.COMmentary: Look smart . . . be smart

.COMmentary: Look smart . . . be smart

By Mike Lotz

Look smart . . .be smart

By Mike Lotz

Have you ever had a conversation with a co-worker, and he throws out terms like FTP, ISP and URLs. Trying not to look like an Internet virgin, you go along like he’s speaking your language.

Well, I’m here to help you out. Here are some basic terms that you should know and use to be the smart one of the conversation.

Cookie. A “cookie” is an Internet site’s way of keeping track of you. It’s a small program built into a web page you might visit. Typically, you won’t know when you are receiving cookies. Ideally, a cookie could make your surfing easier by identifying you, tracking sites you visit, topics you search, and get a general feel for your preferences. This can make surfing easier, faster, more personal, and more efficient. It can also be used to collect your e-mail address for marketing (spamming) purposes. You can set your browser to warn you before you accept cookies or not accept them at all. Check your (advanced) browser settings. Keep in mind that some secure sites, such as stock trading sites, won’t work if you don’t accept their cookies.

FTP. An acronym for File Transfer Protocol. It’s the tool you would use to transfer files through the Internet from one computer to another. For example, you would use an FTP to upload your web page from where you built it (like your computer at home) to a web site (like this one) so that all of your friends and neighbors can look at it.

Http. Hypertext Transfer Protocol. A protocol that tells computers how to communicate with each other. You will notice most web page locations begin with “http://”

ISP. Internet Service Provider. This is your connection to the Internet. You use an ISP to connect onto the Internet every time you log on.

URL. An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. It’s the address of each web site. It usually begins with “http://”

IP Number (Internet Protocol Number). Sometimes called a dotted quad it is a unique number consisting of four parts separated by dots. Every machine that is on the Internet has a unique IP number; if a machine does not have an IP number, it is not really on the Internet. Most machines also have one or more Domain Names that are easier for people to remember.

TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). This is the suite of protocols that defines the Internet. Originally designed for the UNIX operating system, TCP/IP software is now available for every major kind of computer operating system. To be truly on the Internet, your computer must have TCP/IP software.

Okay, there you go, some very basic Internet terms. Use them and know what they mean, so next time someone asks you, “What is your company’s URL?”, you know what it means, instead of looking like a deer staring at a vehicle’s headlight.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at questions@iwebwerk.com.

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