Let’s be honest. If you don’t know know IT jargon, it feels like you’re reading a completely different language. What’s worse is, when you’re looking to buy anything IT-related it can be incredibly difficult to find what’s best for your company. To help you out, we’ve created a guide which has all the IT jargon explained.
Here at Silverbug, we know it’s frustrating if you don’t know the jargon.
That’s why with everything we do, we try to make it all simple and easy to understand. At the end of the day, we want to help you understand the IT phrases and fundamentals so you get a better understanding and ensure your company’s IT is effectively protected from any external threats and runs smoothly.
IT Jargon Explained
- Algorithm: A set of coding rules that a computer follows.
- Antivirus Software: Software designed to help protect your computers from viruses and cyberattacks.
- App: Short for application. An app refers to any software that is designed for a single purpose, for example, a game on your smartphone or a programme designed to measure your exercise habits can be called an app.
- Attachment: A document file that is sent with an email is usually referred to as an attachment.
- Backdoor: A backdoor is a means to access a computer system of encrypted data that bypasses the system's customary security mechanisms.
- Bandwidth: In computer networks, Bandwidth is the amount of data that is carried or passed from one point to another in a network in a given time period.
- Bitcoin: Bitcoin is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically and is the most well-known type of Cryptocurrency.
- Black Hat Hacker: Someone with extensive computer knowledge whose purpose is to breach and bypass internet security. They are computer security hackers that break into computers and networks and create computer viruses.
- Blog: Derived from the word “weblog” which is a site on which items are arranged in reverse chronological order. Blogs are now commonplace on company websites. They are used to update people on company news and share information. Think of it as an online diary.
- Botnet: This is when private networks have become infected with malicious software, creating a network which is controlled by cybercriminals, often without the owner's knowledge.
- Cache: Temporary storage areas for downloaded content. When you open a website page, your computer may download the information; if you revisit the website later your computer will not have to download the content again because it did so earlier. Think of the cache as your computer’s short term memory.
- Cloud: The cloud is where data is stored, maintained and operated on remote servers accessed from the internet - called the cloud.
- Cookies: Not a sugary treat. Cookies are small files that are stored on a user's computer. The main purpose of a Cookie is to identify users and prepare customised web pages, or save website login information for you.
- Corrupted: When a data file is no longer useable, it is usually referred to as a corrupted file. Viruses and ransomware can corrupt your files.
- Crash: This term is often used when your computer screen (or a programme) freezes. Sometimes you can wait for the computer to fix itself or you may need to try ‘turning it off and on again.’
- Cryptocurrency: An electronic, encrypted form of capital/money/currency which operates entirely outside of established, physical-world banking systems. Historically used for illegal transactions on the 'dark web' by drug dealers and Bond villains paying to take over the world. But with the popularity of Bitcoin and a turbulent world economy, cryptocurrencies are practically mainstream. Almost.
- Cybersecurity: A term used to describe all the security put in place to defend computers from cyberattacks.
- Dark Web: An area of the internet which cannot be access by search engine results pages or 'by accident' by everyday users. Although it's where criminal activity takes place online, as you'll have heard in the news, things like private messageboards and online banking exist on the dark web. It's just websites which can't be accessed without knowing the right web address and having the login details to get past security.
- Data Breach: A data breach is an incident in which sensitive, protected and confidential data has been viewed, used or stolen by someone who isn't authorised to do so, such as an attacker with malicious intent.
- Denial Of Service (DoS): An attack where one computer and internet connection is used to overload a target's bandwidth and other resources. This makes the server inaccessible to others, along with websites and whatever else is hosted there.
- Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS): Similar to a DoS attack, but this uses many computers and many connections as opposed to just one. Computers behind a DDoS attack are usually distributed around the world and the target is overloaded by hundreds or even thousands of requests, compared to just one attacker in the case of a DoS attack.
- Downtime: The time during which a machine, usually a computer or server, is out of action or unavailable for use - primarily because of a cyber attack which has compromised all systems.
- Encryption: Encryption is where information or data is converted into a code so the information cannot be reached by prying eyes. E.g. Ransomware encrypts your data so it cannot be accessed until you’ve paid the ransom fee. Encryption isn’t always negative, however, since text messages on phone apps like WhatsApp or even email servers are encrypted so that only the intended user can see the message; the messages cannot be hacked and read.
- Firewall: Firewall is a network security system that uses rules to control incoming and outgoing network traffic, acting as a barrier between a trusted network and an untrusted network.
- Forged Cookies: Forged Cookies are used by attackers that trick websites into thinking it was the original Cookie. Hackers can stay logged in to account for as long as they wanted without ever having to enter a password.
- Incident Response: A term used to describe the process by which an organisation handles a data breach or cyber attack, including the way the organisation attempts to manage the consequences of attacks and breaches.
- Internet Browser: A browser is a programme used to search the internet. Google, Bing, Safari, Firefox, and Yahoo! are some examples of popular internet browsers.
- IT: Oh, the common question we always get. IT stands for Information Technology; it is usually referred to in relation to a company’s computers and online technology.
- IT Infrastructure: “Everything from the mouse to the data centre.” The IT infrastructure refers to everything, the IT structure, the network, the servers, etc.
- IT Security: A term used to describe all the security on your IT infrastructure to protect your company from viruses, cyberattacks, ransomware, employee data leaks and more.
- IT Specialists: People trained in everything to do with IT. They know everything to do with IT security, IT infrastructure, etc. To them, IT jargon is a second language.
- Link: Also known as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), a link is a reference point that can be clicked,sending the user to another website or reference point - just as the definition of “link” suggests, the click point and the data are “linked” and connected. When searching in Google, for example, you click on links (that look like titles) that take you to a page that you want to view. Sometimes clicking a link can cause ransomware to infect your computer.
- Logic Bomb: A set of instructions secretly incorporated into a program so that a certain condition is satisfied - such as opening a certain app - and the action is carried out with harmful effects once the action has been triggered.
- Malware: Short for “Malicious Software,” malware is software that is designed to gain access into another computer system and damage or disrupt the data. Examples of malware include viruses, worms, trojan horses, and spyware. Viruses, for example, can delete files or directory information, and spyware can gather data from your system without detection.
- Malicious Attachment: An email attachment that is carrying a virus or ransomware is often called a ‘malicious’ attachment because it intends to cause harm..
- Operating Systems: The basic software that supports your computer’s basic functions, e.g. Windows.
- Paid Email Client: A desktop application where a user can manage their email inboxes; there are free and paid email services you can use.
- Petya: Petya refers to a family of ransomware designed to encrypt information and target Microsoft Windows systems. It was first discovered in 2016. A new version of Petya caused a worldwide ransomware attack in June 2017.
- Phishing: This describes the process where ‘authentic-looking’ emails are sent to people in an attempt to obtain sensitive information.
- Point Of Sale Attack: A type of malicious malware that cybercriminals use to target Point Of Sale (POS) terminals with the intention to obtain credit and debit card information by reading the device memory from retail checkouts.
Ransomware: Software that blocks any access to your computer until you’ve paid the ransom free.
- Servers: A server is a computer designed to process requests and deliver data to other computers over a local network or the internet.
- Signature: Each virus has a signature; this help antiviruses identify what type of virus they are dealing with. Free antivirus software is slow at recognising new virus signatures compared to the paid versions.
- Social Engineering: A term used to describe the technique virus writers and attacks utilise to trick computer users into revealing information or activating viruses.
- Software: The programmes used by a computer, e.g. Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) is a software.
- Spear Phishing: Similar to Phishing, Spear Phishing emails come from a trusted source within an organisation such as someone in a position of authority or someone the target knows personally, as opposed to a well-known brand.
- Spyware: Malicious software which allows attackers to take information from another computer's activities by transmitting data from its hard drive.
- Troubleshoot: An approach to problem-solving that is used to find and correct issues with computers and software systems.
- WannaCry: A worldwide ransomware attack that took place in May 2017, affecting companies around the world.
- White Hat Hacker: A computer security specialist who breaks into protected systems and networks to test and assess security. They use their skills to improve security by exposing vulnerabilities before the Black Hat Hackers can detect and exploit them.
- Worm: A computer worm is a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it.
- 404 error: When you click on a link, a 404 error message can sometimes appear. There’s nothing for you to worry about; it’s just a message to say the website page of the link you clicked on has been removed.
Want A Helping Hand With Your IT?
Many companies get outside help from IT professionals to handle everything technical. That's what we do, here at Silverbug. We're fluent in IT jargon and help companies throughout the UK (and worldwide) to build their IT infrastructures and keep their systems running smoothly all day long. If you're looking to improve your current systems or get a recovery procedure in place so you're prepared against ransomware, we can help.
Complete our free online IT health check (or get in touch with our team).
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If there is any other jargon or phrases you don’t understand, let us know in the comments below. After we’ve given you the answer, we’ll add it to our list.