The terminology used online and offline can be baffling at times, especially among younger people who often use slang words. New words and phrases are created all the time with new technologies constantly emerging.

Our glossary is here to help you get familiar with some of these words and phrases.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #



  • Generally short for ‘web address’– where you find a particular web page or website on the internet, also known as a URL. May also be short for email address.


  • Computer programs that display adverts on the screen. Often installed without people realising.


What is an algorithm?

Algorithms are instructions that a computer program follows to perform a certain task. Examples include showing personalised ads online or suggesting content you might like on social media.

Algorithms use cookies to learn about your browsing habits and understand your interests. If a user interacts with hateful or misleading content, algorithms can also create echo chambers that lead to more online hate and spread more misinformation.

Support on site

Angry Birds

  • Angry Birds app is a popular paid-for gaming app.

Antivirus software

  • A program that is used to detect, prevent, and remove viruses on your computer or mobile device or that are sent to you in an email, chat message or on a web page.


  • Short for application – this is a program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose and is usually downloaded by a user to a mobile device.

AR (Augmented Reality)

What does AR mean?

AR stands for Augmented Reality. It is a type of technology that often uses smartphone cameras and special apps to change something about the real world. For example, Pokémon Go is a mobile game where users point their smartphone camera at an outdoor space to see and capture virtual pokémon.

It is not just popular with gaming. Other AR apps, for example, can turn a real-world image into a digital video that users can watch. Others are used for education.

When using AR, it’s important to remain aware of your surroundings.

  • A social networking site, based in Latvia, through which users can ask other users questions, with the option of anonymity.’s reputation as a platform for cyberbullying has been highlighted in the media, although a change of ownership has promised to stamp out this type of activity. Read more.


  • A file that is sent along with an email message, social network post, IM, via Skype and various other programs. It can be any sort of file and pictures are often sent this way.



  • The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app allows users to share messages and images. It also has the option to make free calls anywhere around the world. It is only available to Blackberry users.

Beats Music

  • Beats Music offers a music service for users based on their listening habits. The full service requires a subscription.


  • A list of undesirable websites, user names or keywords that you have blocked access to so that searching the internet is safer.


  • Software with large, often unused additional features that demands an excessive amount of memory or disk space in proportion to the functionality it provides. Also used to refer to the pre-installed software that many equipment manufacturers install before shipping. These programs often load at startup, slowing down the computer’s performance.


  • To stop a computer reaching something on the internet, to stop a program running, or to stop someone from contacting you on a chat service. Websites that are blocked can’t be viewed on screen; emails that are blocked will be automatically redirected into your junk mail; chat programs that are blocked can’t be started; people that are blocked cannot reach you online through that particular chatting service.


  • A personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions and links to other sites on a regular basis.


  • A wireless way of exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, including mobile phones and card payment machines.


  • Web addresses stored in your browser, letting you go directly to specific websites/web pages. Also known as ‘favourites’.


  • A program that can do things without the user of the computer having to give it instructions. Many bots are malware as they are installed without people’s permission and can be controlled over the internet and used to send spam or steal data. Also known as web robots.


  • A relatively fast – above 512 kbps – connection to the internet. Most broadband connections are ‘always on’ so that your computer is connected to the internet all the time it is turned on.


  • To explore the internet by going from one link to another.


  • A program that allows you to use the World Wide Web to view internet pages. Internet Explorer is the most commonly used browser but Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera and Safari are also examples of browsers.


  • Someone you know and communicate exclusively on social media and online social networking platforms.


  • A person that is big or muscular. It can also mean something that is attractive.


  • The act of copying information onto recordable media such as a CD, DVD or Blu-Ray disc.

Burn note

  • This app destructs or “burns” messages shortly after the receiver views the content. It was originally created to keep sensitive workplace communications secure and prevent unintended people from viewing the messages. Users often enjoy the “Spotlight” feature that shows only part of the text while you hover over it; this is to circumvent screenshots.


  • Something that is really good.


Candy Crush Saga

  • This app is a popular tetris-style game in which the user can purchase more lives through in-app purchasing once they run out.


What is CapCut?

CapCut is a free video-editing software popular among content creators. Users can download the CapCut app to their smartphone to help them edit videos for social media and video-sharing platforms.

You might see the CapCut logo at the end of creator’s video on YouTube Shorts, TikTok or similar platforms.

It is owned by the same company that owns TikTok (ByteDance) and was formerly called JianYing.

Support on site


  • Someone who is the best at what they do – e.g. someone really good at nail art might be called the CEO of nail art.


  • Challenges can range from harmless to dangerous. They usually involve people recording themselves doing something difficult or silly, which they share online and encourage others to repeat. Made popular on TikTok.


  • To describe someone who is out of date, ‘basic’ or untrendy.


  • Chat GPT is an artificial intelligence chatbot which is designed to understand or generate human-like language

Chat Room

  • A place on the internet where you can chat to one or more people. A ‘virtual room’ where users can ‘talk’ with each other by typing. Conversations can be one-on-one or can involve a number of people. Some chat rooms are moderated/supervised.


  • Chatroulette is a network of users where strangers can interact with other strangers over text-chat, webcam and microphone, choosing to ‘take part’ or ‘observe’. This is not suitable for children as a lot of users post sexual images and there could be a risk of grooming.


  • Taking part in an online chat, either in a chat room or by instant messaging.


  • To select something on your screen by moving your cursor over it and pressing your mouse button. Smartphones and consoles are capable of clicking links in a browser without a mouse.


  • It means what you think it means: bait for clicks. It’s a link which entices you to click on it. Usually referring to YouTube videos with ‘clickbait’ titles to draw users attention to get more views on a video.


  • Turn the tide of a game in the final moments for a victory/’at the right moment’/ winning 1v5 would be a clutch/crucial moment between winning and losing/“She was clutch”/”Come in clutch”.


  • In computer science this is the text, written and used by programmers and developers, that dictates the actions to be performed by a computer. Also known as source code.

Community forums

  • Websites that allow members to contact each other, take part in chats or create personal web pages.

Computer network

  • A number of computers that are linked together so that they can exchange data. Local Area Networks (LANs) link computers in the same building, Wide Area Networks (WANs) like the internet connect computers that may be far apart.


  • An electronic system that connects to a screen and is mainly used for playing video games. Can also come in a smaller handheld format that includes a screen.

Content filter

  • A way of limiting access to material on the internet by examining it before it is shown to the user and deciding whether or not it is acceptable. Often used to restrict access to certain web pages when children are using computers.


  • A cookie is a small file that is sent to a web browser by a server and stored on the user’s computer. It can then be read by the server every time the user revisits the same website and is used to keep track of personal preferences, shopping choices and other information.

Creative Commons

  • Creative Commons (CC) licences build upon copyright law, signalling the owner’s permission that work can be used in a variety of ways, not automatically allowed under copyright law. Creative Commons search engines can help people discover materials that they can freely and legally share or build upon. Read more


  • To follow someone’s social network profile closely: to an excessive degree. Can be known as ‘Facebook stalking’. It is not as sinister as it may sound, often creeping is done to catch up with friends, to reminisce about past posts or older content, or to find out more about a friend in whom a person has a romantic interest. This is not always solitary: it can be done by friends viewing and gossiping about another friend’s past posts or content.

Cuff or Cuffing

  • Cuff is the slang term for being tied down into a relationship and telling the whole world that he or she is yours.


  • The arrow that appears on your computer screen and moves when you move your mouse or touch your trackpad.


  • To reject someone’s romantic advances.

Cyber aggression

Online aggression that isn’t always viewed as bullying. It can include insults or threats due to appearance, race, religion, sexuality, gender or disability. Or threats to harm a person or their family.


  • Bullying behaviour which takes places through the use of electronic means, such as through e-mail, mobile phones or posts on a social network. Read more.


What is cyberflashing?

Cyberflashing is when someone sends an inappropriate, often sexually explicit, photo to someone else. This might be through standard text messaging, dating sites or social media but can also happen through AirDrop on Apple devices or other means that use Bluetooth. These images are sent without consent of the recipient.

In some cases, the recipient may see a preview of the image being sent to them through Bluetooth. This means that even if they refuse the image, they will have already seen part of it. As such, this could be especially harmful for young people.

When one child or young person cyberflashes another child or young person, this is a form of child-on-child (or peer-on-peer) abuse.

Support on site


  • The state or application of technologies, processes and controls to protect networks, programs, data and users from cyber attacks and the risks of using the internet.


  • Stalking someone online. May involve harassment but the victim may be unaware that they are being stalked online.


  • A term for the internet, which is often viewed as the online, or virtual, world.



  • Data is information, stored on computers and other storage devices.

Dark web

  • The dark web is a part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible through special software. It allows users to communicate anonymously on networks without giving out identifying information like personal locations. Learn more here.


  • Dattch aims to make it easier for lesbians to avoid feeling isolated and meet each other away from bars and clubs. Daatch claims it has the visual experience of the users based on a Pinterest ‘mood board’ to illustrate their personality via the things they like – such as music and food. The app also asks users to verify security by linking it to their Facebook page.


  • Meaning something that is rubbish or bad.


What is deadnaming?

Deadnaming is a form of bullying that specifically targets those who are trans (they identify as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth).

When someone is trans, they often choose a new name that better suits their identity. For example, someone who was assigned a girl at birth and received a traditionally feminine name who then transitions to male may choose to be called by a traditionally masculine name.

While most common among trans individuals, others who choose a different name for themselves may also experience deadnaming.

If a new name is chosen and someone continues to call that person by their old name, this is called deadnaming. When deadnaming is done with ill-intent (i.e. not by accident), this is bullying behaviour and should be reported.

Support on site

Decoy app

  • Decoy apps can be used to store private information, such as photos, videos, voice recordings, or text messages. They look like everyday apps such as a calculator so offer a secure way to hide certain information.


  • Deepfakes are an artificial intelligence that can place someone’s likeness (including appearance and voice) over someone else. It can make people appear to say something they never said much like Photoshop can alter an image.

Learn more about deepfakes and how to keep children safe.

Digital Literacy

What is digital literacy?

Digital literacy often links to misinformation, disinformation and fake news. It looks at someone’s ability to not only find information online and through devices but to also evaluate that information. It requires critical thinking skills important in a child’s development. Sometimes called media literacy, digital literacy also looks at someone’s ability to create and communicate information in effective ways.

Support on site

Down App

  • Previously called ‘Bang with Friends’, Down is an app that allows users to find which of their Facebook friends are local and available to meet up.

Download websites

  • A website from which it is possible to obtain files such as music, videos, and images, sent directly to the user’s computer or mobile device.


  • The transmission of a file from one computer system to another (often smaller) computer system. From the internet user’s point of view, to download a file is to request it from one computer, or from one web page to another computer, and to receive it.


  • Doxxing is when someone on the internet (the doxxer) posts personal information about someone else (the victim) for the world to see. This information is sensitive, meaning it can be used to figure out who someone really is, where they live and how to contact them. Learn more here.


  • Dub is a word for “win” often used in video gaming. It is short for “W”.

Dubsmash App

  • Dubsmash App is meant for users who are aged 18 and older or 13 and above with parental permission. Like, people utilize this app to create simple videos that show them lip syncing short movie and song soundbites. This is a highly entertaining app for teens and celebrities have been known to use it as well. Find out more at Dubsmash.


What is DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is an internet search engine that promotes greater privacy than competing popular search engines. It is designed to avoid filter bubbles and to restrict results from content farms.

Support on site


Echo chamber

What is an echo chamber?

An echo chamber is something that happens where users online only see content that confirms their current beliefs. Online, they may occur because of algorithms suggesting related content.

For example, if someone likes, comments or shares content from an influencer who spreads misogyny, the algorithm may suggest content from other similar influencers. Eventually, all the content a user sees will be about misogyny. This can lead to users having an unbalanced and misinformed view of the world.

See also: filter bubbles

Support on site


  • Buying or selling over the internet, usually from a website.

Electronic signature

  • Symbols or other data in digital form attached to an electronically transmitted document to show the sender’s intent to sign the document. Also know as an E-signature.


  • A way to exchange messages over the internet. Messages are written by one person and then sent to one or more people at their email address.

Email address

  • An email address tells your email program where to send messages. The first part of the address is the name of the person’s mailbox, where messages are stored. The second part, after the ‘@’ sign, is the name of the mailbox provider.


  • This is a characterset of smileys that were first used in Japan, but have fast become popular across the world.



  • A slang word, for ‘Facebook Sabotage’, used to describe hijacking, and meddling with, someone’s Facebook account while it is unattended.


  • A social networking website that lets users create their own profiles, share status updates, pictures, videos and chat with other users. Read more.

Facebook Messenger

  • The Facebook Messenger app is a messaging service that works through the inbox functionality on Facebook.

Family agreement

  • An agreement on how internet access and internet-enabled devices will be used. Should be drawn up and agreed after discussion between family members. This is sometimes referred to as an ‘Online Safety Contract’.


  • Web addresses stored in your browser, letting you go directly to specific websites/web pages. Also known as ‘bookmarks’.


  • Some data stored on a computer. A file may contain any sort of digital content – a document, a picture, some music or a film.


  • Copying files over the internet by using software that enables you to use other subscribers’ computers like a specialist library. Usually the files contain music, films or programs, but any sort of file can be shared. May also be known as downloading.


  • A means of preventing certain types of material, keywords or anything you decide to block from reaching your computer.

Filter bubble

What is a filter bubble?

A filter bubble is a situation caused by algorithms, which limits the content a user might see on social media or other online spaces. Algorithms do not have the ability to assess information it suggests; it only learns users’ habits and interests.

Social media algorithms might create a filter bubble by ‘hiding’ content users don’t interact with. This means that opposing views and different perspectives on topics are hidden from users’ feeds.

See also: echo chamber

Support on site


  • A firewall is a software program or piece of hardware that helps screen out hackers, viruses, and worms that try to reach your computer over the Internet.


  • Sending an offensive or aggressive message to a specific person over the internet.


  • An online discussion group, much like a chat room.


  • Fortnite is an online multiplayer game with four modes: Battle Royale, Party Royale, Creative and Save the World. Players can fight others, create their own games and fight monsters. Read more here.


  • A location-based social networking site for mobile devices, which enables users to find out where their friends are. Locations can be posted publicly which could be risky for children as it allows other users to see where they are.


  • Used in gaming to describe damaging or destroying something.


Games console

  • An electronic system that connects to a screen and is mainly used for playing video games. Can also come in a smaller handheld format that includes a screen. Some can also be used for accessing the internet. Read more.


  • The activity of playing video games. Read more.


  • Using underhand tactics to defeat or kill (a less experienced opponent).

Generative AI

  • A branch of artificial intelligence focused on creating new and original content, such as images, text, or audio, by learning patterns from existing data.

Google Bard

  • Google Bard is an experimental artificial intelligence chatbox developed by Google that uses the internet to provide answers to questions instead of providing search results (including links or pages).

Google Galaxy Chat and Play

  • Whilst its main function is social networking, the Google Galaxy Chat and Play app offers a virtual world that might be appealing to children due to its level of cartoon-like customisation. Not only are users able to create their own avatar which includes the option to change their aura, costume and even teleport, they are also able to customise their own chatroom, microblog, share photos and play online games.

Google Voice Search

  • Free text messages, international calls and the ability to search online by asking your phone a question – this is similar to iPhone’s Siri feature.


  • A social networking site that lets users exchange files and information.


  • Griefing is when a player in an online game deliberately irritates and harasses other players within the game.

Grindr App

  • Aimed at bisexual and gay men, this dating app uses location and photos to encourage ‘like-minded’ meetings between strangers wishing to date new people. Features include being able to search by ‘Tribe’ to find the type of man you wish to meet. As it’s location based, Grindr introduces users to ‘matches’ within the closest radius.


  • When a stranger tries to start a relationship with a child for unlawful purposes; this can happen online or offline. Read more.

Ghost or Ghosting

  • To ‘ghost’ means to avoid someone until they get the picture and stop contacting you. ‘Ghosting’ is when a person cuts off all communication with their friends or the person they’re dating, with zero warning or notice beforehand. You’ll mostly see them avoiding friend’s phone calls, social media, and avoiding them in public.



  • Hackers are people who gain unauthorised access to data, remotely, using a computer or mobile device.


  • The machinery, wiring, and other physical components of a computer system.


  • A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash symbol #. It is used on social networking sites like Twitter to tag and group messages from different people about a common topic.

Hate raid

What is a hate raid?

Hate raids are online attacks during video streams. Anonymous users join a stream and then fill the chat with hate speech and harassment towards the streamer. It is a form of cyberbullying and online hate.

Support on site

Additional support


  • An abbreviation for ‘have fun’ is usually used before a game.


  • Your internet browser toolbar will have a button marked ‘history’. If you click on it you can review which sites have been viewed.

Hits Different

  • When an experience stands out and impacts you in a meaningful way.


  • The page that appears when you type in an organisation’s full web address without any file name, for example, Also used to mean someone’s personal web page.

Huggy Wuggy

What is Huggy Wuggy?

Huggy Wuggy is a villain from the game Poppy Playtime. While the terms sound harmless, the game is actually part of the horror genre. The developers recommend it for children aged 8 and over while Common Sense Media says they do not recommend it for children under 13. However, many Huggy Wuggy dolls are available for sale in shops and arcades, making it a popular toy for younger children.

Some videos on YouTube feature Huggy Wuggy, so parents should be vigilant and ensure their child is using YouTube Kids or that other parental controls are set.

Support on site


  • Someone who follows trends and is constantly getting new clothing/accessories to fit in.



  • A small picture used to represent an action or a file on a computer screen.

IM (Instant Messenger)

  • Technology similar to that of chat rooms, which notifies a user when a friend is online, allowing them to converse by exchanging text messages. It’s like texting, but online. The difference between IM and chatrooms is that IM requires you to set up a list of contacts before you can chat.

In-app purchasing

  • In-app purchasing allows the user to buy virtual ‘extras’ related to an app when they are using the app. In-app purchases are common with games that are advertised as ‘free to download’, but often purchases of virtual gaming ‘currency’ are required to progress in the game.

Inappropriate content

  • As children become more active online at a younger age, the possibility and probability that they’ll see something inappropriate all depends on what they’re doing online. Whether it’s an explicit pop-up ad on a free game, videos showcasing children’s cartoon characters in adult situations, or a forum promoting self-harm, an innocent search can expose children to content that can make them feel upset and confused. Read more.


What is an incel?

Incels are part of communities against women. It comes from the words ‘involuntarily celibate’ and refers to men’s struggle to find a girlfriend or wife. “Incels believe they are entitled to a relationship with a woman. . . . Multiple acts of extreme violence and even murder have been attributed to this group.”

See also misogyny.

Support on site

Incognito browsing

  • Incognito browsing is a mode in Google Chrome which allows you to browse without creating a browsing and download history. It also prevents cookies being stored. It is only recommended that children use this on public computers or on any computer they use away from home.


  • A photo-sharing social network which allows users to alter photos, upload them to Instagram and share them to other social networking sites. Photos can be sent directly to specific users. A video feature is also available. Read more.


  • A global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

  • A company that connects computers to the internet for a fee. Abbreviated to ISP.

Internet-enabled device

  • Any device that allows you to connect to the internet. Examples are computers, laptops, mobile phones, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and games consoles.

IP (Internet Protocol) address

  • An IP (Internet Protocol) address as a unique string of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer over a network.


  • Short for Internet Relay Chat. An old but still widely used way of having online chats with several people at the same time.

iTunes Store

  • Apple’s e-commerce site. The iTunes store has songs, movies, music videos and apps that can be purchased and downloaded to an Apple device or (with the exception of apps) be played on a PC using iTunes.


Jail bait

  • Someone who is under the age of consent but who dresses, acts and appears as if they are over the age of consent and who does nothing to correct that impression.

Jam or Jammin'

  • A song that a person is particularly fond of, sometimes to the point of being their personal anthem or theme song. derived from the expression “jamming out”. To ‘jam’ also means that you chilling.



What is Kahoot?

Kahoot is an interactive quizzing platform often used in classrooms. It is available in-browser or can be downloaded as an app. Kahoot offers a range of topics, quiz styles and options for study and revision, so may be a good tool to use with your child when it comes to learning or revising.

Support on site

  • Explore our apps guide to help children use their devices for a range of purposes


  • Kilobits per second. A way of measuring the speed of a network by counting the number of bits sent each second. A kilobit is a thousand bits.


  • A ‘Keek’ is a short video of up to 36 seconds accompanied by a small amount of text of up to 111 characters. Users respond to keeks with their own keek – a process known as a ‘Keekback’. The interactions can occur in a public or private view.

Kik App

  • Kik is a messenger app with a built-in browser. It allows users to talk, browse and share any website with friends without leaving the app. In addition to instant messaging, Kik users exchange videos, stickers and sketches. Unlike some messaging apps, Kik doesn’t use telephone numbers, only user names.

Kuddle App

  • Kuddle is a photo editing and sharing app that combines social media with ‘netiquette’ and educational information about online behaviour and risks.



  • Loss e.g. take the L.


  • Short for ‘hyperlink’, clicking on it will take you to a pre-defined location, such as another web page, or cause a document to open in your browser. Links are often shown as bold, underlined or coloured text.


  • When something is really good or fun.


How is login different from ‘log in’?

Login refers to the username and password you use to sign into an online account. Login is a noun (thing) while ‘log in’ is a verb (action) and is another term for sign in.

Log off/Log on

What does it mean to log off and on?

Log off/on is the action of signing into an online account. Logging on may sometimes be called logging in. This should not be confused with ‘login’, which is a noun instead of a verb (action word).

Loot boxes

  • Loot Boxes are one way that video games sell items to players. They are a subset of more general in-app purchases that provide guns, outfits and skills to players. They different to other in-app purchases because rather than buying an item, you are buying a mystery pack that will contain unknown items.


Main character

  • Someone who is really interesting and may be considered the ‘main character’ of a friend group; alternatively, a person might see themselves as the main character and be considered self-centred.


  • Short for ‘malicious software’. Programs that damage your computer (viruses), steal your personal information (spyware), display unwanted adverts (adware) or expose your computer to hackers (Trojan horses).


  • The manosphere is a network of online men’s communities who promote anti-feminist and sexist beliefs blaming women and feminists for all sorts of problems in society. Many of these communities encourage resentment, or even hatred, towards women and girls. Learn more here.


  • Megabits per second. A way of measuring the speed of a network by counting the number of bits sent each second. A megabit is a million bits.

MeowChat App

  • Dubbed pen pal for the internet generation, the MeowChat app’s distinctive look includes cartoon cats and allows users to send texts, images or audio clips. Chatrooms can contain bad language and invitations to private chats with strangers.


  • Formerly known as MyYearbook, MeetMe was created to allow users to locate people who have similar interests that are located in close proximity.


  • Microsoft Messenger was retired in 2013, and has now moved to Skype.


What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is an idea for the next stage of digital use. It is often associated with virtual reality (VR). However, it can be accessed in other ways too. The biggest idea for the metaverse relates to connection between different worlds and platforms.

Some may also associate social media platform Facebook with the metaverse and company Meta.

Support on site


  • The minimise button allows the user to shrink their current window in order to view their desktop or access another program.


What is misgendering?

Misgendering is a form of bullying that specifically targets people who are trans (they identify as a different gender from the one they were assigned at birth). Instead of using the pronouns a person has chosen for themselves, someone might use their ‘original’ pronouns.

This is generally bullying if this is done with intent to disregard their trans identity.

Support on site


What is misogyny?

Misogyny is simply hate against women. It may be accompanied by discussion of women as lesser than men and comes up in online communities populated by incels. These communities may influence young men to think that they need to treat women poorly or trick women into going out with them.

The opposite of misogyny is misandry. In a similar way, misandry means hate against men.

Support on site


  • Mixcloud is similar to Soundcloud and allows users to upload and download soundfiles.


  • Multimedia messages, most commonly picture messages and video you can send and receive with a mobile handset.

Moderated chat room

  • A chat room or other service where an adult is watching the conversations to make sure they do not break the hosting company’s policy on online behaviour. This may include inappropriate language, the disclosure of personal information or behaviour which is considered dangerous. Some chatrooms do not have a person watching all the time, but rely on a program that monitors all of the chats and alerts a moderator when particular words appear.


  • The role of the moderator is to ensure that all comments adhere to the explicit conditions of use and it is their responsibility to remove comments that breach these rules. For example, a moderator in a chatroom will ensure that any comments posted adhere to the rules of that chatroom.


  • A small device connected to a computer that is used to control the position of a cursor on screen and has one or more buttons that can be used to make selections or carry out actions like clicking. They can be connected to a device via a cable or wirelessly. App

  • Geared for the 16 and up crowd, users can film, stage, edit, and share music videos with others on this downloadable app. This app allows ‘Musers’ the ability to create and express themselves through videos and songs. Teens enjoy the endless creative opportunities that are available on this app. Read More.



  • These are the buttons on a web page that enable you to move around a site. A site’s quality can often be ascertained by how easy it is to navigate.


  • Nerf means making something worse or weaken. The term is associated with computer gaming and refers to a change that downgrades a specific game feature to achieve balance.


  • Abbreviation of ‘internet’.


  • A number of computers that are linked together so that they can exchange data. Local area networks (LANs) link computers in the same building, wide area networks (WANs) like the internet connect computers that may be far apart. Also known as a computer network.


  • An acronym that stands for Not Safe for Work. It can encompass content that is explicitly violent, pornographic, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.



  • Not online. Not connected to the internet. Modern usage can see ‘offline’ used in the context of real life: if you meet someone offline you are meeting in the real world.


  • Omegle is a free online chat website that allows users to communicate with strangers at random without registering.


  • If you are online you are connected to the internet and can share data with other computers.

Online grooming

  • SSome people use the internet to exploit young people for sex; visiting social networks, games and chat rooms as a way of getting close to children so that they can exploit them or even blackmail them for sexual purposes. Befriending a child in this way is called grooming. Read more.


  • OnlyFans is an online platform and app created in 2016 where people can pay for content (photos and videos, live streams) via a monthly membership. Content is mainly created by YouTubers, fitness trainers, models, content creators, public figures, in order to monetise their profession. Learn more here.

Operating system

  • The main program that controls the operation of a computer and lets the user call other programs and gain access to files and other data. The three most common operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Apple’s Mac OS and Linux.

Osper App

  • A mobile banking app for the family to teach children how to spend money sensibly. Parents can transfer additional money instantly if a child urgently requires it. It also includes a pre-paid debit card for the child.


Parent control software

  • Parental control software can restrict access to particular programs (such as games aimed at adults) or limit access so that the computer can only be used for a certain number of hours or between certain times. It can also monitor activity or filter out certain types of content (e.g. sites of a pornographic nature).

Parental controls

  • Parental controls are the names for a group of settings that put you in control of what content your child can see. Combined with privacy settings these can help you protect your children from the things they shouldn’t see or experience online. Read more.


  • A word or series of letters, numbers and characters that only you know, which you use to log on to computers, networks or online services.


  • PDF is a file format that preserves most attributes (including colour, formatting, graphics, and more) of a source document no matter which application, platform, and hardware type was originally used to create it. PDFs are often opened with Adobe Acrobat, although there are other PDF readers available.

Peer to Peer

  • Software (often free) which allows you to download files directly from a single computer anywhere in the world that also has the same software installed. Sometimes known as P2P, this is a commonly used, but usually illegal, way of accessing music, software and movies.


  • The settings you change to allow or deny a service to access your data as part of its function. For example, apps on a smartphone might need you to enable them to access your location so that they can tailor content to the user.


  • Another word is to describe someone’s attractiveness.


  • Pronounced ‘farming’, this is a method by which scammers try to get personal/private information from users by directing them to false – or ‘spoof’ – websites which look legitimate in your browser.


Pronounced ‘fishing’, this is an attempt to trick people into visiting malicious websites by sending emails or other messages which pretend to come from banks or online shops. The emails have links in them which take people to fake sites set up to look like the real thing, where passwords and account details can be stolen.

Learn more about phishing with advice from ESET.

Picture messaging

  • Nearly all mobile phones are fitted with digital still or video cameras. You can take pictures with these and send them via the mobile networks to other mobile devices with the same technology or to email addresses via the Internet.

Pokémon Go

  • It is a game that builds on the success of the Pokemon franchise, giving players a new way to play a mobile game by using ‘Augmented Reality’. It uses a phone’s camera and GPS maps to allow players to catch and train Pokémon in the real world. Read more.


  • An ongoing series or episodes of a particular programme that can be downloaded automatically or manually. These are usually mp3 audio files or video podcasts.

Poof App

  • Poof is an app that hides other apps instantaneously. All that’s needed is to open the app and to select which apps should be hidden and Poof will make those other apps disappear.

PopJam App

Described as a ‘creative community for kids aged 7-12’, this app aimed to build a digital community where children could share art, stories, games, photos and contests that they’ve created with other like-minded children. PopJam is now closed.


  • To add a contribution to a forum/chat room/blog/web page.


  • A program – spelled the American way – is a collection of instructions to a computer that get it to do something useful, like show a picture or display a web page or change a document. Every time you want to do something on a computer you need to use one or more programs.


  • Social Networking sites and some chat rooms let users complete a personal profile which others can see. Children and teenagers should never include in a profile any information that could identify them, or disclose where they are.




  • Reddit is a social network of communities where people can dive into their interests, hobbies and passions. Users must be 13+ to join.


  • A roast or ‘to be roasted’ refers to people humiliating or berating someone in the name of comedy. It could be based on physical appearance, personality, experiences or anything else. In some cases, it might be a form of digital self-harm. This is popular in some communities on Reddit and elsewhere.


  • Roblox is an online game creator system where the majority of the content is created by “amateur” game creators. These game makers are able to create and publish games to the community using simple tools. Learn more here.

RSS feed

  • RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing content, such as news updates. Many news and sport related sites, such as the BBC, syndicate their content as an RSS feed to whoever wants to access it. It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in without the need to visit each site individually. To receive RSS feeds you’ll need to use a feed reader. There are a number of web-based feed readers available such as My Yahoo and Google Reader.



  • Sadfishing is a growing social trend where young people make exaggerated comments about their emotional issues to get sympathy from others. It also means that those who are experiencing real emotional distress may be accused of sadfishing and dismissed by their peers without getting the right support.


  • This is an image shown on computers, phones and other devices when they are switched on, but not in current use. Their purpose is to save power and prevent screen burn in older monitors.

Search engine

  • A Search Engine is a website, such as Google, that lets you search for other websites by typing in the words that define the content you are looking for. Filters can be applied to limit search results to approved content, and there are some search engines specifically designed for children. See our Parental Controls and Pornography pages for more information.

Secret App

  • An anonymous messaging app, users are encouraged to share their secrets that are divided into categories ranging from ‘popular’, ‘funny’, ‘dating’ and ‘food’ to trending topics that are often current affairs and latest news items. Posts can be liked but the user generated comments on posts appear to be unregulated and the anonymous nature could encourage people to post nasty comments.

Security updates

  • New versions of programs to fix problems that have been found. Often sent out automatically, it is important that security updates are installed as soon as they are released as hackers and malware often try to make use of the errors that are to be fixed.


  • Short for ‘self portrait’, selfies are photographs of the photographer, often taken at arm’s length.

Send This Instead App

  • The Send This Instead app has been developed to help children combat sexting from peers. The app gives a range of optional images with humorous messages so that children can send these as a response to sexting, putting them back in control.


  • A program that manages a website and sends web pages to people’s browsers when they ask for them. Also known as a Web Server.


  • The term ‘sexting’ is used to describe the sending and receiving of sexually explicit photos, messages or video clips. They may be sent to and from mobiles, via instant messages or email, or posted online on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat and YouTube and others such as WhatsApp, Instagram and BBM. Read more.


  • An acronym meaning ‘Safe for Work’.


  • Someone who are seen as too attentive towards someone they like; usually used against a male in an attempt to shame them for their failed hope of winning some entitled attention.


  • Short for website. A site is a collection of web pages. Websites perform different functions e.g. news sites, educational sites, games sites.


  • Slang term for a site template. The skin of a blog, website or profile is the design element that determines how web pages look. Many social networking sites offer users a wide variety of skins allowing members to customise their spaces to better reflect their interests. You can apply skins to mobile phones, gaming consoles and other devices that use software. Also commonly called a theme in mobile phones.


  • Slang term used to describe excitement and humour.


  • Skype is a program which allows you to transmit voice calls over an internet connection. It also has a chat function and allows the direct transmission of files from one user to another. It uses Voice over IP (VOIP) technology.


  • A mobile phone that can perform many of the functions of a computer including browsing the internet, taking and sharing photos and videos, playing games, shopping, downloading apps, getting on social networking sites and using instant messaging and video calling.


  • Short for ‘Short Message Service’. The technical term for text messages.


  • A photo-sharing app where users can send photos or videos to their friends. These will display on screen for up to ten seconds before being deleted, although it is possible to take screenshots of messages and download other apps designed to capture and save Snapchat content. Read more.

Social networking sites

  • Social networking sites allow members to keep in touch with friends and family, meet people with similar interests, share photos and videos and find out new things.


  • Programs that run on your computer.


  • Soundcloud allows users to upload and download soundfiles, and share them on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.


  • A method of viewing films or videos online and also of listening to audio online. Internet radio is an example of a device that streams content. Read more.

Stranger danger

  • The concern that an unknown person might do some harm to a child. This is seen as a significant problem for online activities like chat and email as it can be easy for people to pretend to be someone else online.


  • A general term for a program that secretly monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote-control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers.


  • Spotify lets users share their music playlists with their Facebook and Twitter friends. Users can also search for other unknown users based on music type and playlist name.


  • Originally spam was an email message sent to a large number of people without their consent, usually promoting a product or service. Also known as Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or junk email. Now spam is not limited to e-mail, spam comments appear on blogs, social networking sites and many other places on the net.


  • To browse content on the internet.


  • Used to describe someone who tries too hard.



  • A mobile computer with screen and workings in a single flat unit about the size of a large envelope.


  • Tags are the keywords given to content – web pages, posts, pictures, videos, music or files – by a user or by other people. Tags aren’t predefined – they are chosen by the user to best describe the content. Tags offer a way of informally classifying and organising content that makes it easy for users to find and share information. Also a term for identifying people in posts or photos on social networking sites like Facebook.

Telegram App

  • Telegram is an app available on both mobile and desktops, allowing free and safe messages. The app encrypts messages and gives users the ability to destroy them if unwanted.


  • Acronym that stands for ‘that feel when’ used on social media platforms and the internet.

Third-party applications

  • Third-party applications (or apps) are elements of any service which aren’t produced by the host service but by another company or individual. These can be downloaded onto your internet-enabled device. iTunes and Google Play are examples of where you can purchase and download apps.

TikTok App

  • TikTok is a social networking app that replaced the popular app when it went offline in 2017. Know as Douyin in China, it gives users the ability to watch and create short clips of up to 60 seconds. With 1 billion active users across 155 countries, it seeks to promote safety and has recently released a range of safety videos to promote its safety tools. Read more.

Timehop App

  • Timehop is an app that allows the user to see the events on social media from a specified point in the past.

Tinder App

  • Tinder is similar to Grindr but for the heterosexual community. Users are ‘selected’ by other users as someone they’d like to meet by swiping right on their photo. If they’re not interested, they swipe left to ‘reject’ them and see more options. As it’s location based, Tinder introduces users to ‘matches’ within the closest radius.


  • “Too long, didn’t read.” It is often used to give a summary of a longer post for those who do not wish to read an entire post. In some instances, it might be used as an insult in an online argument where one party writes a lot and the other person doesn’t wish to read it.


  • An alternative to a mouse often found on laptops. It is a small rectangle of touch-sensitive material, so you can move your pointer and/or click by touching it with and moving your fingertips.


  • A program that is not what it seems to be. Trojans pretend to be useful programs like word processors but can enter your computer, access files and then pass on information, install spyware or adware or open up your computer to hackers. This is especially a threat when using ‘always on’ internet connections.


  • In internet slang, a troll is a person who posts inflammatory comments or messages in an online community such as a forum, chat room, blog or on social networking sites.


  • A social networking site where users can post blogs and follow other people’s blogs. Some of the content on this site contains sexual or pornographic images. Read more.


  • A social network that lets users send and read “tweets” messages limited to 280 characters. Read more.



  • To copy information from your internet-enabled device to the internet.

URL (or Web Address)

  • Short for Uniform Resource Locator, a URL is the address which links to a specific webpage. The URL for Internet Matters is Also known as a ‘web address’.


Viber App

  • Users of this app can make free calls, share images and texts free-of-charge anywhere around the world. It is based on knowing the user’s phone number, so you can only message a user if you already know their telephone number.

Video hosting sites

  • Websites which allow users to view video clips, music videos and movies online. YouTube is an example of a video hosting site.

Vine App

  • A mobile app owned by Twitter that lets users create and upload short looping video clips no longer than seven seconds long.


  • This is a common term on the internet. It means a simulation of the real thing. The internet itself is often seen as a virtual world where you make virtual friends and become a part of virtual communities.


  • A virus is a piece of software that can do different things such as delete files, steal data or even take over computers for hackers to control. Viruses find their way into computers via email, from a file downloaded via the internet or from a disc. Antivirus software should be installed to protect computers. Smartphones can also be infected by viruses and should be protected.

Voice over IP (VOIP)

  • VOIP is a term used to describe making a telephone (voice) call over the internet.

VoiceCandy App

  • VoiceCandy bills itself as a dating app with a difference. Instead of judging people on their looks, users are asked to judge by personality. The app allows users to record a short voice clip and other users decide whether they want to chat before they are able to see a photo. If users don’t find the person attractive once they see their picture, they have 5 seconds to change their mind. If not, the app ‘introduces’ the ‘matched couple’ to each other and they start chatting.

VR (Virtual Reality)

What does VR mean?

VR stands for Virtual Reality. It is an experience where ‘reality’ is simulated, often with a VR headset. Users can interact with digital spaces that feel real to the brain even if images don’t look realistic.

It is a new type of gaming that is becoming more accessible to people because of arcades dedicated to VR.

VR headsets can cause some users to feel nauseated or unwell, so it’s important to take care when using virtual reality.

Support on site


Walled garden

  • The Kindle Fire is a walled garden – you can only use their content and add content from their app store. You can’t just add content the way you can with other devices. An example of a child-friendly site which is counted as a walled garden is Club Penguin.


  • The background image that appears on the screen of an internet-enabled device.


  • Abbreviation for World Wide Web.

Web page

  • A single screen of material stored on the World Wide Web and sent to a user’s computer to be displayed by their browser.

Web server

  • A program that manages a website and sends web pages to people’s browsers when they ask for them.


  • A camera, either built into the device or plugged in, that allows images and videos to be shared over the internet. Smartphones have cameras built-in allowing them to be used as a webcam for video calling and Skype.


  • A collection of web pages. Websites perform different functions e.g. news sites, educational sites, games sites.


  • A text and voice messaging social network that allows users to communicate with people nearby or internationally.


  • A popular online social networking application and website. Users create their personal accounts and share multimedia content, including pictures, videos, gifs, etc.


  • Free-of-charge, real-time Users can share images and videos, take part in ‘group chats’ and share locations. As it’s based on knowing the user’s phone number, you can only message users if you already know their telephone number. Read more.

Whisper App

  • Whisper is an anonymous messaging app where users are encouraged to share stories they wouldn’t want to put their name to. Posts are liked but user generated comments on posts are unregulated. Whisper includes a category whereby users can search for ‘Meet Up’ – in this category sexual images and messages could be found.


  • A list of trusted websites, user names and keywords that you have allowed access to so that searching or surfing the internet is safer.


  • Widgets are chunks of code that have been designed to be added easily to a user’s website or profile page. They usually add an interactive or automatically updated element to static web pages, bringing information which is generated or stored on one part of the web to another. A widget might be a mini computer game, a video clip which is uploaded to a video-hosting site, or an update of the latest music someone has listened to. Widgets are often third-party applications – content from a source other than the web or social networking service.


  • A wireless network that allows internet-enabled devices to connect to the internet without the need for cables.


  • A website or program that allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others. It should be noted that content can be inaccurate, biased or outdated because it can be edited by anyone.


  • A worm is a malicious computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Worms can be hidden within email attachments.


  • An online service which allows people to put up web pages. The web is made up of many billions of separate web pages each stored on a web server. Each web page can link to other pages, creating a single vast library.



Yik Yak App

  • Yik Yak is an anonymous messaging app that allows its users to send text and photos to others without using their name. Users can choose to engage with the feeds of others within a 5, 10 and 15 mile radius of themselves.

Yo App

  • Users of this app can only send one word and one message to other users: ‘Yo’. Context is given to the word ‘yo’ by whom it’s sent from and when. Its simplicity and sense of fun are considered the secrets to its success.

Yolo App

  • Yolo which stands for ‘you only live once’ is an anonymous question and answer app that is used within Snapchat. Users can post anonymous questions and comments on a Snapchat story and also attached an image. Read more.



  • Used in multiplayer games to describe large numbers of players who win by using numbers rather than strategy.

Zipit App

  • Made by ChildLine, Zipit aims to help teenagers deal with difficult sexting and flirting situations. The app offers humorous comebacks and advice to help teenagers stay in control of flirting when chatting.



  • Third generation – a mobile standard that offers fast connections to enable you to make video calls or access the internet.


  • 4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images anonymously without needing to register. Users must be over 18 years of age.


  • Fourth generation mobile with even faster connections to make it much quicker to surf the web on your mobile, tablets and laptops. Speeds are nearer to what you currently experience with home broadband.