Understanding Internet Terms and their Meanings


The internet plays a HUGE role in your work as an at-home professional, but it is a pretty complex beast! If you don’t understand the basic terminology about the internet, you could end up in hot water with your company, your clients, and your providers.

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Here are some of the basic internet terms, along with their meanings:

HTTP/HTTPS -- HTTP means ’hypertext transfer protocol’, and it’s an important prefix for any website. With the addition of the "s" (HTTPS), it indicates that the website is secure, with encryption to hide passwords, usernames, and sensitive data. Online banks, PayPal, Facebook, and other secure sites MUST have HTTPS to prove that they’re safe.

URL -- The acronym stands for Universal Resource Locator. It refers to the address where a website can be found. For example, the URL of Facebook is

Browser -- This is the program you use to browse the internet. Most people these days use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, but there are many others--Opera, IE, Safari, and Torch among them.

IP Address -- This is the address that is 100% unique to your computer. It indicates where your computer is located, and it is your device’s internet "serial number" or "license plate".

Email -- Everyone knows that email (once spelled e-mail) is the way to send and receive mail via the internet. Most people use Google or Yahoo mail, but many companies provide internal email addresses.

Blog -- A blog is a "web log", basically an online journal or diary. "Blogging" is the act of writing and posting content to the blogs. The majority of people trying to advertise businesses or products online use blogs to attract readers.

Social Media -- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Goodreads, and Tumblr are just a few social media sites. "Social media" refers to any websites that encourage discussions, chatting, and the sharing of photos, videos, and links between users.

Domain Name -- This is the name of a website. Every website begins with "http://www" and typically ends with ".com" (or if you are a UK based business). The domain name is the part in the middle ("facebook", "twitter", "yourname", "google") that leads people to the website.

Download -- This means copying something that is available on the internet. Files, videos, photos, music, movies, and many other things can be downloaded from the internet--just remember, some forms of downloading (piracy) is not permitted!

I.M. -- This stands for "Instant Message". You can send instant messages between users of various social media sites and mail services. This will appear in the web browser as a message rather than a proper email.

Malware -- The internet is filled with malware--software that is designed to steal private information, allow hackers access to your computer, or infect your computer with malicious software (hence the name "mal-ware"). Learn more about Malware here…

E-commerce -- E-commerce stands for "electronic commerce". It literally means any sort of commerce (buying and selling) that takes place via the internet.

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Bookmark -- If you like a website and want to visit it again in the future, clicking on the "Bookmark" option in your web browser will save the URL to your computer. All you need to do to open that website again is find the link in your browser and click on it.

Add-ons/Plug-ins -- This is a term you will find often when surfing the internet. An add-on is a piece of software written for a specific purpose--playing videos, displaying slideshows, protecting against viruses, etc.--in your web browser. It is "added" to the web browser’s software to enhance functionality. Plug-ins are similar, though they are more specialized than add-ons.

Learn these terms by heart, and you’re ready to work from home like a true professional!




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