A file containing a variety of options and variables used by Firefox and Thunderbird when the programs are run. Many of these options are not available except through this file.
A powerful technology that is frequently used to exploit security holes in Internet Explorer.
- advanced operator
A Google word and phrase that lets you refine your search to page titles, URLs, or other criteria.
Spyware that can gather information about your system, trigger popup ads, or demonstrate other obnoxious behavior.
- banner ad
A long, thin graphic, usually at the top of a website, that advertises something, usually another website.
- Bayesian filtering
A filtering system for trimming the junk mail from your inbox.
Short for weB LOG. A blog is an online diary or journal.
A shortcut to a specific website saved for future reference.
- Bookmarks Manager
A feature in Firefox that lets you sort, organize, and manipulate your bookmarks.
- Bookmarks toolbar
A Firefox toolbar that you can add your own bookmarks to for quick access.
The Mozilla project's open bug database, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org.
The collection of files, cookies, downloaded web pages, pictures, and other information that is saved on your hard disk to make displaying web pages you've already visited faster.
- certificate authority
An organization recognized as independent and trustworthy that issues digital certificates.
The parts of the application that surround the content window, such as toolbars, borders, status bars, menus, and so on.
Information saved about you and how you used a website.
Short for Certificate Revocation List. Certificate authorities maintain a CRL for cross-checking certificates against.
Short for Cascading Style Sheet. A cascading style sheet describes how a web page or document is displayed or printed.
- data miner
Spyware that gathers data about you and your browsing habits with the intention of transmitting this to spammers and marketers so you can be targeted for ads.
- digital certificate
A kind of digital passport used to uniquely identify web servers and email users. Also known as certificate.
- digital signature
A technique that lets you "sign" your email with an encrypted key to identify that the email is from you.
A mini-program that adds extra features or capabilities to Firefox or Thunderbird.
An icon that appears next to bookmarks in the bookmark list.
A set of criteria used to sort email and perform various actions, such as saving email to folders, labeling messages, and so on. Filters are stored in the msgFilterRules.dat file.
Short for Federal Information Processing Standards 140-1. FIPS is a U.S. Government standard for data encryption and decryption.
The core rendering technology used in the Mozilla suite and Firefox.
- Global Inbox
An inbox in Thunderbird that you can filter multiple POP accounts into. This is particularly useful if you receive email from several different email accounts but want to handle it all together.
A record of the web pages you've visited.
Short for HyperText Markup Language. HTML is the language used to code web pages.
An identity in Thunderbird is a collection of settings for an individual email account so that you can have a different address in the "From" field. It can be used in conjunction with the Global Inbox to quickly process a large amount of mail without extensive filtering.
Short for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP is a protocol for sending and receiving email. IMAP is most commonly used for corporate email accounts.
Short for Internet Relay Chat. IRC is an Internet-based chat room technology. Individual IRC chat rooms are known as channels. To access IRC, you need an IRC client program. Several extensions for Firefox offer IRC capabilities.
An archive of Java files.
A programming language developer for web programming by James Gosling of Sun Microsystems.
- Java applet
A Java program that is downloaded and run in a web browser.
A simple, effective scripting language created by Brendan Eich while he was at Netscape.
A reporting tool that appears when there are errors with the application's chrome.
- junk mail
Generally the same as spam, but can also include email from things you've signed up for and haven't gotten around to deleting, professional bulletins you're not interested in at the moment, and so on.
- keystroke logger
Spyware that logs every keystroke you enter on the computer for transmission to someone. Keystroke loggers are very dangerous!
- live bookmark
A type of bookmark that updates to reflect changes on the website.
- master password
The password for the Password Manager that locks and unlocks access to all the other passwords. Master passwords can also protect external hardware devices attached to your computer.
Short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. MIME is an open standard for sending binary files, such as word processing documents, photos, sound files, video files, and programs, as attachments to email messages.
- Mozilla project
A project started in 1998 by Netscape to engage a volunteer engineering development community to help Netscape with continued development of the Netscape browser.
- navigation toolbar
The Firefox toolbar containing the basic navigation icons, the location field (also known as the address field), and the Google search bar.
A group of related messages (also known as posts or articles) on a topic that can be posted and read using a newsreader or a program that offers newsreader capabilities (such as Thunderbird). There are thousands of different newsgroups, each with its own focus.
Short for Online Certificate Status Protocol. A protocol for checking a digital certificate directly with the certificate authority rather than on a certificate revocation list.
- open source
Products for which the source code is available for the user to examine and modify.
A bait-and-switch technique using bogus emails that try to get people to enter sensitive information on a website under the illusion that they're solving some kind of account problem.
Short for Public Key Cryptography Standards. PKCS12 defines public and private key encryption standards for digital certificates.
Software that adds a specific set of features or capabilities to Firefox or Thunderbird. Plug-ins usually enable the program to open and process a new type of file and are usually from larger software companies.
Short for Post Office Protocol. POP is a protocol for sending and receiving email. POP is most commonly used for individual email accounts.
A new browser window that appears, usually unrequested and usually with the intention of advertising something.
- private key
A unique encryption key known only to the owner of the certificate.
- public key
A unique encryption key that anyone can have access to (rather like a phone number).
- registry cleaner
A program for Windows systems that remove extraneous entries from the Windows registry.
Originally short for Rich Site Summary but now more commonly used as Really Simple Syndication. (It's a distinction without a difference.)
- saved search
In Thunderbird, a set of search criteria that you can save and use again later.
- search hijacker
A spyware program that changes your browser's home page to something you didn't plan on.
- smart card
A credit-card-sized device that contains a microprocessor and can be used for security access, personal information storage, and the like.
- Smart Keywords
A feature in Firefox that lets you enter a single keyword in the address field followed by a search word or phrase to access the search engine on a specific website.
Short for Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions. S/MIME is an open standard for authenticating senders and encrypted messages.
Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. SMTP is used to transfer email for most email accounts.
Unwanted email from lowlife advertisers. Not to be confused with Spam, the dandy luncheon meat from Hormel.
Any of a wide variety of programs installed on your systemusually without your knowledge or permissionthat can monitor your actions, transmit data back to people without your knowledge, or display ads.
Short for Secure Sockets Layer. SSL is a standardized protocol for sending and receiving encrypted information over the Internet.
A separate window you can open in the same instance of Firefox.
A package of customized look-and-feel options for Firefox or Thunderbird. You can use themes to change colors, fonts, icon graphics, layouts, and many other things.
In Firefox and Thunderbird, a small activity indicator in the upperright portion of the screen.
Short for Transport Layer Security. TLS is an open security protocol for sending and receiving encrypted information over the Internet.
- Trojan horse
A program that appears to be innocuous but that causes damage to your system when you run it.
Short for update.mozilla.org, the location for Firefox and Thunderbird extensions, themes, and plug-ins.
Short for Uniform Resource Locator, more commonly known as a web address.
Short for Universal Serial Bus. USB ports are common on most computers these days. They provide a common interface for many pluggable hardware devices.
Verifying that a digital certificate is still valid by querying the certificate authority.
Programs or scripts that get into your computer, replicate, propagate, and cause damage.
A user-defined list of websites that identifies which websites can be accessed.
A program that replicates independently over a network without any human intervention.
Short for eXtensible Markup Language. XML is used to exchange structured data (such as news feeds).
- XML feed
A type of information feed that can be used to create live bookmarks.
Short for Cross-Platform Installable file format. This format is used to install extensions and other add-on programs to Firefox.
Short for eXtensible User interface Language. Pronounced "zool."