draft-ietf-uswg-fyi4-bis-00.txt   rfc2664.txt 
INTERNET-DRAFT R. Plzak
draft-ietf-uswg-fyi4-bis-00.txt SAIC Network Working Group R. Plzak
A.T. Wells Request for Comments: 2664 SAIC
UWisc-Mad FYI: 4 A. Wells
E. Krol Obsoletes: 1594 UWisc-Mad
Univ IL Category: Informational E. Krol
May 1999 Univ IL
August 1999
FYI on Questions and Answers FYI on Questions and Answers
Answers to Commonly AskedNew Internet User Questions Answers to Commonly Asked "New Internet User" Questions
Status of this Memo Status of this Memo
This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026. not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
Drafts.
Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
time. It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts as reference
material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."
The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at Copyright Notice
http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt
The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.
http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.
Abstract Abstract
This memo provides an overview to the new Internet User. The This memo provides an overview to the new Internet User. The
intended audience is the common Internet user of today, thus it intended audience is the common Internet user of today, thus it
attempts to provide a more consumer oriented approach to the Internet attempts to provide a more consumer oriented approach to the Internet
rather than going into any depth about a topic. Unlike its rather than going into any depth about a topic. Unlike its
predecessors, this edition seeks to answer the general questions that predecessors, this edition seeks to answer the general questions that
an unsophisticated consumer would ask as opposed to the more pointed an unsophisticated consumer would ask as opposed to the more pointed
questions of a more technically sophisticated Internet user. Those questions of a more technically sophisticated Internet user. Those
desiring a more in-depth discussion are directed to FYI 7 that deals desiring a more in-depth discussion are directed to FYI 7 that deals
with intermediate and advanced Q/A topics. A conscious effort has with intermediate and advanced Q/A topics. A conscious effort has
been made to keep this memo brief but at the same time provide the been made to keep this memo brief but at the same time provide the
new user with enough information to generally understand the new user with enough information to generally understand the
Internet. Internet.
1. Acknowledgements 1. Acknowledgements
The following people deserve thanks for their help and contributions The following people deserve thanks for their help and contributions
to this FYI Q/A: Chris Burke (Motorola), John Curran (BBN Planet), to this FYI Q/A: Chris Burke (Motorola), John Curran (BBN Planet),
Albert Lunde (NWU), and April Marine (Internet Engines, Inc.). Albert Lunde (NWU), and April Marine (Internet Engines, Inc.). Last,
but not least, thanks are extended to Patricia Harper and Charlotte
Nurge. These ladies from South Riding, Virginia, consumer tested
this document.
2. Questions About the Internet 2. Questions About the Internet
2.1. What is the Internet? 2.1. What is the Internet?
People use computers to perform a wide assortment of tasks. A People use computers to perform a wide assortment of tasks. A
connected group of computers is known as a network. Because people connected group of computers is known as a network. Because people
are connected via this network, they can use their computers to are connected via this network, they can use their computers to
exchange ideas and information. Some computers are connected exchange ideas and information. Some computers are connected
directly to the network while others (primarily those in homes) are directly to the network while others (primarily those in homes) are
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catalogs will contain different reference cards, different search catalogs will contain different reference cards, different search
engines will provide different reference lists. engines will provide different reference lists.
E-MAIL E-MAIL
E-mail is another very popular activity. It is very similar to E-mail is another very popular activity. It is very similar to
sending letters through the post office or notes and memos around the sending letters through the post office or notes and memos around the
office. It is used to exchange messages between two or more people. office. It is used to exchange messages between two or more people.
Because email can be misunderstood or abused, users should be Because email can be misunderstood or abused, users should be
familiar with email netiquette. For more information see Netiquette familiar with email netiquette. For more information see Netiquette
Guidlines [FYI 28, RFC 1855]. Guidelines [FYI 28, RFC 1855].
Many people also participate in mailing lists. Usually mailing lists Many people also participate in mailing lists. Usually a mailing
are dedicated to a particular topic or interest. Some mailing lists list is dedicated to a particular topic or interest. Some mailing
are used to provide information to subscribers, such as product lists are used to provide information to subscribers, such as product
update information for something an individual may have purchased update information for something an individual may have purchased
while others are used for discussion. In the latter instance people while others are used for discussion. In the latter instance people
participate in the discussion by sending email to a "list" address participate in the discussion by sending email to a "list" address
which in turn distributes it to all members of a list. Abuse of mail which in turn distributes it to all members of a list. Abuse of mail
lists is probably the biggest source of junk email (also known as lists is probably the biggest source of junk email (also known as
"spam"). Everyone should take care that they aren't the source of "spam"). Everyone should take care that they aren't the source of
junk mail. junk mail.
FILE TRANSFER FILE TRANSFER
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A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is commonly used to identify a A Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is commonly used to identify a
computer that provides world wide web service. It usually looks computer that provides world wide web service. It usually looks
something like "http://www.newspaper.com". This address also something like "http://www.newspaper.com". This address also
consists of two parts. In this case the two parts are separated by consists of two parts. In this case the two parts are separated by
the "//". The portion to the left means find the world wide web the "//". The portion to the left means find the world wide web
service that is located at the computer identified to the right of service that is located at the computer identified to the right of
the "//". The portion to the right is the name of the computer that the "//". The portion to the right is the name of the computer that
is providing the world wide web service. Its name is composed of is providing the world wide web service. Its name is composed of
parts that are similar to those described for the name of an email parts that are similar to those described for the name of an email
computer. Sometines the portion of the right contains additional computer. Sometimes the portion on the right contains additional
information that identifies a particular document at the web site. information that identifies a particular document at the web site.
For example, http://www.newspaper.com/sports/article1.html would For example, http://www.newspaper.com/sports/article1.html would
identify a specific article in the sports section of the newspaper. identify a specific article in the sports section of the newspaper.
2.4. Are There Any Rules of Behavior on the Internet? 2.4. Are There Any Rules of Behavior on the Internet?
In general, common sense, courtesy, and decency govern good Internet In general, common sense, courtesy, and decency govern good Internet
behavior. There is no single formal rulebook that governs behavior on behavior. There is no single formal rulebook that governs behavior on
the Internet. FYI 28 that was mentioned previously is a good guide. the Internet. FYI 28 that was mentioned previously is a good guide.
Many activities such as game sites, chat rooms, or e-mail lists may Many activities such as game sites, chat rooms, or e-mail lists may
have rules of their own. What may be acceptable behavior in one chat have rules of their own. What may be acceptable behavior in one chat
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use the same precautions before joining in any online activity. use the same precautions before joining in any online activity.
E-mail in particular can lead to misunderstandings between people. E-mail in particular can lead to misunderstandings between people.
Users should remember that the reader only has the text to determine Users should remember that the reader only has the text to determine
what is being said. Other conversation cues such as "tone of voice" what is being said. Other conversation cues such as "tone of voice"
and body signals like winking are not present in the text. Because and body signals like winking are not present in the text. Because
of this, users of the Internet have developed cues to put in the of this, users of the Internet have developed cues to put in the
text. Text techniques such as capitalization and symbols known as text. Text techniques such as capitalization and symbols known as
emoticons (also called "smilies") are used. emoticons (also called "smilies") are used.
A typical smiley looks like this :-) A typical smiley looks like this :-)
Additionally, acronyms have evolved over time (for example IMHO - In Additionally, acronyms have evolved over time (for example IMHO - In
My Humble Opinion). More information about this can be found by My Humble Opinion). More information about this can be found by
searching. Use keywords like "netiquette" and "emoticon" with your searching. Use keywords like "netiquette" and "emoticon" with your
search engine to find more information. search engine to find more information.
Users should also be aware that their particular programs such as Users should also be aware that their particular programs such as
word processors or e-mail might produce documents and messages that word processors or e-mail might produce documents and messages that
are not readable by everyone. Very often, a reader must have the are not readable by everyone. Very often, a reader must have the
same program in which a document was written in order to read it. same program in which a document was written in order to read it.
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In an exchange of information the following occurs: In an exchange of information the following occurs:
* The source finds the address of the destination. * The source finds the address of the destination.
* The source contacts the destination and says "hello". * The source contacts the destination and says "hello".
* The destination responds back with a "hello" of its own. * The destination responds back with a "hello" of its own.
* The source tells the destination that it has information to * The source tells the destination that it has information to
send. send.
* The destination tells the source that it is ready to receive the * The destination tells the source that it is ready to receive the
information. information.
* The source breaks the information into small pieces called * The source breaks the information into small pieces called
packets and sends each packet on its way to the destination. packets and sends each packet on its way to the destination.
* The routers guide each packet to the destination. * The routers guide each packet to the destination.
* The destination takes the packets and puts them back together to * The destination takes the packets and puts them back together to
form the information. form the information.
* The destination tells the source that it has received the * The destination tells the source that it has received the
information and asks the source if it has anything more to send. information and asks the source if it has anything more to send.
* If the source says no, the destination will say "good bye" * If the source says no, the destination will say "good bye"
unless it has something to send back. If it does, it will break unless it has something to send back. If it does, it will break
the information into packets and send them. the information into packets and send them.
* Once both end users are done "talking" they say both say "good * Once both end users are done "talking", they say both say "good
bye". bye".
Clearly our simplified introduction to this section did not explain Clearly our simplified introduction to this section did not explain
many steps in this process, such as how a computer discovers the many steps in this process, such as how a computer discovers the
address of another computer or how packets are divided and address of another computer or how packets are divided and
reassembled. Fortunately, these are specifics that people using the reassembled. Fortunately, these are specifics that people using the
Internet never really need to deal with! Internet never really need to deal with!
2.6 Who Runs the Internet? 2.6 Who Runs the Internet?
No one. The Internet is a cooperative effort among Internet Service No one. The Internet is a cooperative effort among Internet Service
Providers (ISPs), software companines, volunteer organizations, and a Providers (ISPs), software companies, volunteer organizations, and a
few facilities that tie the whole thing together. The ISPs and few facilities that tie the whole thing together. The ISPs and
software companies are completely independent and most of them software companies are completely independent and most of them
compete with each other. The ISPs provide internet service to people compete with each other. The ISPs provide internet service to people
much the same way that they obtain telephone service from a telephone much the same way that they obtain telephone service from a telephone
company. ISPs agree to connect their networks to each other and company. ISPs agree to connect their networks to each other and
transmit information following an established set of rules transmit information following an established set of rules
(protocols). The software companies agree to manufacture programs (protocols). The software companies agree to manufacture programs
(such as email or web browsers) that also follow protocols. There (such as email or web browsers) that also follow protocols. There
are other organizations that keep things straight. Some assign are other organizations that keep things straight. Some assign
Internet addresses in much the same manner as telephone numbers are Internet addresses in much the same manner as telephone numbers are
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The question "is the Internet secure?" can be a confusing one for The question "is the Internet secure?" can be a confusing one for
people, who will hear many assurances that it is secure and many people, who will hear many assurances that it is secure and many
scary stories saying it is not secure. There are a few basic rules scary stories saying it is not secure. There are a few basic rules
of thumb to remember that will address most concerns. of thumb to remember that will address most concerns.
First, make it a rule never to share account passwords with anyone. First, make it a rule never to share account passwords with anyone.
Learning a password is the easiest way for someone to break into a Learning a password is the easiest way for someone to break into a
system. Most people feel that their files are not that interesting system. Most people feel that their files are not that interesting
to anyone, but someone may be able to get a foothold from one to anyone, but someone may be able to get a foothold from one
innocuous account to other places in the same computer system. Many innocuous account to other places in the same computer system. Many
good security practices can be found in the Users Security Handbook good security practices can be found in the User's Security Handbook
[FYI 34, RFC 2504]. [FYI 34, RFC 2504].
Second, understand that there are means for people to track the Second, understand that there are means for people to track the
information a user sends via email, the files one downloads, and the information a user sends via email, the files one downloads, and the
sites visited on the web. The system administrators and network sites visited on the web. The system administrators and network
engineers who oversee a sites' computers require access to engineers who oversee a sites' computers require access to
information that an individual may think is secret. In practice, no information that an individual may think is secret. In practice, no
responsible system administrator or network engineer will violate a responsible system administrator or network engineer will violate a
person's privacy out of personal curiousity. However, if someone person's privacy out of personal curiosity. However, if someone less
less legitimate attains illegal access to a system, they also will legitimate attains illegal access to a system, they also will have
have access to this information. This situation is not a problem for access to this information. This situation is not a problem for most
most people, but it should be understood that things like email sent people, but it should be understood that things like email sent a
a year ago or a log of users web pages browsed may still exist in year ago or a log of users web pages browsed may still exist in some
some system's backup archive tape and can be easily resurrected and system's backup archive tape and can be easily resurrected and
published widely. published widely.
Third, before giving personal information over the Internet, such as Third, before giving personal information over the Internet, such as
filling in a form on a Web page, users should realize that there is filling in a form on a Web page, users should realize that there is
no assurance of confidentiality or privacy. It could be compared to no assurance of confidentiality or privacy. It could be compared to
faxing such information to a party that you've never dealt with faxing such information to a party that you've never dealt with
before. While many organizations on the Internet are responsible before. While many organizations on the Internet are responsible
with information received via the web and email, this cannot always with information received via the web and email, this cannot always
be determined in advance. be determined in advance.
4. References 4. References
[1] Guttman, E., Leong, G., and Malkin, G., "Users' Security [1] Guttman, E., Leong, G. and G. Malkin, "Users' Security Handbook",
Handbook", RFC 2504, FYI 34, Sun Microsystems, COLT, Bay Networks, FYI 34, RFC 2504, February 1999.
February 1999.
[2] Hambridge, S., "Netiquette Guidelines", RFC 1855, FYI 28, Intel [2] Hambridge, S., "Netiquette Guidelines", FYI 28, RFC 1855, October
Corporation, October 1995. 1995.
5. Authors' Address 5. Authors' Addresses
Raymond Plzak Raymond Plzak
SAIC SAIC
1710 Goodridge Drive 1710 Goodridge Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102 McLean, Virginia 22102
Phone: (703) 821-6535 Phone: (703) 821-6535
EMail: plzakr@saic.com EMail: plzakr@saic.com
Amy Tracy Wells Amy Tracy Wells
Internet Scout Project Internet Scout Project
University of Wisconsin-Madison University of Wisconsin-Madison
Computer Sciences Department Computer Sciences Department
1210 W. Dayton St. 1210 W. Dayton St.
Madison, WI 53706 Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608)263-2611 Phone: (608)263-2611
Email: awel@cs.wisc.edu EMail: awel@cs.wisc.edu
Ed Krol Ed Krol
University of Illinois University of Illinois
1120 DCL 1304 Springfield 1120 DCL
1304 Springfield
Urbana IL 61801 Urbana IL 61801
Phone (217)333-7886 Phone (217)333-7886
Email: krol@uiuc.edu EMail: krol@uiuc.edu
6. "Full Copyright Statement".
"Copyright (C) The Internet Society (date). All Rights Reserved.
This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, Appendix A
and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its
implmentation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or
in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright
notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative
works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as
by removing the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or
other Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of developing
Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the
Internet Standards process must be followed, or as required to translate it
into languages other than English.
The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked Glossary of Terms
by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.
This document and the information contained herein is provided on an "AS IS" Emoticon Combination of punctuation marks used to provide sense
basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE of the senders tone of voice in an e-mail message
DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY
RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Appendix A IETF Internet Engineering Task Force [see text for a
Glossary of Terms description]
Emoticon Combination of punctuation marks used to provide sense of
the senders tone of voice in an e-mail message
IETF Internet Engineering Task Force [see text for a description]
Internet An interconnected group of networks Internet An interconnected group of networks
ISP Internet Service Provider [see text for a description] ISP Internet Service Provider [see text for a description]
Network A connected group of computers Network A connected group of computers
Router A specialized computer that connects networks together and
guides information packets to their destination Router A specialized computer that connects networks together
and guides information packets to their destination
Spam A slang term for junk e-mail Spam A slang term for junk e-mail
URL Uniform Resource Locator [see text for a description] URL Uniform Resource Locator [see text for a description]
Web Browser A program that provides the capablility to read Web Browser A program that provides the capablility to read
information that is located at a world wide web site information that is located at a world wide web site
6. Full Copyright Statement
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999). All Rights Reserved.
This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
English.
The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.
This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
"AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION
HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
Acknowledgement
Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
Internet Society.
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