Anti-tracking software

Anti-tracking software is a software that limits the possibility to track the activities of an internet user online.

Behavioural targeting

Behavioural targeting is a form of targeted internet advertising, based on information about users’ past browsing activities recorded by cookies. Businesses may use this information to determine whether an internet user belongs to a specific target audience, subsequently sending internet ads that match the user’s profile.

Broadband / Fixed broadband

Broadband refers to telecommunications in which a wide band of frequencies is available to send data. Broadband telecommunication lines or connections are defined as those transporting data at high speeds, with a speed of data transfer for downloading data (also called capacity) equal to or higher than 144 kbit/s (kilobits per second).

The most widely used types of fixed broadband internet connections are digital subscriber line (DSL) connections (e.g. ADSL, VDSL, etc.) or other wired fixed connections, such as modem cable, fibre optic cable, Ethernet, LAN, PLC, etc. The wired fixed connections may or may not have a router for Wi-Fi access in the household or business, in other words for wirelessly routing the signal to the users' device over a short distance.


The ICT survey covers businesses with at least 10 persons employed that have their main economic activity (according to NACE Rev. 2) in: manufacturing; electricity, gas and steam; water supply; construction; wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles; transportation and storage; accommodation and food service activities; information and communication; real estate; professional, scientific and technical activities; administrative and support activities; repair of computers and communication equipment.

Cloud computing

Services based on cloud computing technology allow users to store files or use software on a server run over the internet.

Cloud computing involves two components, a cloud infrastructure and software applications. The first consists of the hardware resources required to support the cloud services being provided and typically includes servers, storage and network components. The second refers to software applications and computing power for running business applications, as provided via the internet by third parties.

Contextual advertising

Online contextual advertising is a type of targeted internet advertising that uses technologies embedded in websites and apps that choose ads based on the content of the web pages that are viewed by internet users. Internet users are presented with ads that automated systems (ad servers) have selected for them based on the content of the webpage(s) they are browsing. Similarly, contextual advertising can be based on the specific keywords used in the user's latest query from the same device.


An internet cookie is data from a website stored on the user’s device. It can be used for many purposes, such as to log browsing activity and habits or to store information that may be commonly reused, such as login and password information, names, addresses, telephone numbers and payment details.


E-commerce refers to the trading of goods or services over computer networks such as the internet. It can be divided into e-commerce sales (e-sales) and e-commerce purchases (e-purchases).

Employed persons

Employed person are those aged 15 years and over living in private households, who during the reference week performed work, even for just one hour, for pay, profit or family gain, or were not at work but had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent, for example because of illness, holidays, industrial dispute or education and training. For more information, see here.


E-sales are sales of goods or services via computer networks such as the internet. E-sales may be done via websites or apps (which allow for online ordering or reservation or booking, e.g. shopping cart) or via EDI-type messages.

EDI-type (Electronic Data Interchange) e-commerce refers to structured transmission of data or documents between businesses by electronic means allowing automatic processing using for example EDI format or XML format.


E-shoppers or online shoppers are internet users who have ordered goods or services online during the 12 months prior to the survey.

Geo-targeted advertisements

Geo-targeting is a type of targeted internet advertising that refers to the use of internet users' geographic location such as the country, region, city and often zip code that provide useful information for targeting suitable ads, for example about nearby shops, restaurants or transport services.

ICT security policy

ICT security policy refers to measures, controls and procedures applied on ICT systems in order to ensure integrity, authenticity, availability and confidentiality of ICT data and systems. In addition, a policy should describe the various actors and their responsibilities in relation to incident handling and possible contingency plans.

ICT specialists

ICT specialists are defined as those who have the ability to develop, operate and maintain ICT systems and for whom ICT constitutes the main part of their job.

Information and communication technology

Information and communication technology, abbreviated as ICT, covers all technical means used to handle information and aid communication. This includes both computer and network hardware, as well as their software.

Internet access

For households, internet access refers to the possibility for anyone in a household to access the internet from home, in other words whether or not a connection exists that offers internet access. It is not the same as ‘connectivity’, which indicates whether or not a connection could feasibly be made in the household’s area or street.

For businesses, internet access means having an external connection from the business to the internet through an ‘internet service provider’ (ISP).

Internet users

An internet user is defined as a person making use of the internet in whatever way; whether at home, at work or from anywhere else; whether for private or professional purposes; regardless of the device or type of connection used.

Large businesses

Large businesses are those with 250 or more persons employed.

Mobile broadband

Mobile broadband is the name used to describe various types of wireless high-speed internet access through a portable modem, telephone or other device, using a connection via the mobile phone network (at least 3G).

Other methods of targeted advertising

These concern the use of static internet ads on subject-specific websites (for example, displaying ads for spare parts of car engines on websites that cover vehicles or an automotive theme) or on websites such as online newspapers, magazines or blogs for specific audiences.

Phone or video calls via the internet

Phone or video calls via the internet using a webcam and applications, such as Skype, Facetime, etc.

Portable device

This can be portable computers (for example, a laptop, netbook, tablet) or handheld devices (for example, a smart phone, smart watch or other devices such as a media or games console, or an e-book reader).

Rural areas

Rural areas are thinly populated areas where at least 50% of the population lives in rural grid cells.

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

These are businesses with 10 or more, but fewer than 250 persons employed.

Social media

Social media refer to internet-based applications such as social networks (for example Facebook, LinkedIn or Xing), blogs (for example Twitter), content-sharing websites (for example YouTube, Flickr, Picasa) and wikis. Businesses using social media are those that use the internet and have a user profile, account or user licence, depending on the requirements and type of social media concerned.

Social networks

Participating in social networks refers to activities such as creating user profiles, posting messages or other contributions to Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Targeted internet advertising

Targeted internet advertising focuses on using internet-based technologies that increase the likelihood of promotional marketing messages reaching the right audience. Targeted internet advertising includes dynamic ads using various methods such as online contextual advertising, behavioural targeting and geo-targeting as well as the use of static ads on subject-specific websites (for example, displaying ads for spare parts of car engines on websites that cover vehicles or an automotive theme).

Tertiary education

This refers to ISCED (International Standard Classification of Education) 2011 levels 5-8. Tertiary education is provided by universities and other higher education institutions and is the level of education following secondary schooling. For more information, see here.

Urban areas

Urban areas are defined as the sum or average of cities, towns and suburbs.

Cities are densely-populated areas, where at least 50 % of the population lives in an urban centre; Towns and suburbs are intermediate density areas, where less than 50 % lives in an urban centre but more than 50 % of the population lives in an urban cluster.