. The flame may start with only one abusive message, but it is broadcast so widely that large numbers of unconnected browsers join in - often on both sides of the argument. This can lead to 'Flame Wars', where the traffic load becomes so high that communications network performance degrades, and E-mail boxes become blocked - as is the case with bottlenecking and mail bombing.
Problems for companies may arise if a member of staff has used an organisation's e-mail address to start the flame - another reason to monitor staff activities.
Flame has some redeeming features. Deeply unpleasant (or disturbed) individuals who posted lengthy racist (or sexist, or some other -ist) diatribes have found themselves flamed off the Net....
What is - Freeware
Literally, software provided for free - no charge. This is not as uncommon as might be expected. Major software developers often give away old versions of their products to allow users to try them at no charge and, hopefully, succeed in tempting them to purchase the current release.
Independent developers may give away small programs to establish a reputation for useful software, which then enables them to charge. Cover disks attached to a computer magazine often contain Freeware.
As with Shareware, Freeware should be approached with caution, and staff dissuaded from trying out their new Freeware on organisation equipment.
What is - FTP
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is an Internet protocol for the transfer of files.
To gain access to the remote computer, you normally have to supply a login name and password, after which you are given access to the computer's file directory system allowing you to send (upload) and receive (download) files.
What is - HTML
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML defines the page structure, fonts, graphic elements and hypertext links to other documents on the Web.
What is - HTTP
This protocol, the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, is used for the transmission of information, graphics, sounds and animation between a client Web browser and the Web server.
What is - HTTPS
The Secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol uses HTTP but additionally activates Web server security, in the form of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This means that the communications between the client and the (host) Web server are encrypted and, additionally, that the host Web server may be validated by the client using a Digital Certificate on the server.
What is - IMAP
IMAP (Internet Mail Access Protocol) is an Internet standard for the reading and manipulation of E-mail messages stored on a server. The current version is IMAP4.
Messages are stored on a remote server. An IMAP e-mail client running on a local computer then contacts the server and uses IMAP to allow the user to see and manipulate their E-mail messages and mailboxes.
IMAP differs from the common Post Office Protocol (POP) in that it allows the user to store messages on the server and manipulate them from their E-mail client, rather than having to download the messages and manipulate them on their local computer.
What is - IMSP
IMSP (Internet Message Support Protocol) is an Internet protocol that allows mail preferences and address books to be stored on a remote server. This is convenient for users who use email from multiple locations but want to maintain a single address book. IMSP is now known as ACAP (Application Configuration Access Protocol).
What is - ISDN
ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a telecommunications standard for digital transmission of voice, video and data. Ordinary phone lines are used to transmit digital instead of analog signals, allowing data to be transmitted at a much faster rate than with a traditional modem.
What is - ISP
An ISP (Internet Service Provider) is an organization that provides access to the Internet. The ISP provides a username, password, an access phone number, and the appropriate software. Using a modem, you can connect to to the Internet and send and receive E-mail, browse the World Wide Web and Newsgroups.
What is - LAN
A private communications network owned and operated by a single organisation within one location. This may comprise one or more adjacent buildings, but a local network will normally be connected by fixed cables. A LAN will not use modems or telephone lines for internal communications, although it may well include such equipment to allow selected users to connect to the external environment.
What is - LDAP
LDAP (The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a protocol for accessing online directory services.
What is - MIME
MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension) is an Internet protocol that allows other information such as word processing documents, graphics, sound and video to be sent as attachments to E-mail messages.
E-mail programs that allow you to send and receive these types of files are said to be MIME-compliant.
What is - NAT
Network address translation, a NAT server acts as a transition point between your local LAN and the Internet at large. The NAT server converts all of the IP addresses on your local LAN to one single IP address. When NAT is active, your LAN appears and acts as one entity when viewed from the Internet. The NAT server continues to resolve individual local addresses when requests from the Internet are received.
What is - Netiquette
Netiquette refers to the correct behavior everyone should have when using Internet services, including email and news. For example, there are certain guidelines that you should follow when sending email:
It is a waste of time and resources to send unsolicited mass E-mail. This activity is termed spamming on the Internet. Spamming is a violation of Computing and Information Technology's Conditions of Use.
Do not send messages in all uppercase; they are difficult to read and imply shouting.
Be sure you have the correct address.
Remember that a message can be instantly forwarded to others, so use discretion in what you say.
When replying, be sure you know who sent the message.
Use sarcasm and humor with discretion. Without face to face communications your joke may be viewed as criticism.
Use emoticons to express humor, anger, or other emotions.
What is - NNTP
NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) is the protocol used to connect to Usenet groups on the Internet. Usenet newsreaders support the NNTP protocol.
What is - PAP
PAP (Password Authentication Protocol) is a way to automatically pass your username and password to the University's remote access server.
Security Alert: There is an option to save password when setting up PAP. It is suggested that you do NOT select the save password option, as anyone with access to your personal computer can then have access to your account.
What is - PDF
PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format created by Adobe Systems Incorporated that preserves all of the fonts, formatting, colours, and graphics of any source document, regardless of the software and computer platform used to create it.
What is - POP
POP (Post Office Protocol) is a protocol for delivering email to personal computers. The current version is called POP3.
Messages are stored on a central e-mail server. Users can log on with an e-mail client and download their messages. All pending messages and attachments are downloaded at the same time. POP3 uses the SMTP messaging protocol.
POP differs form IMAP in that it doesn't allow users to store messages on the server and manipulate them from their E-mail client. With POP, messages are downloaded and manipulated on a local computer.
What is - PPP
PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) is a communications protocol for directly connecting computers to the Internet through telephone connections.
What is - SMTP
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is a protocol for sending e-mail messages. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.
What is - spam
Spamming is the sending of unsolicited copies of the same message to a large number of email accounts or newsgroups. It can be thought of as electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings.
General term for browsing different internet web sites.
Alternative term for Identity Hacking and Masquerading.
The interception, alteration, and retransmission of data (in an attempt) to fool the recipient.
What is - TCP/IP
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) is a communications protocol used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP provides instructions on how packets of information are sent across the network.
What is - telnet
Telnet is an Internet protocol that allows you to connect to another computer on the Internet. After providing a name and password to logon to the remote computer, you can enter commands that will be executed as if you were entering them directly on the remote computer.
Thin Film Transistor. Type of Computer Screen
Unix is a family of is a general-purpose, multi-user, interactive operating systems used on a wide variety of computers from mainframes to personal computers.
What is - URL
URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the distinct address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web. The first part of the address indicates what protocol to use, and the second part specifies the IP address or the domain name where the resource is located.
What is - V.90
A protocol for 56kbps modems approved by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). The V.90 protocol resolves the battle between the two competing 56 Kbps technologies - K56flex and X.2. Some K56flex and X.2 modems can be upgraded to support the V.90 protocol.
What is - WAN
A WAN (Wide Area Network) is a communications network that extends beyond the organisation's immediate premises.
Alternative name for the internet web sites.
WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service) is a standard developed by Microsoft for Windows NT that determines the IP address associated with a particular network computer.
What is - Wlan standards
802.11b = 11 Mbps (4.5Mbps) 32 users per AP 2.4GHz
pro cheaper devices, growth plan, low power, longer range 500m, large install base.
con more AP’s, Interference, security
802.11a = 54 Mbps (27Mbps) 64 users per AP 5Ghz
pro higher speed, interference free, Security (stronger encryption keys)
con Compatibility, power
802.11g = 54Mbps (16Mbps) 2.4Ghz
pro Speed, Low power, backward compatible, long range
Con Interoperability, Peak performance, interference.
Dual-band = 54 & 11MBps, 64 users per AP 2.4 & 5 Ghz
pro simultaneous operation, protects investment
con greater power and cost