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Cut The Crap. 27 Pieces Of IT Jargon Explained For Non-Experts

coding jargon on computer screen

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


  1. Algorithm: A set of coding rules that a computer follows.
  2. Antivirus Software: Software designed to help protect your computers from viruses and cyberattacks.
  3. 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.
  4. Attachment: A document file that is sent with an email is usually referred to as an attachment.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.’
  8. 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.
  9. Cybersecurity: A term used to describe all the security put in place to defend computers from cyberattacks.
  10. Encrypts: 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. IT Infrastructure: “Everything from the mouse to the data centre.” The IT infrastructure refers to everything, the IT structure, the network, the servers, etc.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.  
  18. Malicious Attachment: An email attachment that is carrying a virus or ransomware is often called a ‘malicious’ attachment because it intends to cause harm..
  19. Operating Systems: The basic software that supports your computer’s basic functions, e.g. Windows.
  20. Paid Email Client: A desktop application where a user can manage their email inboxes;  there are free and paid email services you can use.
  21. 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.
  22. Phishing: This describes the process where ‘authentic-looking’ emails are sent to people in an attempt to obtain sensitive information.
  23. 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.
  24. Software: The programmes used by a computer, e.g. Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) is a software.
  25. Ransomware: Software that blocks any access to your computer until you’ve paid the ransom free.
  26. WannaCry: A worldwide ransomware attack that took place in May 2017, affecting companies around the world.
  27. 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.

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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.