IT technical jargon

Some IT technician words can make confuse and provide misunderstanding therefore please read the list below to be familiar with these expressions:

    • Adware – if you have this type of programme loaded onto your computer, you will start getting pop-ups even when you’re not online! If you click on the pop-up it will take you to a specific web site where you will be encouraged to enter your credit card details. Typically these are scames, so our advice is to never buy anything using pop-ups that just appear on your screen.

  • Anti-virus – this is a programme which protects your computer from viruses. It is very important to keep your anti-virus software updated every few days, most programmes now offer automatic updates which are the most effective way of protecting yourself against new viruses. The most dangerous viruses are the latest ones!
  • Bitmap – this is a type of graphic format and tends to be a large file that contains a picture. A JPG or (Jpeg) is a much smaller file and more widely used.
  • Blog – this is an online diary where someone writes (or posts) his thoughts and comment on any topic on a website. Anyone can read and comment on someone elses blog. People write blogs on a broad range of issues, ranging from business through to football.
  • Cache – this is special file located deep within your computer, that holds temporary files generated by a programme.
  • Cookie – is a text file containing some of the information about your preferences which you may set on a web page. Some organisations and individuals use cookies to track what you do on other web sites, so it is good idea to install anti-virus software which protects you against cookies.
  • Driver – this is software which works like a translator. Each component ‘speaks in a different language’ so the driver is required to translate things into a common language so that each component in your computer can ‘talk to each other’.
  • Firewall – this name was coined from the car industry where it is used to describe the protective wall to separate the passengers and driver from the engine in the case of an engine fire. Within a computer, a firewall stops unwanted access to your computer from external sources. It acts like a bodyguard, however does not protect against viruses.
  • Internet Browser – this is the programme that enables you to browse the web. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera.
  • MP3 – a special device which allows you to play music tracks or video whilst on the move, without having to carry around CDs or DVDs. The most popular brand of MP3s are iPODs.
  • Network – is the system that enables two or more computers to communicate together and exchange files. The computers can ‘talk to each other’ either through a cable or via a wireless enabled system.
  • Operating System – the ‘brain’ of the computer. Without tan operating system, a computer would simply be a jumble of metal and electronics. It is the Operating system that brings all the parts of the computer to work together. The most popular Operating systems are Windows and Mac OS X.
  • PDA or Personal Digital Assistant – a small hand held device which contains an electronic diary, address book, to do list, tasks etc.
  • PDF – all documents saved as a pdf will look the same on all computers, regardless on what version software you are running. This type of file can not be edited once created. Word documents, spreadsheets and powerpoint presentations can all be converted into pdf format.
  • Phishing – phishers (typically criminals) create a false email which looks like it could be a message from an official, such as your bank. Often such an email will invite you to click on a link which will take you to an unknown web site where you will be asked to supply confidential information. If you supply this information you could potentially pass on your details to criminals.
  • Plug and Play – this is special technology that automatically recognises newly connected devices. Enabling you to easily add new printers, digital cameras, iPODs, etc to your computer.
  • POP or Post office Protocol – POP is currently the most popular technology used to retrieve emails from the mail server. When an email arrives on the server, it is placed in a mailbox. When you retrieve your emails from the server, your computer automatically asks how many email messages are on the server, then your email programme will collect each one, individually. Usually your computer is set so that once you have received your emails, a confirmation of delivery will be sent back to the server and these messages will be removed from server to keep the space clean.
  • Server – a server holds files and folders. If you have more then one computer it is easier to run a backup or share documents with your colleagues if you have a server.
  • Spam – unsolicited email or ‘junk mail’.
  • Spyware – spyware programmes track all your online activity, however your computer will not show any kind of signs that it is infected. The virus sender will be able to watch your every move on the Internet.
  • Trojan – this programme will enable someone to connect to your computer and take control giving them to opportunity to access your files and send spam emails using your e-mail address.
  • Virus – a programme that runs on your computer without your knowledge and can cause damage to your files, often by attaching itself to another programme. Most viruses enter your computer as e-mail attachments.
  • Wifi – is the common name for a Wireless Network. It works in the same way as a network but the carrier of the signal is not a cable but a radio wave. You should always ensure that encryption is enabled when using a wireless network, to reduce the risk of someone else accessing your computer.

More useful locutions about computer technology and networking you can find on free Wikipedia project website.