Glossary - F

Facebook

Facebook® is a widely branched social web-based system used primarily to create social networks, communication between users, the sharing of multimedia data, easy maintenance of relationships, and the sharing of entertainment. With its 650 million active users (March 7, 2011), it is one of the biggest social networks in the world. It is fully translated into sixty-eight languages.  In 2010, an American film focusing on it was made; The Social Network. This film mapped the establishment of it. Facebook® was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, a student of Harvard University. Originally, the system was restricted only to the students of Harvard University under the domain thefacebook.com. However, within two months it was extended to others that belong to the Ivy League, and soon other universities were connected. Finally, access was opened to all users of university email addresses (.edu, ac.uk, etc.). On the 11th of August 2006, Facebook® began allowing  anyone older than 13 years of age to use it. Now, users in the system can connect to various groups, such as groups operating within the same school, company, or geographic location. The system allows communication between users through messages, discussion forums, and discussions on user profiles (The Wall). Other features are provided by external and internal applications. The most popular are created by the Facebook® team. Facebook® also provides an open API that everyone can use to write his or her own extension application. Facebook® has a major force in the interconnection of components; most of the texts can be presented as hyperlinks to other content. However, just as the fantastic features of social networks exist, so do the problems that come with it. Due to the open API, many applications have access to the massive concentration of personal data that flows through Facebook® on a daily basis. Anyone can write applications and then use data for their own purposes.

Fast flux

Fast flux, DNS technique, is used by botnets to conceal phishing and malware distribution sites behind a continuously changing network of compromised host systems utilized as proxies. Fast flux can also refer to a combined peer-to-peer network, distributed command and control, web-based load balancing and proxy redirection to make malware networks less detectable and more resistant to counter-measures.

Fast flux may be seen by Internet users in phishing attacks linked to crime organizations, including attacks on social networks.

File Extension

File extension is part of the file name, separated by a dot (.) from the actual file name. Its importance is in determining the type and content of the file. File name extension contains typically 1 to 4 characters. In some operating systems (e.g., Microsoft Windows®), the file extension is automatically generated and recognized by the system process. Using the associated program for file extension launches the operating system program which can run a program file, view or edit a file, or perform other defined actions. Most common extensions:

*.txt - a simple text document
*.doc (*.docx) – a Word document in Microsoft Office® Word
*.pdf - Adobe Acrobat® file (Adobe® Reader®)
*.png - graphics file format used for network pictures
*.jpg - the most common graphic file format
*.gif - graphics interchange file format
*.mp3 - audio file
*.wav - audio file, a standard Microsoft Windows® format music
*.js – Javascript® file
*.php - PHP Script
*.zip - compressed file in zip
*.flv – Adobe Flash® video file
*.exe - executable file
*.rar - compressed file in RAR
*.iso - disc image (CD / DVD)
*.ink - representative application (Windows® OS)

File lock

File locking is a method of ensuring the integrity of files.  Locking a file is useful in instances where access must be limited to specific users, or a specific time period. Sometimes file locking is necessitated by a situation, for example, to avoid conflict in situations where one user or process has engaged the file and another user or process attempts to access it. File locking can also be used to protect personal or confidential information contained within the file.

File shortcut

A shortcut can generally be described as a “file link” or just a “link,” which refers to a file or directory in a computer file system. In Microsoft Windows®,  it is either a small file containing a target URI or GUID, or the name of a target program file that the shortcut represents. The shortcut can specify the program to parameters to run with. Shortcuts are typical icons placed on a desktop in an application launcher panel, or in the system’s main menu. Shortcuts will usually work with graphic user interface.

Firewall

A firewall is a network device that is used to control and secure traffic between networks with different levels of trust and security. A firewall serves as a control point that defines the rules for communication between networks. Historically, these rules included identification of the data source and target destination (source and destination IP address), as well as the source and target ports. However, today's firewalls are less robust. Modern firewalls are based on information about the connection status, protocols and sometimes element IDs.

 

The evolution of the development of firewalls includes the following generations:

  • Packet filters
  • “Stateful” filters
  • Application layer, and
  • Subsequent developments

Firmware

In electronics and computing, firmware is a term used to indicate something permanent, usually small programs or data structures that control various electronic devices. Typical examples of devices that contain firmware include remote controls, calculators and computer components such as hard disks, keyboards, TFT screens or memory cards, as well as scientific instruments and industrial robots. Other devices such as mobile phones, cameras, synthesizers, etc., also contain firmware to enable basic device operations, as well as higher level functions.

Sometimes, people may confuse firmware with software, however firmware is designed for very basic communication with the various hardware components that are essential to the operation of the device. Manufacturers typically release new versions of firmware to fix issues found by users. This is usually accomplished by issuing a downloadable application update via the Internet.

Folder

A computer folder is a virtual container within a digital filing system.  A folder, also called a directory contains documents (files) on the disk.  It may also contain other folders (subdirectories) and enables the user to logically organize their document files accordingly. Directories form a tree structure on disk meaning there is a hierarchical nature that resembles a tree. Due to the uniqueness in one directory there cannot be two items with the same name (without distinction between file and directory).  Some operating systems restrict a user's access to only their home directory or project folder, thus isolating their activities from all other users. Access to each folder is set by attributes and can be different for various users.

Font

The term font (also fount) is used primarily in typography, and is defined as a complete set of alphabetical characters, traditionally of a single size and style of a particular typeface. For example, the set of all characters for 9-point Bulmer® italic is a font, and the 10-point size would be a separate font, as would the 9-point bold. After the introduction of computer fonts based on fully scalable outlines, a broader definition evolved. Font is no longer size-specific, but still refers to a single style. Bulmer® regular, Bulmer® italic, Bulmer® bold and Bulmer® bold italic are four fonts, but one typeface. However, this distinction is often ignored by non-typographers, who use font as a synonym for typeface. Many different types of fonts are now available, thanks to the proliferation of information technology.

FPS

Frame rate is the frequency at which a display device displays images or a recording device captures images. Frame frequency is usually measured in units of FPS (frames per second) or simply in hertz. In both cases, the unit corresponds to one frame per second. The concept of frame rate is used in many fields of technology that deal with moving images, such as computer graphics, video processing and the film and television industries.

The value of the frame rate indicates the visual clarity and smoothness of graphics for computer games. The minimum value for smooth graphics display (whereby the human eye does not recognize individual images) is 25 fps, but 60 fps is better for the smooth running of a game.

Fraudulent dialers

Dialers are used to connect computers to the Internet but fraudulent dialers are designed to connect to premium-rate numbers. Fraudulent dialers are often installed through security holes in a computer's operating system and will change the computer settings to dial up through the premium-rate number. The additional monies are collected by the provider of the fraudulent number. Some dialers inform the user of benefits for using the special number to access special content which is usually illegal materials or downloads.

Users that have DSLs or other broadband connections are usually not affected since a dial is dependent on regular phone lines. But, if an ISDN adapter or additional analog modem is installed, the dialer may be able to connect.

Malicious dialers can be identified by:

  • A download popup opens when a website is opening.
  • The website may or may not discreetly display a price.
  • The download initiates even if the cancel button has been clicked.
  • Without any notice, the dialer installs as a default connection.
  • The dialer perpetuates unwanted connections without any user action.
  • No notice about the price is presentedbefore dialing in.
  • While connected, the high price of the connection is not shown.
  • The dialer cannot be easily uninstalled if at all.

Freeware

Freeware is proprietary software that is distributed free of charge, or for a symbolic fee. Payment is not required to use the software, but users may be asked to send a donation as an expression of their satisfaction with the product. The conditions governing the free use and distribution of the software are defined in the license agreement, which is often specific to each freeware application.

Freeware authors generally retain copyrights to the software they create. Authors may restrict editing of the free software and/or the conditions of use. For instance, use may be limited to non-commercial or personal purposes, home PCs, educational institutions or charity organizations, only on specific types of equipment, or solely for the purpose of viewing files created by a specific paid software application. In some cases, the author may also require free registration or restrict the method of distribution. Freeware may be also used in a business environment, but usually only if the freeware is not used to create or provide commercial services.

It is possible to distribute and use freeware under certain circumstances without paying a copyright fee. Many catalogs display freeware programs together with programs that can be downloaded for free for a set trial period. Such catalogs can be a good source for alternatives to paid and licensed software.

FTP

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a protocol for transferring files between computers through a computer network. FTP uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) from the TCP/IP model and is platform (operating system) independent. FTP was defined in 1985 in RFC 959 and extended in 1997 via RFC 2228. FTP support is included in web browsers or via specialized programs (known as FTP clients). FTP is interactive and provides for control access (login username / password), specification of the transferring file format (in binary characters), remote directory listing, etc.

Since the protocol is built on a client-server model, an FTP server is required to transfer data to other computers. The client connects to the server to perform various operations (directory listing, changing directories, data transmission, etc.). Operations are managed by a set of commands that are defined in the FTP protocol, so anyone can create a client for any environment or operating system. There are many programs for FTP servers and clients, and many are available free of charge.


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