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Back to the basics: The internet and some basic terms

The internet is a vast interconnection of Computer networks comprised of millions of computing devices. Desktop computers, mainframes, smartphones, tablets, GPS units, video game consoles and smart devices all connect to the internet. No single organization owns or controls the internet. Simply trying to define the internet is nearly impossible. It's the biggest and the greatest human advancement ever.
The web is the space where digital contents are served to the users of internet. It contains the most popular content on the internet and—almost certainly—much of the content that beginning internet users ever see.
The main reason why most people don't use the internet is because they do not understand its value, significance and the potential that it offers. So when the other 3/4's of the world’s population does get access, they should know better on how to use the internet, as well as know why, when and where to access the internet.
"Most people don't understand the internet, they don't realize the potential of the internet, or what it means to be connected to the world’s most valuable knowledge and information."
"The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it."
For a beginner who strives to make sense of the internet and the World Wide Web, an understanding of basic terms is bound to be helpful. So, before we dive into the world of internet entrepreneurship let’s take a moment and highlight some of the key terms every beginner should know.
  • Browser: All internet users access the web through web browser software that lets you view web pages, graphics, and most online content. Browsers are included on computers and mobile devices, examples include chrome, Firefox, opera, safari, internet explorer and lots more. Other browsers are downloadable on the internet. Browser software is specifically designed to convert HTML and XML codes into human-readable documents. The browsers display webpages which each has a unique address called a URL.

  • Webpage: A webpage is what you see in your browser when you are on the internet. Think of the webpage as a magazine page. You may see text, photos, images, diagrams, links, advertisements and many more on any page you view. Frequently, you click or tap on a specific area of a webpage to expand the information or move to a related web page. Clicking on a link— which is a snippet of text that appears in color different from the rest of the text—takes you to a different webpage.
  • Uniform Resource Locators (URLs): are the web browser addresses of internet pages and files. With a URL, you can locate and bookmark specific pages and files for your web browser. URLs can be found all around us. They may be listed at the bottom of business cards, on TV screens during commercial breaks, linked in documents you read on the internet or delivered by one of the internet search engines.

  • HTTP and HTTPS: Http is the acronym for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol," the data communication standard of web pages. When a web page has this prefix, the links, text, and pictures should work properly in your web browser. Https is the acronym for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure." This indicates that the webpage has a special layer of encryption added to hide your personal information and passwords from others. Whenever you log in to your online bank account or a shopping site that you enter credit card information into, look for "https" in the URL for security.

  • HTML and XML: Hypertext Markup Language is the programming language of webpages. HTML commands your web browser to display text and graphics in a specific fashion. Beginning internet users don't need to know HTML coding to enjoy the webpages the programming language delivers to browsers. XML is eXtensible Markup Language, a cousin to HTML. XML focuses on cataloging and databasing the text content of a web page. XHTML is a combination of HTML and XML.

  • IP Address: Every computer, cell phone and mobile device that accesses the internet is assigned an IP address for tracking and identification purposes. It may be a permanently assigned IP address, or the IP address may change occasionally, but it is always a unique identifier.

  • Website: A website, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages, including multimedia content, typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server.

  • Domain name: Domain name is a website’s name. It is the address where Internet users can access a particular website. It is also used for finding and identifying computers on the Internet.

  • ISP: You need an Internet Service Provider to get to the internet. You may access a free ISP at school, a library or work, or you may pay a private ISP at home. An ISP is the company or organization that plugs you into the vast internet. E.g MTN, Etisalat, Airtel, Glo and so on.

  • Router: A router or router-modem combination is the hardware device that acts as the traffic cop for network signals arriving at your home or business from your ISP. A router can be wired or wireless or both.

  • Email: Email is electronic mail. It is the sending and receiving of typewritten messages from one screen to another. Email is usually handled by a webmail service—Gmail or Yahoo Mail, for example, or an installed software package such as Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

  • Email Spam and Filters: Spam is an unwanted email. It comes in two main categories: high-volume advertising, which is annoying, and hackers attempting to lure you into disclosing your passwords, which is very dangerous. Filtering is the popular-but-imperfect defense against spam. Filtering is built-in to many email clients. Filtering uses a specific software that reads your incoming emails for keyword combinations and then either quarantines or delete the messages that appear to be spam. You have to be suspicious to protect yourself against hackers who want your personal information. Taking note of these few things will be of great advantage. Your bank will never email you and ask for your password. The fellow Nigerian doesn't really need your bank account number. Amazon isn't giving you a free $50 gift card. Anything that sounds too good to be true is probably not. If you are unsure, do not click any links in the email and contact the sender (your bank or whomever they claim to be) separately for validation.

  • Social Media: Social media is the broad term for any online tool that enables users to interact with thousands of other users. Facebook and Twitter are among the largest social networking sites. Other popular sites include YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Reddit.

  • E-Commerce: E-commerce or electronic commerce is the transaction of business selling and buying online. Every day, billions of dollars exchange hands through the internet and World Wide Web. Internet shopping has exploded in popularity with internet users, to the detriment of traditional brick-and-mortar stores and malls. Every well-known retailer has a website that showcases and sells its products. Joining them are dozens of small sites that sell products and enormous sites that sell just about everything.

  • Encryption and Authentication: Encryption is the process of encoding an information or a message in a way that only authorized parties can access it. Encryption is the most effective way to achieve data security. In order to read an encrypted file, you must have access to a secret key or password that enables you to decrypt it. Unencrypted data is called plain text while encrypted data is referred to as cipher text. Authentication is directly related to encryption. Authentication is the complex way that computer systems verify that you are who you say you are.

  • Downloading and uploading: Downloading is a broad term that describes transferring something you find on the internet or World Wide Web to your computer or other device. Commonly, downloading is associated with songs, music and software files while uploading is the direct opposite.

  • Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is the distribution of computing services such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more over the Internet (“the cloud”). Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage.

  • Firewall: Firewall is a barrier against destruction. In the world of computing, a firewall consists of Software or hardware that protects your computer from viruses and hackers.

  • Malware: Malware is the broad term to describe any malicious software designed by hackers. Malware programs are the time bombs and wicked minions of dishonest programmers. It includes Viruses, Trojans, key loggers, zombie programs and any other software that seeks to do one of four things: Vandalize your computer in some way, steal your private information, take remote control of your computer for other ends, or manipulate you into purchasing something.

  • Phishing: Phishing is the use of convincing-looking emails and web pages to lure you into typing your account details and passwords/PINs. Mostly in the form of fake warning messages by PayPal or fake bank login screens. As a rule, you should distrust any email link that says "you should log in and confirm this."

  • Blog: A blog is a modern online writer's column, AsuHub is a perfect example. Both amateur and professional writers publish blogs on almost every kind of topic: their hobby interests in paintball and tennis, their opinions on healthcare, their commentaries on celebrity gossip, photo blogs of favorite pictures or tech tips. Absolutely anyone can start a blog.

Come on fellas, for every journey there is a starting point. This is ours, as we are starting from scratch to the top of the top.
So, sit tight, buckle up, get a cup of coffee beside you as the engines are about to start.
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This post first appeared on AsuHub, please read the originial post: here

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Back to the basics: The internet and some basic terms


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